Friday, March 28, 2014

RWC Qualifier: Teams confirmed for USA v Uruguay

Photo USA Rugby
The teams to meet in Atlanta this weekend were named on Friday afternoon. The USA is to host Uruguay with the winner qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2015 as Americas 2. The successful team will be confirmed as the fourth participant in Pool B which will also feature the top Asian qualifier. Already a part of the pool are the pre-qualified countries of South Africa, Samoa and Scotland whom all earned direct qualification due to finishing in the top three of their respective pools from Rugby World Cup 2011.


USA Eagles headcoach Mike Tolkin has resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes to his starting lineup for the return test match against Uruguay in Atlanta on Saturday. After the USA failed to deliver a performance which would match that which saw the North Americans impress in Europe in 2012 and 2013 against Georgia, Romania and Russia, Tolkin has stuck to his guns and made only three changes for the second test. 

Missing is Hayden Smith who misses out in place of Lou Stanfill who was on the bench in Montevideo. Stanfill has been a regular in the position under Tolkin but was predominantly utilized previously as a back-rower. Stanfill will form a second-row combination with Samu Manoa with the duo playing behind a front-row of Eric Fry, Phil Thiel and Olive Klifi. Todd Clever will captain the Eagles from blindside flanker and will be joined by Cam Dolan and Scott LaValla in the back-row.

There are two changes in the backline with Folau Niua and Tim Maupin both dropping to the bench. Starting ahead of them will be Seamus Kelly and Luke Hume. The other five backs are unchanged despite a number of the players being outplayed by Uruguay. Starting again in the halves will be Mike Petri and Toby L´Estrange. Andrew Suniula will join Kelly in the mid-field while Hume is to form a back-three combination with Blaine Scully and Chris Wyles. 

Uruguay´s starting line-up is unchanged from Montevideo but there are changes to the bench with Cristofer Soares de Lima replacing Nicolás Klappenbach as the replacement hooker and Carlos Pombo enters as the replacement second-rower for Cristofer Soares de Lima. A strong crowd is expected and with it the USA will be favorites to complete a comfortable victory. Uruguay, though, has a game plan prepared to repeat the performance from Montevideo and return home as the winner.

The game will be streamed live on rugbyworldcup.com and can be seen here. Kick-off will be 7pm GMT, 3pm local time and 4pm in Uruguay. 



Uruguay Teros 1. Aleja Corral, 2. Arturo Avalo (C), 3. Oscar Duran, 4. Santiago Vilaseca, 5. Mathias Palomeque,
6. Juan Manuel Gaminara, 7. Diego Magno, 8. Alejandro Nieto, 9. Agustin Ormaechea, 10. Felipe Berchesi, 11. Jeronimo Etcheverry, 12. Andres Vilaseca, 13. Joaquin Prada, 14. Leandro Leivas, 15. Gaston Mieres
Reserves 16. Cristofer Soares de Lima, 17. Rodolfo de Mula, 18. Mario Sagario Cagnani, 19. Carlos Pombo,
20. Franco Lammana, 21. Juan de Freitas Turcatti, 22. Alejo Duran, 23. Francisco Bulanti

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