US Eagles head coach Eddie O’Sullivan was purring with satisfaction after the recent Rugby World Cup build-up camp, held at the Olympic Training Center in San Diego.
The camp was the Eagles' first as they bid to prepare for the New Zealand showpiece, which kicks off in September.
“It was a very successful camp for us. The players really applied themselves, with us getting seven very tough sessions done between Thursday and Sunday,” said O’Sullivan, who coached Ireland at RWC 2007 in France.
Newly appointed technical experts Fiore Screnci (scrum coach) and Chris O’Brien (kicking coach) had a chance to work with the 35 players, while Matt Sherman (backs coach), Dave Hodges (forwards coach) and Mike Tolkin (defence coach) also imparted their expertise.
“The work ethic was excellent and we got a lot of quality reps done. We also got a lot of information that we didn’t have before, particularly some of the new players,” added O’Sullivan.
The Eagles will travel to England in June to compete in the 2011 Churchill Cup, where they will take on the England Saxons (4 June) and Tonga (8 June), before the elimination round on 18 June.
“We hit the ground on 30 May and have to play on 4 June. It’s then a very short turnaround till we play Tonga,” said O’Sullivan, who will select his Churchill Cup team over the next few weeks.
The Eagles have plenty of contracted overseas players who were unavailable for this recent domestic camp.
“In terms of players, we may rest some of overseas players who have had a very long season and keep them fresh for August and September. And that will create opportunities for players we may want to see more of.”
Some of the players who attended O'Sullivan's camp will travel with the USA Sevens team to the UK as they compete in the HSBC Sevens World Series in London (21-22 May) and Edinburgh (28-29 May).
USA camp, 4-8 May, Chula Vista
Forwards: Chris Baumann (Glendale), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Will Brazier (Old Blue RFC), Ryan Chapman (Utah Warriors), Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath, Japan), Pat Danahy (Life), James Denise (New York Athletic Club), Tala Esera (Tama Laie Lions Rugby Club), Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks), Tom Katzfey (New York Athletic Club), Alec Parker (Gentleman of Aspen), Brendan Purcell (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club), Ben Nelson (Kansas City Blues), Phil Thiel (Life), John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors), Jon Vitale (Chicago Lions), Jesse Witkowicki (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club)
Backs: Matthew Byrd (Utah Warriors), Paul Emerick (Life), Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Colin Hawley (Olympic Club), Jordan Kohn (Unattached), Kelly Kolberg (Dallas Reds), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Folau Niua (San Francisco Golden Gate), Tui Osborne (Life), Mike Palefau (Utah Warriors), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Mile Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate), Volney Rouse (San Francisco Golden Gate), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), Shalom Suniula (USA Sevens/Brisbane), Zack Test (Unattached), Pate Tuilevuka (Old Puget Sound)
Unavailable due to injury: Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club), Taylor Mokate (Univ. of Oklahoma)
Selected but unavailable: Brian Daniels (Glendale), Matt Kelly (Chicago Lions), Dan LaProvette (San Francisco Golden Gate), Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Considered but unavailable: Danny Barrett (University of California - Berkeley), Shaun Davies (Brigham Young University), Cameron Dolan (Life University), Seamus Kelly (University of California - Berkeley), Duncan Kelm (San Diego State Univ.), Don Pati (Univ. of Utah), Leonard Peters (Gentleman of Aspen), Ryan Roundy (Brigham Young University), Blaine Scully (University of California - Berkeley)