Traveling squad set for Men's Eagles as Rugby World Cup Final Qualification Tournament gets underway

Johan Pretorius
Johan Pretorius

Six new players will join the roster of traveling Men’s Eagles from European club duties as 30 names are selected to the final Rugby World Cup Final Qualification Tournament (FQT) roster.

Competing against Hong Kong, Kenya and Portugal, this is the final opportunity for the United States men to qualify for Rugby World Cup 2023 in France next fall. Hosted in Dubai at the Sevens Stadium, the FQT is a round-robin format with the team accruing the most competition points securing the 20th and final ticket to France. The winner will line up in Pool C alongside Wales, Australia, Fiji and Georgia. The Men’s Eagles first kick off Sunday November 6 at 7AM ET against Kenya, streamed free, live and on demand on The Rugby Network in the USA & Canada.

24 of the 30 rostered arrive in Dubai from a multi-week warm up period in South Africa that included two exhibition matches against the Toyota Cheetahs and Airlink Pumas. A squad fully representative of Major League Rugby players took in precisely what Head Coach Gary Gold and staff wanted for the program ahead of the qualifiers, proper assembly time and preliminary match play. Though both games resulted in a loss, the primary takeaway of pitch time and identification for the FQT roster was plentiful. The group similarly help an open training match against the DHL Western Province while camped this past week in Cape Town.

Head Coach Gary Gold noted:

“We had some really good moments in South Africa, both from our veterans and a few of the up-and-coming players. Defense is improving and we’re trying to be more of a threat with the ball in hand. Day-in and day-out training for the last few weeks has also been a positive element, as the group continues to realign for the international stage. This extended assembly time has been fundamental for both the players and coaching staff, as we set ourselves up for the best opportunities ahead of Dubai.”

Eight players will have a chance to earn their first USA cap through the three-game stretch, while a strong contingent of veterans look to lead the largely young squad to a Rugby World Cup appearance. Veterans Joe Taufete'e and Nick Civetta will miss the FQT on injury recovery. Hard charging Paul Lasike re-joins the group after missing the July qualifiers against Chile, and strong presence in the backfield who USA fans will be happy to see.


AJ MacGinty Bristol Bears (UK) 32
Benjamin Bonasso Rugby New York 4
Bryce Campbell MLR 41
Cam Dolan NOLA Gold 60
CC Mahoni Houston SaberCats 7
Chance Wenglewski Rugby New York 10
Chris Mattina MLR Yet to debut
Christian Dyer Houston SaberCats 8
Cory Daniel Old Glory DC Yet to debut
David Ainu'u Toulouse (FRA) 17
Dylan Fawsitt Rugby New York 20
Faka'osi Pifeleti MLR 1
Greg Peterson Newcastle (UK) 36
Jack Iscaro Old Glory DC Yet to debut
Jamason Fa'anana-Schultz Old Glory DC 6
Kapeli Pifeleti Saracens (UK) 8
Keni Nasoqeqe Houston SaberCats Yet to debut
Luke Carty MLR 8
Marcel Brache MLR 30
Mikey Sosene-Feagai Agen (FRA) 7
Mitch Wilson New England Free Jacks Yet to debut
Moni Tonga’uiha NOLA Gold 3
Nate Augspurger San Diego Legion 33
Nathan Sylvia San Diego Legion Yet to debut
Paul Lasike Utah Warriors 19
Paul Mullen Utah Warriors 27
Ruben De Haas Saracens (UK) 25
Ryan Rees Rugby ATL Yet to debut
Tavite Lopeti Seattle Seawolves 7
Viliami Helu Rugby ATL Yet to debut


Head Coach | Gary Gold

Assistant Coach | Mario Ledesma

Assistant Coach | Steve Brett

Assistant Coach | John Plumtree

Head Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan

Strength & Conditioning Coach | Calvin Morris

Analyst | Jimmy Harrison

Head Physiotherapist | Kristen Douhan

Physiotherapist | Ron Klingensmith

Sports Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz

Team Doctor | Marc Kowalsky

Team Manager | Oscar Alvarez


USA vs Kenya

Sunday, Nov 6 | 7:00 AM ET

Live on The Rugby Network

USA vs Hong Kong

Saturday, Nov 12 | 9:30 AM ET

Live on The Rugby Network

USA vs Portugal

Friday, Nov 18 | 10:30 AM ET

Live on The Rugby Network