Skipper Todd Clever and and debutant JP Eloff joined elite company in Saturday's Canada match, but the match squad missed out on first-of-a-kind honors.
Clever, who scored three tries in eight minutes, becomes the ninth Eagle to record a hat trick -- and the only forward.
Gary Hein was first, against Tunisia in May 1987, a World Cup warmup game. Blaine Scully was the most recent, against Japan in June 2014.
Vaea Anitoni and Brian Hightower each scored 4 tries in a test. Anitoni victimized Japan in July of 1996, 11 months before Hightower took a turn lighting up the Brave Blossoms. Then the incomprable Anitoni struck against Portugal, dotting down four times in April of 1998.
Separately, Eloff and his brother Phillip, a center, became the eighth pair of brothers to play for the USA.
The other sibling pairings are John and Whitt Everett; Bill and Bob LeClerc; Ata and Nese Malifa; Tim and Chris O'Brien; Andrew, Roland, and Shalom Suniula (the only trio); Brian and Kevin Swords; and Alipate and Seta Tuilevuka.
Since 1976, more than 400 athletes have represented America in 15s. The Eloffs' span of 15 years is the greatest diiference between debuts.
On a more distressing note, USARFU cost the national team an unprecendented third consecutive Can-Am Trophy win by failing to so designate the match beforehand.
The oversight cost the Clever XV a place in history: the Eagles have never won three consecutive Can-Am games.
As the host and the holder, the American union held the right to nominate the Austin contest. Officials were 'too busy' to attend to the simple formality, according to people familiar with the matter.
There are no plans to play Canada again this year. USARFU officials did not respond to request for comment.
|Hat Trick Eagles|
|Gary Hein||Tunisia||May 1987|
|Chris O'Brien||Uruguay||May 1989|
|Vaea Anitoni (4)||Japan||July 1996|
|Brian Hightower (4)||Japan||June 1997|
|Veal Anitoni (4)||Portugal||April 1998|
|Kain Cross||Japan||May 2003|
|Philip Eloff||Barbados||July 2006|
|Jeff Hullinger||Uruguay||September 2006|
|Blaine Scully||Japan||June 2014|
|Todd Clever||Canada||February 2016|