Update On Americans Playing Pro Rugby Abroad

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At the Bottom Of A Ruck, NYC – Continuing from the great feedback we got last month, we are back with another update on  on American Ruggers grinding out a profession overseas. These updates are as of this past weekend.

Aviva Premeirship


Chris WylesSaracens: Played 80 minutes on the wing in victory against Biarritz and his Eagle teammate, Takudzwa “Z” Ngwenya,  in HEC (Heineken Cup); Continues to be regular starter at Saracens being used as a winger, FB and Outside Center. He has played in 12 of 19 matches and scored 3 tries so far this season.
Hayden SmithSaracens: Did not make match day roster as he is still recovering from injury; However so far this season he has appeared in 6 matches which is about a third of all oh his clubs matches.
Chris BillerBath: Did not make match day roster; He will find it harder to get time as the players formerly ahead of him in the pecking order get healthy.
Samu ManoaNorthampton: Played Lock and went the full 80 in big win for club against Scarlets in HEC; To date Samu has played in 19 games in all competitions for Saints. He has started 12 and came of the bench for 7. It is clear that he has solidified his place at the club which will only help his availability for Eagles matches.


Chamionship (level below Premeirship)
Mike MacDonaldLeeds. Did not make match day roster and will will reportedly miss 10 weeks. Mike broke a bone and tore a tendon in his hand in the previous week’s 42-32 win over Moseley and had surgery; MacDonald had played 10 games in all competitions starting for the 8 time this season.
Andrew SuniulaCornish Pirates: Did not make match day roster
Shawn PittmanLondon Welsh : Did not make match day roster; He did feature the previous week in a win over Rotherham titans and played 74 minutes only coming off for 6 minutes due to a blood bin. Shawn has played in 12 games in all competitions.
Robbie ShawLeeds: Started at Scrumhalf in the his sides 25-20 loss; has played in 15 games in all competitions, scoring 2 tries.


Top 14
Scott LaVallaStade Francais: Won 38-21 over Castres; Scott came off the bench for 21 minutes to help seal the win.
Kevin SwirynAgen: Did not make match day roster; Seems he is still injured.
Takudzwa “Z” NgwenyaBiarritz: Lost to Saracens and his Team USA pal, Chris Wyles in a great Heineken Cup match. Continues to be a featured weapon on the wing.

Pro D2 (1 level below Top 14)
Inaki BasauriPerigueux: Win against FC Auch. Inaki only played 63 minutes at Lock.

Federal 1 (2 levels below Top 14)
Mate MoeakiolaBobigny 93: League Winter Break; Next game on the 29th of January.

ITM ( Prem)
James Paterson Southland: Off-season

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

Premier League
Todd CleverSuntory Sungoliath: Came of the bench in his sides 43-26 victory.

That’s my intel, if you have more, please share it with us… And don’t forget to check in with Team USA 7s star Matt Hawkins, tomorrow.



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.