BOULDER, Colo. – Men's Eagles coach John Mitchell will have a mix of veterans and youngsters in his first assembly with the national team, as 37 athletes have been made available for the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship.
Longtime U.S. captain Todd Clever returns to the fold with fellow Newcastle Falcon Eric Fry, while Cam Dolan, Taku Ngwenya, Greg Peterson, and Blaine Scully have also been released from their respective professional overseas clubs for at least one match of the groundbreaking competition. Each will be in Houston for the opening round of the tournament Saturday, Feb. 5, at BBVA Compass Stadium.
In all, 15 members of the greater squad have received an international cap, and 11 went to England this past fall as part of the Eagles' Rugby World Cup 2015 team. Eight ARC selections, including 22-year-old back Lemoto Filikitonga and 24-year-old scrum half Niku Kruger, traveled to South America last February for three matches against Argentina and Uruguay as members of the USA Rugby Selects.
Last winter's trip to the southern hemisphere yielded positive results on and off of the field, as the Selects defeated Uruguay while several players made cases for future selections to the national team. Likewise, the ARC's five matches will offer 12 athletes the opportunity to earn caps as well as impress the new coaching staff at the beginning of a World Cup cycle alongside seasoned internationals.
ATAVUS Athletes | Americas Rugby Championship 2016 Roster
Patrick Blair | Seattle ATAVUS Academy & Resident Camp Athlete
Chris Baumann | Training Camp Athlete
Mike Garrity | Seattle ATAVUS Academy
Olive Kilifi | Seattle ATAVUS Academy
Niku Kruger | Resident Camp Athlete
Ben Landry | Seattle ATAVUS Academy & Staff
Ryan Matyas | Two Time Resident Camp Athlete
Aladdin Schirmer | Seattle ATAVUS Academy & Central Washington University Powered By ATAVUS
Tim Stanfill | Serevi Selects
Matt Trouville | Seattle ATAVUS Academy & Staff