PHILADELPHIA, PA – In Monday’s Weekend Rugby Recap, fellow RWU Staff Member, Junoir Blaber, mentioned that USA Rugby announced the 40 man roster for a Denver based training camp leading up to the June Internationals. The list is below and we wanted to discuss the list and couple of guys on the list. If anyone wants to comment on the list, why certain players are there and why others aren’t or the number of players from one club or anything of that matter please feel free to do so in the comments. Right now, the focus is on the list and a couple of particular players.
The 40 man roster:
Men’s Eagles | Denver Camp
Nate Augspurger (Men’s Eagles Sevens)
Danny Barrett (Men’s Eagles Sevens)
Garrett Brewer (Saint Mary’s College)
Nick Civetta (Lazio RFC)
Todd Clever (NTT Shining Arcs)
Tom Coolican (Richmond RFC)
Miles Craigwell (Seattle-OPSB)
Cameron Dolan (Northampton RFC)
Brian Doyle (NYAC)
TC Elliott (Seattle-OPSB)
Zach Fenoglio (Glendale Raptors)
Eric Fry (London Scottish FC)
Troy Hall (Seattle-OPSB)
Graham Harriman (James Bay RFC)
Luke Hume (Narbonne)
Seamus Kelly (University of California)
Olive Kilifi (Seattle-OPSB)
Titi Lamositele (Saracens RFC)
Scott LaValla (Stade Francais)
Chad London (Glendale Raptors)
Samu Manoa (Northampton RFC)
Tim Maupin (Men’s Eagles Sevens)
Folau Niua (Glasgow Warriors)
Mike Petri (NYAC)
Ben Pinkelman (Denver Barbarians)
Shawn Pittman (Seattle-OPSB)
Blaine Scully (Leicester FC)
Adam Siddall (Belmont Shore RFC)
Hayden Smith (Saracens RFC)
Louis Stanfill (Seattle-OPSB)
Kyle Sumsion (Brigham Young University)
Andrew Suniula (London Wasps)
Shalom Suniula (Seattle-OPSB)
Phil Thiel (Life Rugby)
Brett Thompson (Men’s Eagles Sevens)
Matt Trouville (Seattle-OPSB)
Tai Tuisamoa (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club)
Nick Wallace (James Bay RFC)
Chris Wyles (Saracens RFC)
Looking at the list, I can proudly say, I know who Chad London is! Not only do I know who he is, but also why he was selected. He is a center who is playing for the Glendale Raptors. This is thanks to the PRP (Pacific Rugby Premiership) and its first season. Highlighted in bold are London’s fellow PRPers
The best thing the PRP has going for it is Glendale and their stadium, Infinity Park. For the home games of Glendale and the Denver Barbarians, club rugby was played in a place that is ready to sell the club game in America via tv or YouTube. Even if only on YouTube, having a camera or several cameras in the right places and commentators and graphics makes the game look legit. I love it!
Certainly, some of the game tape and highlights looked less-than legit–pitches in poor shape, sparse crowds, oddly placed cameras. Still, the games at Treasure Island (Home to San Fransisco – Golden Gate) and Glendale look pretty good. It isn’t possible to have fans without having a real package to “sell” to the fans. The standard of play isn’t the package; it is the thing within the package. The package is everything else that surrounds the product, the play.
These aren’t new ideas, and other clubs and leagues have tried to develop a good package. As a fan, though, the PRP was easier to follow than the Super League which preceded it. That means that I have seen London play, including in a final that was fun to watch. Of course, I have also watched enough of the play in the PRP to have a sense of who Mike Tolkin might have invited to the camp to get a look at fly-half. I admit to some head-scratching.
The next step for the PRP is to develop some personalities. We fans love rooting for guys for not just how they play, but also who they are. I know this might be non-traditional in terms of the humility and team-first attitude rugby players are rightly encouraged to develop. Still, when I watched a piece on Doug Howlett years ago that let me have a sense of who he was, I was an instant fan. Being able to follow specific players as they compete with their clubs is another way for the Eagles fan base to stay engaged.
Hopefully, the clubs involved have gotten what they need or want from the PRP and the league will be able to evolve and maybe grow. I also hear there is talk of an east coast equivalent coming this fall or next spring. It would be great for USA Rugby if that became a reality.
That’s it for now. Feel free to comment below, please look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@:RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Jamie Wall, Jaime Loyd, DJ Eberle, Cody Kuxmann, Karen Ritter, Jake Frechette and Declan Yeats, respectively.