Via USA RUGBY LANGFORD, British Columbia – Mike Tolkin has selected the first starting roster for the 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship, with the Eagles Select XV set to kick off the tournament against Argentina at Westhills Stadium Friday, Oct. 11, at 9:00 P.M. ET.
After his first two caps against Canada in the 2015 IRB Rugby World Cup Qualifiers, the young Titi Lamositele earns a start at loose head prop. He will be partnered by Shawn Pittman at tight head prop. Derek Asbun, a call-up for the second Qualifier in Toronto, will be available on the bench.
Adam Siddall returns to the Eagles at fullback, a position in which he started in the first match of the Eagles’ summer schedule against Canada in the IRB Pacific Nations Cup.
Liam Murphy and Daniel Barrett will take control at the openside and blindside flanker positions, respectively, and Graham Harriman and William Haydock will start at lock.
A young Eagles squad finished last year’s Americas Rugby Championship 0-3, but it set up a successful series of November tests. Tolkin expects this year’s squad to improve on recent campaigns.
“This year, our Development XV has a better mix of experience, leadership and upcoming talent,” he said. “As our pool of candidates deepens, so does the strength of each team below the Senior Men’s National Team. At the same time, some of our lesser-experienced domestic Eagles get a great opportunity to play more demanding rugby and prepare them better for the full international tests ahead.”
The Eagles arrived in Canada Wednesday, but held camp in Seattle, Wash., earlier in the week. Part of the tournament preparations included a 40-minute scrimmage against Seattle-OPSB.
“Our time in Seattle was excellent,” Tolkin said. “We had everything that we needed in terms of equipment and all the support of the people at the club, the fans and players. The 40 minutes versus Seattle-OPSB was invaluable in getting all players game time together before commencing against Argentina. The standard of the teams they fielded on short notice was of high quality. We are grateful for their help.”
Tolkin's coaching staff includes new assistant coaches Billy Millard and Justin Fitzpatrick.
Eagles Select XV | v. Argentina 1. Titi Lamositele 2. Phillip Thiel 3. Shawn Pittman 4. Graham Harriman 5. William Haydock 6. Daniel Barrett 7. Liam Murphy 8. Cameron Dolan 9. Shaun Davies 10. Toby L'Estrange 11. Ed Mills 12. Mile Pulu 13. Chris Chapman 14. Mark Roberts 15. Adam Siddall
Eagles Select XV | Reserves 16. Cameron Falcon 17. Nick Wallace 18. Chris Sullivan 19. Tai Tuisamoa 20. Derek Asbun 21. Chris Saint 22. Peter Moala 23. Tim Maupin