Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

USA Rugby

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 21:08

On Tuafete'e in the 11 Tests he played, he has made 9 appearances at Hooker and 2 at prop (Tonga and Ireland).

In the 7 Aviva Premiership Appearances for Worcester this past season, he earned 6 match starts at hooker and was a replacement at hooker in the other appearance. He started at hooker the last six weeks of the season. If you come out here an say he's a utility prop, that could be so with how weak our props were for this summer. But he is a 1st choice hooker.
Last edited by TheStroBro on Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 21:42, edited 1 time in total.

Posts: 270
Joined: Fri, 01 Apr 2016, 09:24
National Flag:
WalesWales

Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 21:22

4N wrote:The likes of John Smit and Federico Mendez managed it fine. Is he training there with Worcester? I don't know, but they shouldn't decide what the US coaches do positionally.

There's also the matter that he's huge for a hooker and the Eagles are shit at prop and have some decent hooker talent coming through. Sosene-Feagai was mentioned in Pat Clifton's article, he's another option when healthy.

A "World class hooker" for the Eagles is a bit of a joke given the prop situation. It will improve as a couple of prospects mature and hopefully everyone gets fit, but the embryonic Taufete'e is still a better prop than quite a few of them and should have the option to play wherever he wants until the U.S. Has the luxury of cementing him at #2 IMO (where he could eventually captain).


You could also mention Fawcitt and Chad Gough as potential international hookers.

However, we will have to beg to differ over your assertion that playing a top class player in a position where he is average is in the best interest of the team. I hope also that the MacGinty at 12 experiment has been abandoned. His performance at 10 in the final match surely puts that to bed.

I'm not convinced that Hilterbrand is a better hooker than, Titi, Baumann, Ryan or Purpura are props.

Interesting debate though.

Posts: 1525
Joined: Wed, 30 Apr 2014, 16:57

Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 21:30

Titi is injured (not for the first time), Ryan is new and his commitment in the past has been less than ideal, Baumann's form lately has been spotty IMO. I have been a fan of Purpura's for quite a while and didn't know why he was left out for guys like Nick Wallace etc. Good to see him in the mix finally but years of his potential development were lost.

So, yeah, I think Hilterbrand with Malcolm as his understudy is ok at hooker while reinforcements are diverted to prop until the situation stabilizes there, if it ever does.

And I'm not prepared to call Joe an average prop. Too small a sample size and he adds so much around the park regardless of where he plays. Has sparked more than once Eagles revival when subbed on, whether it's blasting rucks or offloading like a back he always brings it.

Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed, 16 Apr 2014, 19:00
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 22:12

Not sure about Mendez, but my memory is that Smit played a bit of prop in Super Rugby, in addition to his primary position of hooker. They also played both positions at a time when there was only a 22 man roster, and you basically had to decide between 3 bench front rows and only 2 back subs or only 2 front row subs and a full set of 3 back subs. With the switch to 23 man rosters and a mandatory 3 front row qualifed players on the bench, the value of having players with the versatility to play both in the match day squad was drastically reduced.

If Taufete'e is getting some match time at prop with Worcester or another outstanding hooker emerges (the ones previously mentioned, plus Germishuys, plus maybe another position change from someone like Langilangi), then I think it changes the equation. But I have to agree with Cardiffrcm that you're basically turning a potentially world class hooker into an average prop. Yes, it might be early to say he's an average prop, but one can't become a world class prop without scrummaging at prop on a regular basis. If he's not getting match time with his club at prop, he's never going to develop those skills. Meanwhile, he'll just keep getting better and better at hooker, making the tradeoff value even greater.

Posts: 869
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2015, 08:02
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 22:19

I understand why people dislike the idea that someone's club rugby position dictates their position at a national level, but its the only way it can work. National teams train for a few weeks at a time, a couple times a year. If someone is being paid to play professionally in England and train full time at hooker, then he will become more and more of a hooker. Taufetee was ok as a prop because he's strong as hell, but lacked any real technical knowledge. If he is not training at all to advance himself as a prop (because no one is paying him too) how would he get better?

I could believe he somehow becomes a really good prop, but if he isnt training towards it at his club it seems unrealistic. Reminds me a bit of Gerihuys with Mitchell asking him to convert to hooker. He seemed to train there for a bit, but still mostly played his club rugby where he knew at back row. From what I can tell, he has gone back permanently.

