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USA Rugby

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 14:53

Langilangi is supposed to suit up for USA Islanders and is playing club rugby in California. I read the claim that he had eyesight problems - if true it doesn't seem to be hindering him.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 15:30

MLB3BB2 wrote:How about Madison Hughes at 9? I think he'd distribute better than Augspurger and would be more dangerous with ball in hand than Davies. But as a core 7s player does he not get enough time playing 15s?


If he were to focus on 15s, this might be a good move, but I can't see him doing that. If he moved to 9 while still playing 7s most of the year, I think you're looking at his ceiling being a slightly better version of Phil Mack.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 15:32

4N wrote:Langilangi is supposed to suit up for USA Islanders and is playing club rugby in California. I read the claim that he had eyesight problems - if true it doesn't seem to be hindering him.


Hope he makes a comeback at the national level. Yet another player who could be absolutely destructive as an impact sub.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby USA Rugby Fan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 15:33

Coloradoan wrote:So one of the big advantages of beating Canada yesterday and qualifying earlier is that we can really build toward 2019 now rather than focusing on the here and now.

For me we have 4 major questions and/or holes right now:

1. The scrum. It will undoubtedly be better with Titi back but it's a huge issue, particularly if we keep developing this wide style of play. Do we try and make Big Joe a prop at the national level? Call back in Eric Fry? Call up a youngster like Lee Lo?

2. Scrumhalf. Augspurger is very good in broken play but I'm still unconvinced overall. That said, not sure there are many other options. Davies?

3. Inside center. Brache has done well here in a pinch, but he would be better off in the back 3, where he plays in Super Rugby. Can JP Eloff step up? Should we try someone like Mike Te'o there?

4. Back 3. Blaine Scully has one spot locked down and Brache could move back here. But if not, who will step up? Matyas had a good game there and has looked good in patches this summer. Psalm Wooching hasn't been picked up by an overseas pro squad yet but you'd think he will be eventually and will certainly be ready by 2019. And what about the 7s guys?


1. From what I saw in the last game vs Canada, Big Joe should have the start at hooker. I agree that with Titi back the front row will be much better, but I'm sure Fry is not the answer. I'd rather get a younger guy reps in practice and playing time, to develop him than bring back Fry.

2. Augspurger is a diamond in the rough. With more playing time at the 15 game he will continue to improve-he can be taught technique and decision making, but the open play/ broken play ability is something special. Keep him at 9.

3. I love the idea of Te'o at 12! A Te'o and Palamo center combo would be the best US center combo in years.
Twitter: @USA_Rugby_Fan

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Figaro » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 16:00

TheStroBro wrote:
@Figaro, Scully captained the Blues multiple times this year. Getting rid of him would be a bit shortsighted.


I'm not saying they would want rid of him, rather that he might prefer to be first choice wing and captain of a Pro12 US team, rather than 3rd choice wing and captain in a Welsh one.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 16:30

Go watch video of Augsperger last summer versus against Canada last week. He has made huge improvements in terms of basic scrumhalf skills (like box kicking). Its a useful reference for the other 7s guys. If they want to be relevant in 15s they probably need at least 1-2 seasons of 15s to adjust.

I would imagine if the US Pro12 team gets announced they would push hard to get Scully (keep in mind its for the season after next) as the likely US captain. Realistically though, the first seasons will probably have quite a few foreign players to ensure they are competitive and avoid dealing with too many contracting issues. For me, team's commercial success (and my interest in it) will be more closely linked to their competitive success in Pro12 and less related to how many Americans are on the team. Even if the team is only half US-eligble players I would be happy to support them. I actually think going to an extreme like Argentina with the Jaguares is a bad idea.

Overseas players that could potentially come back would generally be those not getting enough starting time: Dolan, Peterson, Civetta, Lamositele (less likely but he clearly is capable of starting if not behind Vunipola at the Saracens), Scully, Tameilau

Could also see some of the 7s guys switching over permanently with a domestic team like Iosefo, Leuta, Barrett, Durutalo. Also wonder whether domestic guys like Brakeley or Quill would get a look.

