Moeakiola(Bobigny)/MacDonald(Leeds) - ? - Pittman(London Welsh)/W.Johnson(London Irish)
LaValla(Dublin University)/Smith(Saracens) - Manoa(Northampton)
Clever(Suntory)/Stanfill(Mogliano) - N.Johnson(L'Aquila) - Basauri(L'Aquila)
Shaw(Bristol)/Usasz(Nottingham) - ?
Sifa(Nottingham)/Welch(Aix) - Tuilevuka(Montpellier) - Dirkson(Ospreys) - Ngwenya(Biarritz)/Swyrin(Agen)
Here is what Eddy O'Sullivan can put on the paper for USA with overseas based players only. Impressive, isn't it ? Number of players in Top league clubs is pretty remarquable. It increases each year.
Since the 90's, USA rugby used to export big guys ready for hard battles in England or Wales, Dan Lyle, Kort Schubert, Luke Gross were one of them. Since Peter Thorburn nomination in 2006, something changed in the minds. He clearly proved that USA can play an attractive and complete rugby with fast backs, powerful centers and skillful players. 2007 RWC finished to convert the last skeptics. Than Taku Ngwenya went to Biarritz. Thas was a really ambitious move, no US backs played for a perenial Heineken Cup contender before. But after few months of adjustment, he had a huge impact in the team, in the french league and finally in all Europe. Taku waked up scouts sending them a powerful message : “Hey guys, see what can happen if you give a chance to the hungry American guys !” Scouts well heard the message and suddenly watched the 80,000+ USA players base, more than Scotland and Wales united.
USA quickly adapted thank to its great profesionnal sports experience, creating networks thru Europe, giving informations to clubs, putting promising players in front. Export of USA players is only starting, deceiving players are rare.
Next step for USA is to convince European clubs to sign key position players. As you see up, a hoocker and a fly-half are missing. But consider this, Tai Enosa name won’t wait too long to be in the headlines.