Friday, August 19, 2011

USA team to face Japan

The final match for both Japan and the United States of America before New Zealand 2011 is to take place on Sunday at the home of Japanese rugby, the Prince Chichbu Memorial Rugby Ground in Tokyo. Both teams are entering the match looking for a win after losing international matches last weekend so that they can take confidence with them to the Rugby World Cup. Given that it is a final hit-out for both countries, both have made a number of changes to their lineups to have a chance to settle on the lineups for the World Cup. Coaches John Kirwan (Japan) and Eddie O´Sullivan (USA) are to announce their 30-man squads for the tournament after the match.

The USA will be lead by scrumhalf and vice-captain, Mike Petri who takes over from Todd Clever who ahs been forced to sit out the match through injury. Clever, who is based in Japan, will, however, lead the team in New Zealand 2011. O´Sullivan has also given opportunities to many players with Mike MacDonald starting at loosehead prop for his 62nd international which is a tied record with former USA international secondrower, Luke Gross. Should MacDonald play matches in the World Cup then he´ll be the most capped player in USA rugby history. MacDonald will be joined in the frontrow by Phillip Thiel who returns at hooker and Eric Fry, who is to start at tighthead prop. The secondrow should be a strength for the USA with Stade Français´ Scott LaValla joining forces with Saracens´ Hayden Smith. With Clever missing, Lou Stanfill will start in the 7 shirt with Patrick Danahy thus playing 6 and JJ Gagiano gets an opportunity to start at 8.

Fullback, Chris Wyles who missed both matches vs Canada is not to face Japan either as e continues to recover from injury. In his place will be Blaine Scully for the third week running. Blaine will have anew partner in the back-three with James Paterson of the Super Rugby side, the Highlanders, starting on the wing with Taku Ngwenya being rested and Kevin Swiryn starting in the 14 shirt. Paterson is to make his test debut having previously played for the USA at age group level. His place in the World UCP squad will depend on how he performs in this match and it will not be easy as he goes up against Takehisa Usuzuki. O´Sullivan has opted to experiment in the midfield with Tai Enosa starting at outside centre and Paul Emerick moving to inside centre. Nese Malifa retains his place at flyhalf, despite making basic errors vs Canada, and will form a combination with the match-day captain, Mike Petri.


Japan

15 Taihei Ueda (Honda Heat)
14 Takehisa Usuzuki (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
13 Alisi Tupuailai (Canon Eagles)
12 Ryan Nicholas (Suntory Sungoliath)
11 Hirotoki Onozawa (Suntory Sungoliath)
10 Murray Williams (Toyota Industries Shuttles)
9 Tomoki Yoshida (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
8 Takashi Kikutani (Toyota Verblitz)
7 Tadasuke Nishihara (Panasonic Wild Knights)
6 Sione Vatuvei (Panasonic Wild Knights)
5 Luke Thompson (Kintetsu Liners)
4 Hitoshi Ono (Toshiba Brave Lupus)
3 Nozomu Fujita (Honda Heat)
2 Yusuke Aoki (Suntory Sungoliath)
1 Naoki Kawamata (Panasonic Wild Knights)

Reserves

16 Shota Horie (Panasonic Wild Knights)
17 Kensuke Hatakeyama (Suntory Sungoliath)
18 Toshizumi Kitagawa (Toyota Verblitz)
19 Itaru Tanguchi (Kobe Steel Kobelco Steelers)
20 Atsushi Hiwasa (Suntory Sungoliath)
21 Koji Taira (Suntory Sungoliath)
22 Shaun Webb (Coca-Cola West Red Sparks)

United States of America
15 Blaine Scully (Unattached)
14 Kevin Swiryn (Agen, France)
13 Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
12 Paul Emerick (Life University)
11 James Paterson (Otago Highlanders, New Zealand)
10 Nese Malifa (Glendale)
9 Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club)
8 JJ Gagiano (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
7 Lou Stanfill (Mogliano, Italy)
6 Patrick Danahy (Life University)
5 Hayden Smith (Saracens, England)
4 Scott LaValla (Stade Français, France)
3 Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks)
2 Phillip Thiel (Life University)
1 Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie, England)

Reserves

16 Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate)
17 Shawn Pittman (London Welsh, England)
18 Nic Johnson (Unattached)
19 Ryan Chapman (Utah Warriors)
20 Tim Usasz (Nottingham, England)
21 Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby)
22 Andrew Suniula (Cornish Pirates, England)

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