Again, I dont think it should be focused on only bringing in Americans. That is a recipe for abysmal performance.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sammo » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 16:40

Coloradoan wrote:
4N wrote:Langilangi is supposed to suit up for USA Islanders and is playing club rugby in California. I read the claim that he had eyesight problems - if true it doesn't seem to be hindering him.


Hope he makes a comeback at the national level. Yet another player who could be absolutely destructive as an impact sub.


It has been suggested that blind may not be the whole story, but I have no idea of the truth of the matter. See approx. 3/4 of the way down this page: https://www.reddit.com/r/MLRugby/commen ... mpionship/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 16:50

USA Rugby Fan wrote:
1. From what I saw in the last game vs Canada, Big Joe should have the start at hooker. I agree that with Titi back the front row will be much better, but I'm sure Fry is not the answer. I'd rather get a younger guy reps in practice and playing time, to develop him than bring back Fry.

2. Augspurger is a diamond in the rough. With more playing time at the 15 game he will continue to improve-he can be taught technique and decision making, but the open play/ broken play ability is something special. Keep him at 9.

3. I love the idea of Te'o at 12! A Te'o and Palamo center combo would be the best US center combo in years.


I think you are right that Augspurger will continue to improve as he continues to focus on 15s. He also has some underrated value in his ability to cover wing, which allowed Mitchell to go with the 6/2 forward/back split on the bench. But that versatility could also come from the bench so it's more a value of being in the 23 than a starter.

Palamo and Campbell are going to have a good battle for the 13 jersey, with perhaps a few younger guys like Lorenzo Thomas and Cody Melphy nipping at their heels. I'd back Campbell though. He's a better defender than Palamo from what I've seen and will probably see a big improvement over the next few years as he goes from playing college kids to either MLR or possibly European players. They could also play together with Palamo at 12, if the new coach opts for a bigger center pairing.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 16:56

Suiram wrote:Go watch video of Augsperger last summer versus against Canada last week. He has made huge improvements in terms of basic scrumhalf skills (like box kicking). Its a useful reference for the other 7s guys. If they want to be relevant in 15s they probably need at least 1-2 seasons of 15s to adjust.

I would imagine if the US Pro12 team gets announced they would push hard to get Scully (keep in mind its for the season after next) as the likely US captain. Realistically though, the first seasons will probably have quite a few foreign players to ensure they are competitive and avoid dealing with too many contracting issues. For me, team's commercial success (and my interest in it) will be more closely linked to their competitive success in Pro12 and less related to how many Americans are on the team. Even if the team is only half US-eligble players I would be happy to support them. I actually think going to an extreme like Argentina with the Jaguares is a bad idea.

Overseas players that could potentially come back would generally be those not getting enough starting time: Dolan, Peterson, Civetta, Lamositele (less likely but he clearly is capable of starting if not behind Vunipola at the Saracens), Scully, Tameilau

Could also see some of the 7s guys switching over permanently with a domestic team like Iosefo, Leuta, Barrett, Durutalo. Also wonder whether domestic guys like Brakeley or Quill would get a look.

Again, I dont think it should be focused on only bringing in Americans. That is a recipe for abysmal performance.


Palamo seems like another good option for a Pro 12 team. Lamositele just signed a new contract with Saracens didn't he? Seems happy there and they rotate a lot so he not only gets to go up against great props in training, but also gets plenty of match time. Durutalo is already gone from 7s I think. He signed with an English Championship club.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 17:02

TheStroBro wrote:Tony Ridnell makes his pitch: https://blog.ridnell.com/2017/07/04/a-s ... -chairman/


I like his persistence, especially after his congress interview went the way it did. Will keep an eye on how this develops.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby iul » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 17:56

4N wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:Tony Ridnell makes his pitch: https://blog.ridnell.com/2017/07/04/a-s ... -chairman/


I like his persistence, especially after his congress interview went the way it did. Will keep an eye on how this develops.

