Americans Abroad: How USA Players Are Faring In Professional Rugby

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J. Blaber

CARDIFF, WALES – While RWU is definitely a global rugby community, we can’t deny that it was started by an American. There’s also no denying that the future of rugby will get an enormous boost if Americans and countries like the USA get fully on board with the game. With that, I figured (after stealing the idea from a soccer website) that it might be worth our while to look across the pond, as they say, and weigh in with an Americans Abroad Update (as of last Saturday):

Wyles:Rogers/Getty Images

ENGLAND
Aviva Premeirship
Chris WylesSaracens: Won HEC match over Ospreys on 12/16; Continues to be regular starter at Saracens as a winger, FB and Outside Center.
Hayden SmithSaracens: Did not make match day roster
Chris BillerBath: Lost HEC match to Leinster on 12/17; Trying hard but being drafted in and still getting use to team. Unfortunately, played defending champs and were blown off the field.
Samu ManoaNorthampton : Won HEC match over Castres on 12/16; His decision to forgo the Eagles at the RWC and focus to earn a spot at N’Hampton seems to be a good move for him. He started and help the Saints set the tone for a quality preformance.
Will JohnsonLondon Irish : Did not make match day roster but his development as a prop continues.

MacDonald

Chamionship (level below Premeirship)
Mike MacDonaldLeeds. Mike starts at Prop and continues to improve upon his already steady game.
Andrew SuniulaCornish Pirates: Did not make match day roster
Shawn PittmanLondon Welsh : Did not make match day roster but his development as a prop continues
Tim UsaszNottingham: Did not make match day roster
Robbie ShawLeeds: Did not make match day roster
Junior SifaNottingham: Did not make match day roster

FRANCE
Top 14
Scott LaVallaStade Francais: Did not make match day roster
Kevin SwirynAgen: Did not make match day roster
Seta TuilevukaMontpellier: Did not make match day roster
Takudzwa “Z” NgwenyaBiarritz: Won HEC match over Treviso on 12/16; Z continues to be quality contributor in Biarritz, as they allow him to get into space use his speed to create trouble for the defence.

Pro D2 (1 level below Top 14)
Inaki BasauriPerigueux: Lost to Tarbes by 1 on 12/18; Inaki started at openside and played the full 80 minutes in a nailbiter of a match.

Federal 1 (2 levels below Top 14)
Mate MoeakiolaBobigny 93: Lost to Macon on 12/11; Mate not only started but scored in the 80th minute. However, it was too little too late for his side. Mate continues to show his strength. His problem is his mobility.

NEW ZEALAND
ITM ( Prem)
James Paterson Southland: Off-season

SOUTH AFRICA
Currie Cup First Division (1 below Currie Cup Prem)
J.J. GagianoEastern Province Kings: Off-season

JAPAN
Premier League
Todd CleverSuntory Sungoliath: Won over Coca-Cola West Red Sparks on 12/17; Captain America started at blindside but he never really had to get out of second gear as his team won 87-35.

ITALY
Italian league 1 (top domestic league)
Lou StanfillMogliano: Did not make match day roster

With Bigger Squads these days some guys were not able to make the match day roster. However, the more US paid professionals the better. If you know of any forgotten on this list please write in and let us know. And a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all.

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About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.