Tomorrow will be an attractive doubleheader of Rugby in Los Angeles.
We will see both games on show at the StubHub Center beginning with the D1A clash between UCLA v #13 Arizona at 3 PM PT/ 6 PM ET.
Straight after the D1A clash, The USA Eagles will enter the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship as the defending champions when they take on Argentina XV at 5 PM PT/ 8 PM ET.
USA’s first home match of the 2018 ARC season will be the beginning of the three home matches.
Following Saturday’s event at StubHub, USA will verse Canada on Friday, February 9 at Papa Murphy’s Park in Sacramento, California before completing their home fixtures against Chile on Saturday, February 17 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton, California.
The USA will complete the 2018 Americas Rugby Championship tour with two away games in South America when they are in Sao Paolo v Brazil on Saturday, February 24 followed by Uruguay in Montevideo on Saturday, March 3.
New year, new start
New head coach, Gary Gold & the Eagles side has undergone the past week with a more stricter training method with an aim to get off a great start against the Argentina XV.
So what Gold is trying to accomplish with the USA side is that he will identify and implement an attacking style of play where he hopes to bring the defending champions off to a great start to his new position.
Getting to know the new USA Eagles Head Coach
If you don’t know who Gary Gold is, he is a very experienced coach where he first served as the Forwards coach at English Premiership side London Irish under South African compatriot Brendan Venter in 2001-2003.
When Venter left in 2003, Gold became head coach of the Irish for two seasons before heading back home in Cape Town where he reverted to his deputy role as Forwards coach with Western Province.
Having held the role for two and a half seasons, Gold took over the head coaching role at Western Province for a short stint between July 2007 and May 2008.
When Pieter De Villiers was Springbok head coach at the time between May 2008 to December 2011, Gary Gold came in to help P. De Villiers where they both guided the Boks to defeat all Tier 1 nations during one time; including three wins against the All Blacks during the 2009 Tri-Nations tournament.
Gold also helped the Boks win against the British and Irish Lions side with a 2-1 victory in the series, the first South African team to accomplish that feat since 1980.
Gold since has stints with the Newcastle Falcons as caretaker coach, Bath rugby both as Head Coach and Director of Rugby as well as Kobelco Steelers & Durban Sharks as Head Coach and Worcester Warriors as the Director of Rugby.
He was initially beginning to work with the USA Eagles following the conclusion of the English Premiership campaign in May. However, before the Christmas/New Year’s Period last year, Gold was given an early release from the Warriors so he can start his new job early as soon as January 1.
The United States squad
Wing Blaine Scully will lead the USA Eagles side as the skipper who led them to a comfortable 46-17 win v Germany & almost came close to a shocking upset against the 12th ranked team Georgia 20-21 during their end of year tour three months ago.
Hooker Joe Taufete’e is another crucial player of interest, having made an enormous impact in scoring both tries v Georgia and a hat-trick v Canada in the Rugby World Cup Qualifying stages.
Taufete’e is a player that has been under the watchful eye of Gold when he was the Director of Rugby at Taufete’s current team with the Worcester Warriors & there’s no doubt he will be expecting to see more of his talents in International colors tomorrow night.
Fly-Half Will Magle will take over the kicking duties while full-back Mike Te’o, lock Nick Civetta and scrum-half Nate Augspurger will form a full-strength side into Gary Gold’s debut match as head coach.
- Titi Lamositele, Saracens, Prop.
- Joe Taufete’e, Worcester Warriors, Hooker
- Dino Waldren, London Scottish, Prop
- Nate Brackley, New York Athletic Club, Lock
- Nick Civetta, Newcastle Falcons, Lock
- Hanco Germishuys, Austin Elite, Flanker
- Tony Lamborn, Hawkes Bay, Flanker
- Cam Dolan, Old Blue, Number Eight
- Nate Augspurger, Old Blue, Scrum Half
- Will Magle, Glendale Raptors, Fly-Half
- Ryan Matyas, San Diego Legion, Wing
- Bryce Campbell, Glendale Raptors, Center
- Marcel Brache, Western Force, Center
- Blaine Scully, Cardiff Blues, Wing
- Mike Te’o, San Diego Region, Fullback
- James Hilterbrand, Manly Marlins, Hooker
- Huluholo Moungaloa, Life West, Prop
- Angus Maclellan, Chicago Lions, Prop
- Ben Landry, Glendale Raptors, Lock
- Andrew Durutalo, Worcester Warriors, Flanker
- Shaun Davier, Glendale Raptors, Scrum-Half
- Will Hooley, Bedford Blues, Fly-Half
- Dylan Audsley, San Diego Legion, Center
Gary Gold: Head Coach
Greg McWilliams: Assistant Coach – Backs & Attack
Scott Lawrence: Assistant Coach – Defense
Shaun Pittman: Assistant Coach – Set Piece
Chris Hanson: Team Manager
Jimmy Harrison: Analyst
Kevin Ng: Head of ATC
Brian Finn: Assistant ATC (January 24- February 17)
Dave Hodges: General Manager
There will be each of the four doctors that will accompany the Eagles during each week throughout the six-week tournament.
Unlike any Tier 1 team who has a professional full-time team doctor, those doctors listed below are those who take the regular practice from the respective locations within Stateside.
Dr. Richard Kim: January 24- February 3
Dr. Mark Sakr: February 4- 10
Dr. Deborah Light: February 11-17
Dr. Jeff Mjaanes: February 18- March 4.
Hence it’s not that easy for a Tier 2 team like the USA Eagles to convince a doctor to take six weeks out to help out the team.
They are currently 17th in the World Rugby rankings.
The USA Eagles will be expecting to see a full-strength Argentina XV side that hosted during last year’s finale in Buenos Aires when they drew 27-27 where it was only enough for the US to win their first ARC Championship by a bonus point.
It won’t be easy for the men in blue, red and white to get past the Pumas but expect that contest to be a close and intense match.
If you haven’t yet planned to attend tomorrow’s doubleheader and you’re in the Los Angeles area then now is a great time to book your seats as Tickets start from only $20. You can buy these tickets here.
Otherwise, if you’re not going to the StubHub stadium tomorrow night, then you watch the USA v Argentina XV clash at your own home or via the pub LIVE on The Rugby Channel.
References: The image is sourced from the USA Rugby official website.