LAFAYETTE, Colo. – In preparation of the 2017 Americas Rugby Championship, Men’s Eagles Head Coach John Mitchell has tabbed 35 players to compete in five international matches, including five D1A Rugby players.
Indiana center Bryce Campbell, BYU lock Matthew Jensen and Life prop Alex Maughan return from the Eagles’ fall assembly when Campbell earned his first cap against Romania, and Jensen wore the red, white and blue in an uncapped fixture against the Maori All Blacks.
Feb. 4’s contest against Uruguay at San Antonio’s Toyota Field will present the first opportunities for Maughan and Peter Malcolm of Wheeling Jesuit to earn their first caps. Jensen and his BYU teammate, Calvin Whiting, will join the Eagles after matches against Brazil Feb. 11 in Round Rock, Texas, and Canada at Swangard Stadium in British Columbia. Campbell, meanwhile, will be with the team for the entire assembly.
Overseas professionals AJ MacGinty and Blaine Scully will only be available for the opening test match against Uruguay, while others like Titi Lamositele and Joseph Taufete’e will remain with their English clubs. The unavailability of some of the Eagles’ most influential players will provide opportunities for up-and-comers, like the five representing D1A Rugby, to earn a spot on a match-day roster.
“We diminish in terms of experience, but it becomes more of a development squad after Canada,” Mitchell said. “You can’t get all of the overseas professionals for five weeks and it’s unfair on amateurs to find this time, as well. At the end of the day, the early objective in 2017 is to select the best squad mix of 30 players to play against Canada in the [Rugby World Cup] Qualifiers.”
D1A Rugby Players in ARC Roster:
Bryce Campbell – Indiana
Matthew Jensen – BYU
Peter Malcolm – Wheeling Jesuit
Alex Maughan – Life
Calvin Whiting – BYU