I just dont think the US problems at prop will get solved by Taufetee, so its kind of off topic. Baumann's failure is overblown. He was clearly injured. He should recover and should be credible going forward. I have high hopes for Waldren as well as Ryan. But beyond that I am skeptical. It will be an issue for awhile, until more guys are going overseas to play (or Pro12 comes to the US) and develop better technique. There is a difference between managing to deal with Canada, Uruguay, PI nations versus actually surviving against tier 1 nations, Georgia, etc. The latter will require a shift change with new players. The former is probably just a matter of health and training.

Holder is in Denver right? He is an interesting option at 12. I thought he is now active military since he isnt in the WCAP program anymore? Probably limits his availability. Hopefully MLR gives him more opportunities to play at a high level domestically.

Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed, 16 Apr 2014, 19:00
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 22:39

West Point requires graduates to serve 5 years of active duty and 3 years of reserve duty. Not sure how or if the WCAP changes that. But that 5 years should be about up by my count because I remember in 2012 thinking it was crazy for Tolkin to start the 2015 RWC cycle by selecting him as the starting 10, given that he was going to have 5 years of active duty starting right around then.

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 22:42

Holder was promoted to Captain and from what I understand intends to stay in for a little bit longer. Although he played some for Glendale this last year. I understand he'll be moving on to the Field Artillery Captain's Career Course shortly and that will put a crush on the professional dreams domestically for a little bit. In the first few years of MLR he might still be able to give it a go, but should he take a command, playing Rugby beyond the amateur level gets really tough when it comes to time.

Posts: 1525
Joined: Wed, 30 Apr 2014, 16:57

Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 22:58

Taufetee was ok as a prop because he's strong as hell, but lacked any real technical knowledge. If he is not training at all to advance himself as a prop (because no one is paying him too) how would he get better?


Exactly. What are the chances a raw English guy, say a Championship signing, with Joe's physical qualities (strong and 125kg+) gets made into a specialist hooker as a senior player? Slim I'd say. Usually you're looking to move an undersized prop or short backrower there.

As far as the second question goes, there are more options than to simply let an overseas club shape his future.

I mentioned Manoa before, but the more I think about the more Taufetee actually reminds me of the Cam Dolan situation. For a top-level US pro side Cam would probably be starting at the right position every week (not for the reserves in his correct position, or shoehorned into the first side somehow) and improving technically. Which would make Dolan a scary player given all of his natural gifts. At the end of the day, unless you're Argentina sending polished 10s, Georgia sending developed props etc overseas, it's not necessarily the best environment to develop raw athletic players for their national side.

Hopefully USA islanders will build out a fuller fixture list and bridge the gap to some extent. Some raw prospects there too, and coaches that care about their development not just as an asset for them but for their long-term wellbeing and the national side.

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 23:53

Are we ignoring what people write.

Taufete'e in 11 Tests: 9 at Hooker, 2 at Loose Head
Aviva Premiership Matches: 6 Starts at Hooker, 1 Appearance at Hooker (Last 7 Matches)
Anglo Welsh Cup: 1 Start at Hooker
European Playoffs: 2 Starts at Hooker

So in 21 Matches of Test and Professional Rugby, he has played in 2 at Loose head.

Posts: 1525
Joined: Wed, 30 Apr 2014, 16:57

Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 00:10

TheStroBro wrote:Are we ignoring what people write.

Taufete'e in 11 Tests: 9 at Hooker, 2 at Loose Head
Aviva Premiership Matches: 6 Starts at Hooker, 1 Appearance at Hooker (Last 7 Matches)
Anglo Welsh Cup: 1 Start at Hooker
European Playoffs: 2 Starts at Hooker

So in 21 Matches of Test and Professional Rugby, he has played in 2 at Loose head.


Not ignoring. :) I think he played at prop in PRO a few times too. Look, I'm not trying to argue that he isn't primarily a hooker now or that he isn't a very good one. It's that a big unit like him on a team like the US should be used to greatest effect. Would be saying the same if someone like Canada or Fiji had a monster hooker (who has played prop) with iffy props alongside him. Especially if a European club made the decisive positional shift.

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 01:32

In that I agree. With who we have there was no reason for him not to be on the field for at least 60 minutes each match.

Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed, 16 Apr 2014, 19:00
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 02:58

TheStroBro wrote:Holder was promoted to Captain and from what I understand intends to stay in for a little bit longer. Although he played some for Glendale this last year. I understand he'll be moving on to the Field Artillery Captain's Career Course shortly and that will put a crush on the professional dreams domestically for a little bit. In the first few years of MLR he might still be able to give it a go, but should he take a command, playing Rugby beyond the amateur level gets really tough when it comes to time.


Thanks for the info. That is unfortunate for his rugby career and the Eagles, but I'll never fault a guy for serving his country.

Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 16:57
Location: Leicester
National Flag:
Great BritainGreat Britain

Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 16:42

Surely the player will decide where he plays. Its his career and his body on the line. Neither club nor union can force him into a position he doesn't want to play.

For me he was one of the form hookers in the Prem at the end of the season and I'd expect him to either play a big part in a Worcester surge or move onto a top club (Wasps probably as Johnson is getting on a bit and can go back to backrow if needs be).

I think versatility is coming a bit back into the front row. Greg Bateman was a prop in the Championship and prem with London Welsh, was changed to hooker for 2 years at Exeter and has started in all three front row spots for Tigers (first player to do that in about 30 years at least).

Posts: 1502
Joined: Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 16:57
Location: Leicester
National Flag:
Great BritainGreat Britain

Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 16:44

4N wrote:
Taufetee was ok as a prop because he's strong as hell, but lacked any real technical knowledge. If he is not training at all to advance himself as a prop (because no one is paying him too) how would he get better?


Exactly. What are the chances a raw English guy, say a Championship signing, with Joe's physical qualities (strong and 125kg+) gets made into a specialist hooker as a senior player? Slim I'd say. Usually you're looking to move an undersized prop or short backrower there.




I mean that is literally exactly what Exeter tried with Greg Bateman, so yes it does happen here too.

Posts: 1525
Joined: Wed, 30 Apr 2014, 16:57

Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 21:31

Yes it's ultimately the players decision. I said as much in an earlier post.

More bad news for US prop stocks - Lamositele battling a significant neck injury
Saracens are pleased to announce the return of prop forward Kieran Longbottom to the club ahead of the 2017/18 season.
With news that Titi Lamositele will be ruled out for a substantial period of time with a neck injury, Longbottom will join the Men in Black on a one year deal to bolster Saracens’ front row options.

http://www.saracens.com/news-article/ki ... r-saracens

Posts: 869
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2015, 08:02
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Thu, 06 Jul 2017, 22:45

Holy crap that sucks! Neck injuries are always serious but can be career ending for a prop where their ability to handle the scrum pressure is compromised.

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 00:31

I would like to point out that they knew this before they re-signed him. So that's a good thing overall.

Posts: 869
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2015, 08:02
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 02:54

Fair point. Positive spin would be that it's a relatively minor neck injury but for a prop they will exercise an excess of caution bring him back

Posts: 869
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2015, 08:02
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 16:57

De Haas going to a SA academy but based on the reference to aiming for one one europe it's probably a short term thing sort of like what Germihuys did.

Would love to see Cima and De haas in academy set ups.

Edit: http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... y.html?m=1

Posts: 932
Joined: Thu, 17 Apr 2014, 13:53
National Flag:
MacauMacau

Re: USA Rugby

Postby olivier » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 18:17

https://www.lequipe.fr/Rugby/Actualites ... ial/816621
Huge if true. Mike Ford could be the next head coach of USA.

Posts: 869
Joined: Thu, 21 May 2015, 08:02
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 19:35

That would certainly be awesome. Especially if he split time somewhat with a US-based club meaning he was based full time in the US and linked into the domestic game. Although not sure if there is precedent for a National team coach to also be coaching a club...

Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed, 16 Apr 2014, 19:00
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 20:15

Suiram wrote:That would certainly be awesome. Especially if he split time somewhat with a US-based club meaning he was based full time in the US and linked into the domestic game. Although not sure if there is precedent for a National team coach to also be coaching a club...


One of the issues with that is that there will be cries of favoritism towards the players he coaches at the club level. Even for the fairest minded of coaches, a coach is still always going to select the player he is more familiar and comfortable with if it's a close call.

Jack Clark coached Cal and the Eagles simultaneously in the 90s. I think Billups was an assistant at Cal while Eagles HC, but I'm not 100% sure on that.

Posts: 1803
Joined: Wed, 16 Apr 2014, 19:00
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 20:24

Also, along a similar vein, USAR has the job posting up for Men's 15s HC: https://usarugby.hrmdirect.com/employme ... 3&nohd#job

They are requiring that the new coach reside in the US full time in addition to some other things like developing domestic high performance coaches and aligning with the age grade and other high performance programs. Basically it's what is needed from a USA head coach.

Posts: 419
Joined: Thu, 23 Feb 2017, 01:37
National Flag:
United StatesUnited States

Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 22:30


Posts: 292
Joined: Mon, 28 Apr 2014, 17:36
National Flag:
WalesWales

Re: USA Rugby

Postby rugby.change » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 00:01

Any indications on the new head coach yet?

PreviousNext

Return to Rugby Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], Bogdan_DC, germanbullsfan, toulousain, Yahoo [Bot] and 12 guests