How did it go?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 17:56

Coloradoan wrote:Palamo seems like another good option for a Pro 12 team. Lamositele just signed a new contract with Saracens didn't he? Seems happy there and they rotate a lot so he not only gets to go up against great props in training, but also gets plenty of match time. Durutalo is already gone from 7s I think. He signed with an English Championship club.


I just honestly dont know if Palamo cuts it for a Pro12 team at least in terms of starting at 12 or 13. Same for guys like Eric Fry

You are right about Lamositele, I forgot that he re-upped. With Prem and Champions Cup schedule along with the amount of Saracens on the English national squad, you make a good point.

Durutalo signed with Ealing, but I'm not sure if its a 1 or 2 year deal. Would assume he would pick Pro12 in general over Championship.

Another person is Lamborn. He is making the bench regularly in Super Rugby but is unlikely to ever be a starter with the logjam of 7s in NZ. Pro12 may also pay better than what he is getting in Super Rugby (although cost of living in DC area is probably higher than NZ).

And another name forgotten often would be Ostberg. Although I think he just signed a new 2 year deal in France. But from what I read, he has been playing mostly 8 there.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 18:02

iul wrote:
4N wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:Tony Ridnell makes his pitch: https://blog.ridnell.com/2017/07/04/a-s ... -chairman/


I like his persistence, especially after his congress interview went the way it did. Will keep an eye on how this develops.

How did it go?


In TR's own words...

Spoiler:
My Board Interview

As many know, I was nominated for a Board seat for the August cycle. My interview with the nominating Chair, Marni Vath could not have gone worse. The first 5 minutes I spent telling her of my experience at the Champions Cup quarterfinal in the UK followed by some learnings from a highly educational trip to the Hong Kong 7’s. I now have some concrete ideas for fund-raising and sponsorship, getting people/organizations with their particular interest to engage financially (i.e. in addition to Men’s 7’s philanthropy that exists now). It’s comprehensive and involves a ‘networking ground game’, and I am confident we solve a lot of problems with my program. As I was beginning to discuss these ideas, Marni advised that there would be no way she could recommend me for further consideration because I was too ‘divisive’. I found this an interesting description, as all I have done is attempt to learn the landscape, meet people, and affect some accountability all of which I consider myself to have been moderately successful. If asking questions is ‘divisive’, sign me up.

The remainder of the call consisted of me attempting to discuss RIM, TRC, PRO, RWC2018 with Marni, and she gave me her assessment that getting involved in discussion like that is ‘more operational in nature and not under the purview of a Director’. She used that phrase on several occasions, i.e. “operational in nature”. She also advised her pride in taking what she considers a ‘unique’ view of what a Board should look like, as well as the Directors themselves.

I could only think to myself; The Board created RIM, TRC, PRO debacle, etc., yet the Chairman of the Nominating committee feels that these issues are operational in nature and not under the purview of the Board or its Directors. I thought, ‘what the hell are we talking about then?’

It was clear to me that Marni was not aware of the treacherous position of TRC, RIM, and the massively negative effect PRO has had on the top level play in this country, etc… and she certainly didn’t want to discuss any of it. I wonder what those vested in The Rugby Channel are thinking now after the NBC announcement. Perhaps she didn’t want to admit that the recent Board selections, particularly during the Melville reign, are the responsibility of her Board nominating committee and are culprits in the creation of these entities that has caused the massive overspend, lack of revenue generation, and well-documented poor Board performance.

A subsequent conversation with another congress member yielded the information that Marni on private calls later described me as ‘hostile’ during my interview, and ‘progressing my own agenda’. I wouldn’t describe my behavior as hostile, but more of being completely astonished at the fact that a person with self described views on ‘what a Board should look like’, and having little to no knowledge of the carnage that the nominating committee appointees have created was in charge of this nominating process and interviewing me. I was disappointed more than anything. I recall spending 20% of the call proselytizing for the likes of several others to be awarded this Board seat. No need to mention names.

https://blog.ridnell.com/2017/05/30/on- ... the-board/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 19:16

Figaro wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
@Figaro, Scully captained the Blues multiple times this year. Getting rid of him would be a bit shortsighted.


