Written by Alex Goff    Monday, 04 June 2012 22:30    PDF Print Write e-mail
USA Squad for June Named
National Teams - USA Men


USA 15s MNT Head Coach Mike Tolkin has selected his players to travel to Canada to face the Maple Leafs Saturday afternoon in Kingston, Ont.

Tolkin’s choices include many familiar names, while three players – Blaine Scully, Toby L’Estrange, and Pate Tuilevuka – have been left off due to injury.

Ian Muir photo.Scully’s injury is long-term and was suffered in March. Tuilevuka and L’Estrange were both injured in Saturday’s Super League final.

Todd Clever captains the team, likely with Mike Petri as vice captain. Hooker Chris Biller, props Eric Fry, Mike MacDonald, and Shawn Pittman, and flankers Clever, Scott LaValla, and Lou Stanfill all return from the 2011 World Cup squad in the forwards.

New faces are:
Derek Asbun, captain of Cal in 2011, and now playing for Oxford University. Can play flanker and is developing as a hooker; Conor Coyne, longtime hooker with NYAC; Brian Doyle, previously capped lock with NYAC and widely considered the best at that position in the Super League; Andrew Durutalo, who has been playing for OPSB and 7s for the USA; Tom Katzfey, another longtime USA prospect who has put on bulk while playing lock at Life University; former Oklahoma All American Taylor Mokate, currently playing in New Zealand, and Tolifili (Andre) Liufau, a prop with a strong football background now playing in France.

All of these newish players have been on the radar as All Americans, age-grade Eagles, or on the USA Selects or 7s team.

Tolkin has opted for three hookers – Biller, Coyne, and Asbun. That is likely partly because Biller is the only one tested at the international level. (If Asbun plays hooker for the Eagles, he will be the 6th Cal hooker to make the national team since Tom Billups retired from international play, and joined Cal as a coach. Billups was a teammate and mentor of Kirk Khasigian, and then helped develop Chris Miller, Joe Welch, Brian McClenahan, and Biller.)

Tolkin is also looking for second rows, as he has seen Hayden Smith sign with the NY Jets, John van der Giessen retire, and Samu Manoa be unavailable. Only Doyle and Katzfey are specialist second rows, but Stanfill, LaValla, and Mokate can all also play lock.

In the backs, Paul Emerick, Tai Enosa, Colin Hawley, Taku Ngwenya, James Paterson, Andrew and Roland Suniula, Mike Petri and Chris Wyles all return from the World Cup squad.

Enosa was not in the domestic camp, but was brought in as cover at flyhalf after L’Estrange’s injury.

Another player not in the camp but brought in was Seamus Kelly, a player Tolkin has been known to like (he coached Kelly in high school), and expected to develop as a potential Eagle. With L’Estrange and Tuilevuka hurt, now is as good a time as any to get started.

Also new to the team: BYU scrumhalf Shaun Davies, who adds another dimension by being a very good goalkicker; USMA flyhalf Will Holder, who impressed despite his youth, flashy-running fullback Luke Hume of Old Blue, and Mose Timoteo, the SFGG scrumhalf first capped by the USA in 2000.

Timoteo obviously provides veteran leadership, while some of the younger players, including Enosa, are still developing into their roles. Holder, however, has shown enormous poise, and could well break into a starting role soon.


USA Squad for June Tests:

Forwards            
Derek Asbun      Oxford University, England   Flanker/Hooker
Chris Biller           Northampton, England          Hooker
Todd Clever        NTT Communications, Japan   Flanker
Conor Coyne      NYAC          Hooker
Brian Doyle         NYAC       Lock
Andrew Durutalo             OPSB/USA 7s Flanker
Eric Fry  Old Boys Univ. New Zealand     Prop
Tom Katzfey       Life College   Lock
Scott LaValla       Stade Francais, France  Lock/Flanker
Tolifili (Andre) Liufau      l'Uson Rugby, France  Prop
Mike MacDonald              Leeds Carnegie, England  Prop
Taylor Mokate   Old Boys Univ. New Zealand  Flanker/Lock
Shawn Pittman London Welsh, England  Prop
Louis Stanfill       NYAC  Flanker/Lock

Backs    
Shaun Davies     BYU  Scrumhalf
Paul Emerick      London Wasps, England    Center
Tai Enosa             USA 7s   Flyhalf/Fullback
Colin Hawley      USA 7s   Wing/Fullback/Center
Will Holder          Army   Flyhalf
Luke Hume         Old Blue  Fullback/Wing
Seamus Kelly     Univ. of California  Center
Taku Ngwenya  Biarritz, France  Wing
James Paterson              Glendale Raptors  Wing/Center/Fullback
Mike Petri           NYAC   Scrumhalf
Andrew Suniula                Cornish Pirates, England  Center
Roland Suniula  Chicago Griffins  Center/Flyhalf
Mose Timoteo  SFGG  Scrumhalf
Chris Wyles         Saracens, England  Fullback/Center/Wing