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Eastern Suburbs point scoring machine, Gavin DeBartolo, will represent the American Eagles Rugby team for the second year in a row in the Churchill Cup annual international rugby series.
The rangy winger/fullback is one of the most elusive and fastest players in the Sydney Premier Rugby competition and been timed at 4.7secs. over 40 metres.
He had scored 211 at the end of 2008 season and has scored 52 points this year. DeBartolo was Catchpole Medallist in 2007.
This year will see the Eagles, Canada, England Saxons, Ireland A, the Argentina Jaguars and Georgia play double headers at Infinity Park, Glendale, Colorado – the first municipally-owned rugby-specific stadium in North America – on June 6, 10 and 14.
DeBartolo, whose father Michael is American, has already played five internationals for the Eagles against Japan, twice, the England Saxons and Uruguay last year.
He was the leading point and try scorer in the Premier Rugby competition in 2005 before being signed to the Western Force for their inaugural season.
After making his Super 14 debut in 2006, Gavin found himself caught behind Wallabies Drew Mitchell, Scott Staniforth, Cameron Shepard and Digby Ione for a Super 14 spot in 2007.
He returned to Sydney and again became the leading point scorer in the competition only to find himself Peter Hewatt’s replacement for the Waratahs in 2008.
He continued his rugby development with a season at La Rochelle in France and Italy,.
He will spend eight weeks in US.
DeBartolo was originally chosen for the American Eagles by Eastwood’s Scott Johnson, a former coach of Wales and assistant coach of the Wallabies, when for a short time he coached the US side.
The Barclays Churchill Cup is an alliance between the English Rugby Football Union (RFU), Rugby Canada and USA Rugby. It started after England’s tour to North America in 2001 and aims to develop and grow Rugby across Canada and the USA.
It is named after British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who shared close ties with the United States – his mother was American – and with Canada during the Second World War.
The tournament has grown in success since 2003 when just 5,000 people attended. In 2006, when the tournament was last held in North America it attracted over 28,000 spectators.