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09 August 2013


top ten Eagles of all-time

...in getting carded.

yep he got a few cards. many for the same lift and tip tackle. hard to take the wrestler take-down out of an athlete. but still, in the top ten.

Thanks to Paul - Name your Top Ten All Time Eagles!

Dan Lyle, Kevin Swords, Brian Hightower, Luke Gross, Todd Clever, Mark Williams, Vae Anatoni (sp?), "Z", Kevin Swiryn, Hodges. I am sure there are others I left out that belong in. But that's my quick 30-second list.

Okay, maybe Emerick too. So that's eleven.

And I forgot Chris Wyles. So that's 12. This isn't easy.

And it also occurred to me that perhaps there are guys who would make a list called the "top ten rugby players to be an eagle", which would be maybe a different list in part than Top 10 Eagles. Guys on the former list could arguably include guys like David Nui and Seta Tulivuku. But I named my list based primarily on their work in an Eagles jersey and what they did for Eagles rugby.

East=poor list. Anyone else?

All right, I'll ask. Go Eagles, who do you have on your list?

Lippert and Higgins made appearances on Barbarians. Leversee may have been first to play as a pro in Italy and Natal. Vizard, Billups, Hein deserve mention. Not sure about Swiryn and Hightower on your list...

I'd say Hightower made about as much of an impact as David Fee...

Okay, okay, I hear you. Hightower and Swiryn are dubious choices. But they generated debate and that's always fun. As far as the older generations, yes, I only picked Swords from the 80s. Here is my thinking on that as someone who started playing as a teenager in the mid 80s. Sure, you heard about the Eagles players, and compared to today, they played a lot more domestic rugby than the eagles of today. So you saw them and knew who they were. On the other hand, there was almost no media coverage of USA rugby back then so to see these guys play you had to see them live or, sometimes, play against them. Plus rugby back then wasn't what it is today, and the truth is that the guys playing in the pro area are just better. They start playing younger and those that play pro get much better by doing that. Maybe it is unfair to do a cross era comparison, but I took all that into account. In other words, if I were selecting a team to play next Saturday, would I rather have Swiryn in his prime or Hein in his prime? I'd take Swiryn personally. Also, this got me to thinking that there can be all kinds of reasonable disagreement over the top ten, but to me it seems that the top 2 would be less debatable - Dan Lyle and Ngwenya.

Hightower in the top 40, not top ten. Same for Swiryn.

Williams is a good call, add long time French pro Willie Jefferson.

Craig Sweeney.

Can you really put Z in the top ten? He's lightning fast, but the first half, at least, of his career was a defensive nightmare.

How can nobody have mentioned Anetoni(sp?)? Or maybe the spelling is why.

Yep, I mentioned him. Spelling. See my list.

Below is direct from ESPNscrum.

"We know how hard it is to play against Canada, they're a great team," Melville added. "We're so close in so many ways and the results have been closer and closer over the years. No doubt this will be close; hopefully it will be in our favour."

Speaking earlier this year, Canada captain Aaron Carpenter spoke of his excitement about the showdown. "USA are the team we play the most so we know each other very well," he explained. "When that happens, the atmosphere around the games changes and it often comes down to who wants it more and who is willing to put their bodies on the line."

Nigel sounds like a man content with defeat, while the Canadian Captain is spot on. The question for Eagle fans is cut and dry. Both teams are pretty much equal in talent and experience. Each side has equal number of pro players and young talent wanting to break out with the national team. Can Mike "Excuse Machine" Tolkin, who stated after the Tonga game “I can’t, and the coaching staff can't, generate the feelings of passion”, or Todd "Look at me!" Clever motivate our boys to put their body on the line?

I think not. It appears that Tolkin and his staff did not create the appropriate culture within the squad, which was apparent this summer during the Eagles 0-5 run. Clever's "Captain America" no longer works with the this fan or apparently with the squad. Surely the pros from Europe are not buying it and those new to squad surely see through his trite facade.

Net-Net the darkest days of Eagles' rugby may be in our future thanks to Dumb and Dumber.

Richard Tardits? Bueller?

How can you guys leave one cap wonder Jack Clark off the list!

That's a bit classless "Boner". JC had a couple of US caps and a World XV start before being riddled with bullets in his early 20's.


