After much anticipation, new USA Eagles head coach Eddie O’Sullivan has selected his first men’s national team domestic player pool that will train in Denver, Colorado, May 8-10, in preparation for a very busy summer season. With overseas professionals unavailable for the first assembly, this gives O’Sullivan a chance to set the tone for future selections and it is being met with open arms. O’Sullivan has chosen a squad with only one player not based on US soil, that being former Stanford standout Pat Danahy.
The squad also has representation from the USA Rugby Super League and the timing was worked out perfectly, as the assembly is wedged in between the final week of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs. There isn’t any RSL makeup games left to be played, so that should not interfere with players' plans for the assembly. In all, 19 Super League players, including leading point scorer Dan Power, were invited to camp.
USA 7’s stars will also get a good look as Kevin Swiryn, Justin Boyd, Zach Test, Zach Pangelinan, and Thretton Palamo are also headed into camp. The assembly should serve as an excellent training tool for the 7’s players who will then begin preparation for the final two stops on the IRB 7’s Series that take place in England (May 23-24) and Scotland (May 30-31).
“As this is the first domestic pool assembly and because of the time lines involved, it has been necessary to base selections on feedback from many sources,” O’Sullivan said. “My coaching staff, Sevens coach Al Caravelli and several other coaches around the nation have had an input. Some players have been omitted from the pool as we are aware of their abilities, whereas others have been included to give us an opportunity to assess their potential for the future.”
Over just three short days, in Denver, O’Sullivan plans to meet these domestic players, see where they stand on skills and fitness, and get a better idea of the squad he will announce for his second assembly, which is set to bring in the USA players who have been playing overseas.
“My intention has always been to try to create environments for people to reach their potential and, although it will be a chance for these players to compete for spots, I’m looking for personalities that I want on my team going forward,” O’Sullivan added.
The Eagles Pool for the Denver Camp, May 8-10 2009, is as follows:
Chris Biller (California), Peter Dahl (Belmont Shore), Pat Danahy (Dublin University), Nic Johnson (Denver Barbarians), Brian Lemay (Boston Irish Wolfhounds), Dan La Prevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate), Mate Moeakiola (Park City Haggis), Samu Maona (San Francisco Golden Gate), Shawn Pittman (Bayside), Pat Quinn (Denver Barbarians), Kort Schubert (Olympic Club), James G Sklar-Chik (Palmer), Jacob Sprague (Boston Irish Wolfhounds), Louis Stanfill (New York Athletic Club), Justin Stencel (Denver Barbarians), Matt Wyatt (New York Athletic Club).
Cory Blair (Belmont Shore), Justin Boyd (Dallas Harlequins), Taivalu Enosa (Tempe), Chad Erskine (Chicago Lions), Troy Hall (Old Blue), Ata Malifa (Belmont Shore), Mike Palefau (Las Vegas), Zach Pangelinan (OMBAC), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Thretton Palamo (San Francisco Golden Gate), Dan Power (New York Athletic Club), Kevin Swiryn (Old Puget Sound Beach), Zack Test (San Francisco Golden Gate), Alipate Tuilevuka (Provo Steelers).
Not considered due to injury
Matt Hawkins (OMBAC), Valenese Malifa (Belmont Shore), Rikus Pretorius (Olympic Club).
Considered but unavailable
James Gillenwater (Belmont Shore), Colin Hawley (California), Alec Parker (Aspen), Euan Sadden (Old Blue), John van der Giessen (Denver Barbarians).