Eagles Abroad - Feb. 7, 2012
It was a slow mid-season week for Americans abroad. The cold spell that has made its way across Europe hit England hard over the weekend causing the cancellation of matches. Coupled with the Six Nations tournament shutting down teams in France and in Scotland, this cold streak meant that only a handful of American saw the pitch.
All of the action didn’t have to happen on the pitch, however. The biggest news from the last weekend involved Paul Emerick signing with London Wasps for the rest of the season. Injuries and international call-ups have hit the Wasps hard, and Emerick provides experienced cover. Congratulations to Paul!
One of the Americans that did get playing time over the weekend was Hanno Dirksen. The winger started, played 80 minutes, and scored a try as his Ospreys lost to Worcester in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. This is the second week in a row that Dirksen has scored. The Ospreys failed to qualify for the cup semi-finals.
Also in the Anglo-Welsh Cup, Samu Manoa came off the bench and played 18 minutes as Northampton beat London Wasps 57-10. Wasps could have used new signee Paul Emerick. Northampton finished first in their pool and will play Scarlets in March.
Chris Biller wasn’t in the lineup for Bath as they beat Exeter 31-3 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Bath finished atop their group and will play Leicester in March.
Saracens players Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith saw their fixture against the Newport-Gwent Dragons called off because of a frozen pitch. Wyles was set to start at #15. Hayden Smith’s future with Saracens is questionable after his tryout with the New York Jets last week.
Like Europe, Japan recently had snow, but it wasn’t enough to stop Todd Clever from playing. The American captain came off the bench for 17 minutes as his Suntory team beat Kobe 32-28.
Rounding out the play over the weekend was Inaki Basauri who started and played 80 minutes for Perigueux in their narrow 21-19 loss to Narbonne.
In the RFU Championship, Shawn Pittman and London Welsh saw their fixture against Doncaster called off due to a frozen pitch. The match will be replayed on February 12th.
The Cornish Pirates also had their fixture called off. This means that Andrew Suniula will have until February 11th to get ready for Rotherham.
Robbie Shaw, Mike MacDonald, and Leeds had their match against Nottingham called off. The two teams will play this Sunday.
The start of the Six Nations meant that Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais), Seta Tuilevuka (Montpellier), and Kevin Swiryn (Agen) all had the weekend off.
Tim Usasz’s Barking had the weekend off, and Derek Asburn and Oxford play the Army on Tuesday.