Unlike some people on Gainline, I don't think there is anything wrong with pointing out that other people aren't cutting it, even if the person pointing that out is totally inferior to the person in question. Some people on Gainline seem to think that only successful NFL QBs have any business holding the opinion that Ryan Leaf wasn't much of an NFL QB.

That said, I really hate the "one cap wonder" slur. I mean, the guy got a cap. That's a big deal. I wish I'd had the ability to have earned one. Whatever his reasons for not getting more (getting shot, career or family priorities, someone else being better) shouldn't actually be fuel for dumping on a guy.

RIP Dave Sitton.

Also, has nobody mentioned Kevin Dalzell yet?

Shocked and saddened to hear the news about Dave Sitton. What a great rugby guy.

Gary Lambert deserves mention certainly.

At first my mind registered Gary Lane, but then got it right. That's when I became sad.

When all is said and done there are very few people who bleed Red, White, and Blue like Paul Emerick. I think what is missing is the passion and pride of playing for our Country. When you watch the Irish at Landsdowne and they sing "Ireland, my Ireland" you can feel the emotion along with the English "God save the Queen" or Scotland's "Scotland the Brave". If wearing the US jersey and playing an International match representing our Country is just another game to you then you should go play elsewhere. I want these guys to bleed Red, White, and Blue! Be a total Junkyard Dog out there! Put that Hatorade in your heart and have at them! I want them to remember that there are many Military Ruggers out there who thank God each time they come home safely and are able to see their Families and Friends again and to be able to Play On! Seize the Day Gentlemen! Make it yours!

Sad day to hear about Sitton. Great guy. Always affable.

Fact is most of you posting have no idea of what it takes to compete on the intl level cuz you've never done it nor do I.

I think the US does the best they can with what they've got both coaches and players. Too many of our best athletes pursue mainstream sports leaving very little talent for rugby. So we have to build a team from cast off foreigners and late comers.

I would guess Canada gets a few more athletes at an earlier age with a more mature youth program but thats only speculation. Shame OUR team doesn't get more support from US. It's like the war, even if don't support the leaders ie Melville and his crew, you should support the troops.

Many of the Eagles are from Pacific Island families that root for Tonga, Samoa, Fiji in private. Eagles are a ticket to a pro contract and some great experiences (i.e. travel, big tournaments, make new friends, etc). There is no financial or emotional payday like there is playing for the national team in a rugby nation. Regardless of how hard Emerick played or how proud he was to wear the jersey, he is just a 30 something guy with no well paid prospects from rugby (coaching, media, etc) and whatever he pursues professionally will not be easier because he is a national icon from playing rugby.

Top Ten All Time Eagles, not in order:

Gary Hein
Gary Lambert
Dan Lyle
Kevin Higgins
Paul Emerick
Mike MacDonald
Tom Billups
Alec Parker
Mike Purcell
Kevin Swords/Brian Vizard (tie)

You should always wear our Country's colors with the greatest amount of pride. If there are players on the National Team who don't adhere to this standard or philosophy then Coach Tolkin should jettison their ass and find someone else who will play with American passion. I don't support this Administration, but I will always support the players who don the Red, White, and Blue. I hope they realize what an honor it is to be selected to represent the USA. As far as playing to the International standard come on down to Ft Benning, Ft Bragg, Camp LeJeune, or Camp Pendelton and we'll show you how we "play" to the "International standard" not on the Pitch, but in the Field of Battle...

Yo! GI Jackass. This is a rugby blog not a fist pumpfest for jar heads. Go play with your guns somewhere else.

I doubt Tolkin and his staff would tolerate anyone who doesn't appreciate wearing the jersey. Cancer players never last long at that level bc no one is that good.


Same mentality different venue. You fight for your country with pride whether on the playing field or battle field. Just different odds at stake

Got to absolutely love Internet Trolls...especially on this site...saying shit online that they would never in a million years have the balls to say to your face in public...

You have to love military guys that are in their mid to late 20s crying like babies because they can't play on their college team full of teenagers. Sign my petition... boo hoo.

I'm sure Army Rugger was speaking of the Melville Administration.

So let me get this straight... a man or woman can go serve our Country for 3,4,5 or whatever amount of years get out and go to College and play an NCAA sport with no age restriction if their good enough, but you think it's ok to deny Veterans this ability to play a Club sport like Rugby? Wow, high speed, I really look forward to meeting you and people with your mindset in person...

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