JJ Gagiano, once an Ikey, this time an Eagle
UCT’s JJ Gagiano celebrated his fifth international cap for the USA Eagles by scoring his first Test try in a one-off clash against Six Nations side Wales, in Chicago on Saturday.
The 23-year-old came off the bench against Wales and capped a good individual performance with his debut international try.
Unfortunately for JJ and his teammates, they tasted defeat – going down 15-48 to a strong Welsh side, which included the likes of 2005 Lions, Ryan Jones and Dwayne Peel.
Gagiano – who qualifies to play for the United States through his mother – made a name for himself in the 2008 FNB Varsity Cup presented by Steinhoff International, when he captained the Ikey Tigers to the first-ever final.
Having played three Tests for the USA in November 2008, loose forward Gagiano captained UCT again in this year’s Varsity Cup, but they lost in the semifinals to Pukke, who – in turn – went down to Stellenbosch in the final.
Tries: Tuilevuka, Gagiano
The United States team: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Gavin DeBartolo, 13 Alipate Tuilevuka, 12 Roland Suniula, 11 Kevin Swiryn, 10 Ata Malifa, 9 Mike Petri (captain), 8 Nic Johnson, 7 Peter Dahl, 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Will Johnson, 2 Chris Biller, 1 Matekitonga Moeakiola
Replacements: 16 Brian McClanahan, 17 Mike MacDonald, 18 Courtney Mackay, 19 JJ Gagiano, 20 Tim Usasz, 21 Mike Hercus, 22 Junior Sifa.
* The USA will not have a lot of time to digest that loss; their next fixture is against Argentina – a Churchill Cup clash – on Wednesday, June 10.