Vodacom Cup

Lions lure US loose forward

2012-03-14 22:38
JJ Gagiano (File)
Cape Town - United States loose forward JJ Gagiano has joined the Golden Lions for the rest of the season.

Gagiano played for America at last year's Rugby World Cup in New Zealand and according to Beeld he joined the Lions earlier this week on a trial basis.

The Lions' Super Rugby coach John Mitchell wants to bolster his loose forward reserves and Gagiano impressed him enough to extend his stay in Johannesburg for the whole season.

Gagiano becomes the second American on the Lions' books in recent years after popular loose forward Todd Clever departed in 2010.

The 26-year-old grew up in Cape Town but qualified to play for America due to his mother's origin.

The eightman first caught the eye of the South African rugby public as captain of UCT's Ikeys in the Varsity Cup. He also represented the Eastern Province Kings in 2010.

He has played 14 Tests for the Americans since making his debut against Uruguay in 2008.

Ruben Moggee, the Golden Lions Rugby Union's CEO, said Gagiano will give them some much needed depth at loose forward.

"It was needed, given the duration of Super Rugby. We've already witnessed how big a role injuries play.

"JJ is a physical player and counts among two or three that really stood out for America in the World Cup."

Gagiano has been included in the Golden Lions' Vodacom Cup side for this weekend's match against the Falcons at Wits University.

Several players part of their Super Rugby plans will get a much needed run in this game. They are: James Kamana (fullback), Michael Killian (wing), Andries Coetzee (flyhalf), Stephan Greeff (lock), Jacobie Adriaanse (prop), Martin Bezuidenhout (hooker) and Ruan Dreyer (prop).


Golden Lions:

15 James Kamana, 14 Anthony Volminck, 13 Ruan Combrinck, 12 Robert de Bruyn (captain), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Andries Coetzee, 9 Ross Cronjé, 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Jaco Kriel, 6 Stephan de Wit, 5 Stephan Greeff, 4 Paul Willemse, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Ruan Dreyer.

Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Wiseman Kamanga, 18 Hendrik Roodt, 19 Ruan Lerm, 20 Nico Kruger, 21 Marais Schmidt, 22 Bradley Moolman

Falcons: TBA

Read more on:    vodacom cup  |  super 15  |  johannesburg

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