I'm not saying they would want rid of him, rather that he might prefer to be first choice wing and captain of a Pro12 US team, rather than 3rd choice wing and captain in a Welsh one.


Actually, I think that Scully's contract will not be renewed.

He has been great for us, but with overseas restrictions the way they are, I don't think we will use a precious non-european (he is one of 2 we are allowed) place on a 3rd/4th choice wing. Cuthburt and James will be 1st choice with the new wonderkid Rhun Williams pushing them hard. Summerhill has quality and Dan Fish can also play wing. Blaine could be sacrificed due to our greater need upfront.

European clubs are using the non-indigenous player spaces for tight 5 players, No.8's and goalkickers (sweeping generalisation :D ).

At international level the US are arguably stronger in the backs than the pack. But look how many US players have overseas contracts:-

Backs; Brache, Scully, Ngwenya, Palamo, Fuala'au, MacGinty (6)
Pack; Fry, Lamitosele, Ryan, Hilterbrand, Taufetee, Civetta, Mahoni, Petersen, Ostberg, Manoa, Lamborn, Dolan (sic), Tameilau, Duratalo (14)

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 19:18

Suiram wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:Palamo seems like another good option for a Pro 12 team. Lamositele just signed a new contract with Saracens didn't he? Seems happy there and they rotate a lot so he not only gets to go up against great props in training, but also gets plenty of match time. Durutalo is already gone from 7s I think. He signed with an English Championship club.


I just honestly dont know if Palamo cuts it for a Pro12 team at least in terms of starting at 12 or 13. Same for guys like Eric Fry

You are right about Lamositele, I forgot that he re-upped. With Prem and Champions Cup schedule along with the amount of Saracens on the English national squad, you make a good point.

Durutalo signed with Ealing, but I'm not sure if its a 1 or 2 year deal. Would assume he would pick Pro12 in general over Championship.

Another person is Lamborn. He is making the bench regularly in Super Rugby but is unlikely to ever be a starter with the logjam of 7s in NZ. Pro12 may also pay better than what he is getting in Super Rugby (although cost of living in DC area is probably higher than NZ).

And another name forgotten often would be Ostberg. Although I think he just signed a new 2 year deal in France. But from what I read, he has been playing mostly 8 there.


Soon to be qualified guys like, Fawcitt, Kalm and Hattingh will also be in the mix.

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Re: USA Rugby

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

Just thought I'd add this from last week at Rugby Today. Their consideration of "active capped players" not selected by Mitchell this summer

http://www.rugbytoday.com/elite/sorting ... s-oddities

I personally dont disagree with any of these non-selections except maybe Peterson which is somewhat surprising. Although I think he is just coming back from injury

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 19:42

USA Rugby Fan wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:So one of the big advantages of beating Canada yesterday and qualifying earlier is that we can really build toward 2019 now rather than focusing on the here and now.

For me we have 4 major questions and/or holes right now:

1. The scrum. It will undoubtedly be better with Titi back but it's a huge issue, particularly if we keep developing this wide style of play. Do we try and make Big Joe a prop at the national level? Call back in Eric Fry? Call up a youngster like Lee Lo?

2. Scrumhalf. Augspurger is very good in broken play but I'm still unconvinced overall. That said, not sure there are many other options. Davies?

3. Inside center. Brache has done well here in a pinch, but he would be better off in the back 3, where he plays in Super Rugby. Can JP Eloff step up? Should we try someone like Mike Te'o there?

4. Back 3. Blaine Scully has one spot locked down and Brache could move back here. But if not, who will step up? Matyas had a good game there and has looked good in patches this summer. Psalm Wooching hasn't been picked up by an overseas pro squad yet but you'd think he will be eventually and will certainly be ready by 2019. And what about the 7s guys?


1. From what I saw in the last game vs Canada, Big Joe should have the start at hooker. I agree that with Titi back the front row will be much better, but I'm sure Fry is not the answer. I'd rather get a younger guy reps in practice and playing time, to develop him than bring back Fry.

