Express trio buoys Eagles camp in Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The Men's Eagles' Summer Series assembly was boosted by the addition of several PRO Rugby players Tuesday, June 21, as well as 40-cap veteran Eric Fry.

Training at Jesuit High School in the California capital following the weekend's narrow loss to Italy in nearby San Jose, the Eagles have called in four day-campers for Tuesday and Thursday training sessions to go through full-team drills. Most recently capped in the inaugural Americas Rugby Championship competition, Fry - an alumnus of the training base - is joined by Sacramento Express forwards Langilangi Haupeakui, John Quill, and Sione Sina.

"It's not ideal when you're doing team scenarios that we're short on numbers," Head Coach John Mitchell said. "I asked [Sacramento Express Head Coach] Luke Gross which players have the potential for us to have a look and that we could use, and he kindly offered the players.

"We're in a city where there's a PRO team, so it's logical to work together and give people a taste of the culture. It helps our preparation, and secondly it allows us to get in front of the guys we actually have our eye on. PRO will be beneficial to Eagles preparation in the long run because it means you can select in-form players and players who, over time, will be in excellent condition."

Quill is no stranger to national team camps since earning his international debut against Russia in the fall of 2012. Having played professional rugby abroad and for multiple clubs in the northeast, the forward earned an inaugural PRO contract and captains the Express, which ends a two-week break against table-topping Denver this Sunday.

David Tameilau burst onto the international scene during the ARC earlier this year, and signed a professional contract with San Francisco Rush prior to his PRO performances catching the eyes of Aviva Premiership's Newcastle Falcons. The loose forward has work to do to earn a jersey in the match-day 23 in competition with Haupeakui, but there is an extra shirt available with Greg Peterson set to miss the match at Bonney Field due to injury.

Luke Hume's scheduled arrival to camp coincides with the injury sustained by Taku Ngwenya against Italy, with the Old Blue of New York flyer in contention for selection against Russia with Seth Halliman and Mike Te'o. Ngwenya was taken to a local hospital Saturday night for precautionary measures, but will not rejoin the team in any playing capacity this week.

The half-back pairing of Nate Augspurger and AJ MacGinty Saturday allowed Mitchell's Eagles to play wide, attacking rugby, and the partnership looks set to continue as James Bird returned to New York this week. Stephen Tomasim is also available for the No. 9 jersey, as he, Will Holder, Thretton Palamo, Shalom Suniula, and Peter Tiberio remained in Sacramento while attack coach Mike Friday - and Andrew Durutalo - headed back to Chula Vista for Men's Eagles Sevens camp.

The Eagles' final match of the 2016 Summer Series kicks off from Bonney Field Saturday at 7 p.m. PT, with the live broadcast scheduled for The Rugby Channel. Tickets are still available from $23, and the full match replay will air Sunday at 6 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network.