Lions lure US loose forward

2012-03-14 22:38

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


  • Tygerr - 2012-03-14 22:58

    Another loose forward? How about we find ourselves a scrumhalf to replace Bondesio? And maybe a flyhalf so we don't have to rely on the overaged Butchie? Concentrate on the problem areas please...

      uwe.klopfer - 2012-03-15 07:13

      @Dozer... Francis isn't with the Lions any more dozer...he signed with the berg bokkies for this season

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-15 07:41

      Oops. I forgot, probably because he hasn't been getting any game time with them either. It shows I'm only human.

      Jenny - 2012-03-15 09:56

      Desperate times cause for desperate measures....

  • Chriskoi1 - 2012-03-15 05:51

    Butch did play well in the game against the Sharks it is only the pass of the ball everyone pass the ball over from top to bottom and thats dificult to take the ball on full speed on bad timeming and cordenation of the ball thats all Butch is a strong player.

      Henri - 2012-03-15 08:02

      you didnt do well in english when you were in school, i had to read that 4 times to understand what you were saying, "sigh" GO LIONS, GO LIONS !!!!!

  • Vernon - 2012-03-15 08:17

    so much for development of players that John Mitchell preaches to EP Kings .... great development effort there John !!!! at least you aren't buying EP players , but then , no decent SA player would want to play for a potentially bankrupt union !!!

      Lion - 2012-03-15 10:21

      Vernon... Shut Up!!!

      Melvin - 2012-03-15 12:11

      get bent vernon!

  • Nico - 2012-03-15 08:52

    Very strong vodacom team that :)

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-15 09:05

      You want to take my place as the most disliked individual on this forum?

      S - 2012-03-15 09:20

      @Dozey - No, you're OK (mostly ;-) The single most disliked individual is that microencephalic childish egotistical Kanadoos Pieter a.k.a. Dr Death a.k.a. Fake Saffa. The man is a tool.

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-15 09:36

      I'll just have to try harder then.

      Bluey - 2012-03-15 11:17

      Bullpozer, ever since you pledged your allegiance towards the Blues beating an SA side ie Stormers and wanting Carlos Spencer (ex All Black) to beat Cringe at boxing. You are now officially loved in NZ. Well done Pozer

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-15 11:27

      In that case, I change my mind. Go Stormers!

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-15 11:40

      Raven, the oke lives in Mitchells Plain. He thinks because he looks like a Maori, he is one.

      Lion - 2012-03-16 02:16

      @Stirrer and Dozey... It's guys like yourselves and Saffa (Fake or not) that make me come back and read these blogs time after time. Most the times I skip the sh@t that is written in the main article because it does not interest me. I go straight to comments. Only people with no sense of humor will complain about post you guys make here. I thoroughly enjoy it and I can bet you the "thumb downers" even more. Rugby rivalry has been there since we started to play rugby and no matter what, in the end all is good. If your team gets criticized... so what. Take it on the chin and move on. Thanks for many a laughs a day. Forget the old "sour pusses". I SAY... SAFFA FOR PRESIDENT OF SARU!!!

      Bulldozer - 2012-03-16 06:25

      Lion, we aim to please.

  • Adriaan - 2012-03-16 13:12

    He isnt the best 8th man. Watched him at Ikeys not a bad leader but not a great rugby player

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