2. Augspurger is a diamond in the rough. With more playing time at the 15 game he will continue to improve-he can be taught technique and decision making, but the open play/ broken play ability is something special. Keep him at 9.

3. I love the idea of Te'o at 12! A Te'o and Palamo center combo would be the best US center combo in years.


1. Totally agree, why would a team, with a weakness at scrum time, omit one of the best scrummaging hookers in the world?
2. Totally agree. Augspurger is no world beater but he is the best that the US have. His athleticism, pace and physicality elevate him above his contenders. By all accounts he is also a big influence in the dressing room.
3. Disagree. Te'o is a great talent but he is still susceptible to the occasional brain fart. He should continue his development on the wing. With regard to Palamo the trend is against big ball carriers at 12 such as he and Jamie Roberts. The 12 position will be a pivotal decision for the new coach.
4. Brache at 15 for me. Plenty of options on the wing, but Scully and Te'o 1st choice.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 19:45

Suiram wrote:Just thought I'd add this from last week at Rugby Today. Their consideration of "active capped players" not selected by Mitchell this summer

http://www.rugbytoday.com/elite/sorting ... s-oddities

I personally dont disagree with any of these non-selections except maybe Peterson which is somewhat surprising. Although I think he is just coming back from injury

Peterson was unavailable due to injury, so I thought that was bullshit. It was announced when the side was originally selected.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 19:49

Suiram wrote:Just thought I'd add this from last week at Rugby Today. Their consideration of "active capped players" not selected by Mitchell this summer

http://www.rugbytoday.com/elite/sorting ... s-oddities

I personally dont disagree with any of these non-selections except maybe Peterson which is somewhat surprising. Although I think he is just coming back from injury


Peterson has been injured for over a year, he did play when fit.

Fry and Kilifi have been the big surprise for me. The other omissions are down to injury or unavailability.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:02

Taufetee isn't really a "hooker" like he played his whole junior career there or something. He's a football convert (picked up rugby around age 19) who was a utility front rower and occasional backrow until a season ago. Joe and the US will decide where he fits best and is needed most, not his club. Just like Manoa.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:16

4N wrote:Taufetee isn't really a "hooker" like he played his whole junior career there or something. He's a football convert (picked up rugby around age 19) who was a utility front rower and occasional backrow until a season ago. Joe and the US will decide where he fits best and is needed most, not his club. Just like Manoa.


His performances for Worcester in the second of last season suggest that he has the potential to be a World Class hooker.

I'm not sure what you mean by the last sentence:-

Manoa has played 17 times for the US in 7 years (50 tests since his debut). This would suggest that his club(s) have being doing a lot of deciding for him.

There has been 8 tests since Joe signed for Worcester during which time he has only made 2 sub appearances for the US.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:20

I'm referring to position not player release.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:42

It's far easier to move around at international level between lock and flanker or 8 than between hooker and prop. Manoa also likely would have been training in those different positions in training because of his versatility. Is Taufete'e training at prop at all with Worcester? It's a big ask to ask someone to play and train exclusively at hooker and then switch to prop at international level.

On a completely unrelated note, is Will Holder still playing? He might be another possibility at 12 if we keep the same style of 12 we had under Mitchell. He's a playmaker, who could absolutely act as a 2nd 5/8 type and he also has good size compared to some of the other options for that role.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby cardiffrcm » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:47

4N wrote:I'm referring to position not player release.


I agree with the sentiment that any player will play where the team needs him. World Class Allan Bateman centre played on the wing for Wales because of the Taylor/Gibbs partnership. Phil Bennett's first two caps were at centre and wing because of some bloke called Barry John!

However, your point is that Taufetee is an embryonic player. If he is playing 25+ games a season at hooker for Worcester and a handful for USA; his legacy position will be decided by his club.

Anyway and more importantly, he could be a World Class hooker; but just an average prop. Would you play Gareth Edwards at full back because you had Shaun Davies who could play scrum half?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 05 Jul 2017, 20:54

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).

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