Friday, June 3, 2011

England Saxons vs USA - Churchill Cup

The USA Eagles will kick off their Churchill Cup campaign tommorrow with a match in Northampton vs the hsot side, the England Saxons. EaglesHead Coach, Eddie O’Sullivan, has named an experimental side for the clash featuring a number of players who have not been in the USA team in recent times. A number of players have been rested including captain, Todd Clever and as such scrumhalf Mike Petri will lead the side and form a 9-10 combination with Troy Hall of the New York Athletic Club. Hall has been given a chance to start ahead of the usual flyhalf, Nese Malifa. He´ll have a tough task as the entire back division are players who were not in the Eagles side in last novembers European matches vs Portugal and Georgia. In place of Paul Emerick, Taku Ngwenya, Andrew Suniula, Kevin Swiryn, Seta Tuilevuka and Chris Wyles is a list of players pushing for a place in the World Cup but unlikely to start in the matches themselves. The backthree of Colin Hawley, Mile Pulu and Mike Palefau is expected to be dangerous as the trio are regarded as being extremely quick.

The forwards are also experimental with Eric Fry and Will Johnson selected to start at prop. Stade Français´ new recruit, Scott LaValla will start in the secondrow alongside John van der Giessen while the backrow of Pat Danahy, Daniel LaProvette and JJ Gagiano will feature three players potentially playing for two spots at the World Cup behind the likes of regulars Iñaki Basauri, Todd Clever, Nic Johnson and Lou Stanfill. For soem it looms as a last chance salon as the USA are likely to field far stronger side for the clash with Tonga four days latter. The match vs Tonga is a full international with IRB World Rankings on the line.

United States
15 Mike Palefau (Utah Warriors)
14 Mile Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate)
13 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
12 Junior Sifa (Nottingham, England)
11 Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)
10 Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club)
9 Mike Petri (Newport Gwent Dragons, Wales) Captain
8 JJ Gagiano (Kings, South Africa)
7 Danny LaPrevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate)
6  Pat Danahy (Life University)
5 Scott LaValla (Stade Français, France)
4 John van der Giessen (Utah Warriors)
3 Will Johnson (London Irish, England)
2 Phil Thiel (Life University)
1 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)

Reserves: 16 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), 17 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England), 18 Louis Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy), 19 Inaki Basauri (L' Aquila, Italy), 20 Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England), 21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), 22 Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)

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