By Brian Lowe, Date:21/8/13
The USA Tomahawks have named an 18-man squad for the second Colonial Cup match against Canada.
The US will host the Wolverines in Conshohocken, PA, on Saturday, August 24, 2013. The game will be played at AA Garthwaite Stadium and will follow the USARL championship final.
The Tomahawksâ€™ newly installed coach Ben Kelly says there were some very tough selection decisions to make, but they had to be made after the 16-point defeat by the Wolverines in the series opener last month.
â€œI have picked players who are fit and have done the work I have asked in training,â€ said Kelly. â€œTheir commitment and communication has been great and I am confident that it will carry over onto the field this Saturday.”
“I am very happy with the squad picked for this Saturday. We have New Zealand-born Muilima, Offerdahl and Rice who bring size and experience to the pack and I am quietly confident the boys will make a big impact.”
â€œCollins returns to the squad at five-eighth after starring in last yearâ€™s Colonial Cup and will form a great combo with Percy [Oâ€™Malveney] in the halves. We have brought Tagaloa into the centers and with Tulio outside him on the wing, thereâ€™s a wealth of experience. I was very impressed with Gareth Gibbs after starring in the Connecticut Wildcatsâ€™ run to the AMNRL title and I am excited for him to get a crack.”
â€œLook out for Shane Begin, a massive human at 22 years old 6’6, 270lbs. Shane is an ex-linebacker who plays with the Boston 13’s team and can obviously hit like a truck, but what impressed me is his work ethic and ability to listen.â€ Begin brings to the side an impressive pedigree. He is a former New Hampshire Wolfpack football player who has served on two tours to Afghanistan and one to Iraq.
â€œWith the series now set for four games with September 7th and 28th in Toronto, there are only three more games to impress the selectors for World Cup spots and with the USARL players all available for USA Tomahawks selection for those games, the fight for spots in the World Cup is immense.”
â€œFor those playing for the Tomahawks Saturday night there is no need for motivation to succeed.â€
USA TOMAHAWKS SQUAD: Kristian Freed, Louis Tulio, Loto Tagaloa, Vai Notoa, Gareth Gibbs, Luke Collins, Damien O’Malveney, Mike Schachter, Craig Priestly, Salesi Tongamoa, Siose Muilima, Mark Offerdahl, Josh Rice, Les Solia, Matt Walsh, Shane Begin, Curtis Cunz, Wes Haughton