JJ Gagiano on USA Eagles bench

UCT’s Varsity Cup captain, JJ Gagiano, has been named on the USA Eagles bench for Saturday’s one-off Test against Wales in Chicago.

Gagiano, who captained UCT in the 2008 and 2009 Varsity Cup tournaments, has already won four Test caps for the Eagles and will hopefully make his fifth international appearance this weekend.

The 23-year-old came off the bench against Ireland last weekend (America went down 10-27), having made previous appearances against Uruguay and Japan (twice) in November 2008.

Loose forward Gagiano played for virtually the entire final quarter against Ireland, the Six Nations champions, and he cannot now be far off his first start for the USA Eagles.

Of course, Gagiano will have some more opportunities to play for the US Eagles over the next few weeks, with the Churchill Cup and two 2011 Rugby World Cup qualifiers also on the horizon for the Americans.

The United States team (v Wales): 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.

US Eagles schedule (June and July 2009):

One-off Test

June 6:
USA v Wales – Toyota Park, Bridgeview, Illinois

Churchill Cup (tournament involving USA, England Saxons, Argentina, Canada, Georgia and Ireland A)

June 10:
Argentina v USA – Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado

June 14:
USA v England Saxons – Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado

Churchill Cup play-offs

June 21:
3rd (Pool B) v 3rd (Pool A) – Commerce City, Colorado
2nd (Pool B) v 2nd (Pool A) – Commerce City, Colorado
1st (Pool B) v 1st (Pool A) – Commerce City, Colorado

2011 Rugby World Cup qualifiers

July 4:
USA v Canada – Blackbaud Stadium, Charleston

July 11:
USA v Canada – Ellerslie Rugby Park, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada