Thursday, June 5, 2014

International Rugby: USA team named to face Scotland

USA Eagles Headcoach Mike Tolkin has confirmed his team to face Scotland on Saturday in Houston. The match is to be the third of the year for the USA who qualified for Rugby World Cup 2015 by defeating Uruguay in Atlanta in March. It is a fixture which was to be the biggest match of the year but no longer will be following the confirmation that the USA will host the All Blacks in Chicago in November. The match against Scotland is nonetheless set to be a huge success and could break the attendance record. Ten of the twelve sections are already confirmed as having sold out.  

Having competed in the Aviva Premiership Final for the Northampton Saints last weekend Tolkin has decided against selecting English champion Samu Manoa. The Californian will not feature at all in the fixture. Also missing are the injured pairing of Adam Siddal and Toby L'Estrange. In place of him Tolkin is to start Shalom Suniula at fly half. Such a selection was predicted one month ago here on Argentina2023.

Suniula is to start alongside his brother Andrew with the American Samoan's teaming up in a 10-12 combination. Seamus Kelly has been selected at outside centre which sees Chris Wyles remain at fullback and Blaine Scully on the right wing. Luke Hume is to complete the back-three while the test future of Biarritz winger Taku Ngwenya appears to have ended. 

Veteran Mike Petri will start the test at scrum-half and do so behind a back-row which could be said to be the best USA trio since Rugby World Cup 2003. Todd Clever is to play blindside flanker, Cam Dolan number 8 and Scott LaValla will be the starting openside flanker. More professionals are to start in the second-row with Saracens' Hayden Smith joining the former Italian based Lou Stanfill. 

The Newcastle bound Eric Fry is to be the only professional starting in the front-row. Both Olive Kilifi and Phil Thiel are based in North America but there is a place on the bench for Saracens' squad member Titi Lamositele. Also of note on the bench is the highly promising Danny Barrett who scored an impressive solo try in the 2013 Americas Rugby Championship.

Olive Kilifi
Phil Thiel
Eric Fry
Louis Stanfill
Hayden Smith
Todd Clever
Scott LaValla
Cameron Dolan
Mike Petri
Shalom Suniula
Luke Hume
Andrew Suniula
Seamus Kelly
Blaine Scully
Chris Wyles
Tom Coolican
Nick Wallace
Titi Lamositele
Tai Tuisamoa
Danny Barrett
Folau Niua
Chad London
Tim Maupin

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