Friday, June 13, 2014

Pacific Nations Cup: USA team named to face Japan


Photo Scrum
USA Eagles Headcoach Mike Tolkin has named his team for Saturday's Pacific Nations Cup match against Japan in Los Angeles. Having failed to spark against Scotland last weekend in Houston Tolkin has changed 33% of his starting fifteen as five alternate players are to face the world's best Asian rugby playing country. The USA is looking for a rare victory over a higher ranked country and is up against a team rapidly gaining respect. The Japanese are coming off an impressive away victory over Canada in Greater Vancouver last weekend and wins have also be attained recently against the likes of Samoa and Wales. A win for the USA would therefore be a tremendous boost for the Eagles as the two sides are to face-off in a Pool B clash in England in Rugby World Cup 2015.

Returning from club duty is USA powerhouse Samu Manoa who became an English champion late last month as the Northampton Saints won the Aviva Premiership for the first time. He is to start alongside Scott LaValla in the second-row. Ahead of them will be a front-row combination of Nick Wallace, Olive Kilifi and Phil Thiel who has recovered from the scare suffered in Houston.

The selection of Wallace  and Kilifi is controversial due to neither being professional players and Japan having established itself as a team to be taken very seriously in this area. On the bench the USA is to have two professional props. Also starting in the forwards will be Cam Dolan and Todd Clever and Danny Barrett who was on the bench in Houston.

The USA suffered from the loss of Andrew Suniula to injury against Scotland and his spot will be taken by Seamus Kelly who was arguably the best North American on the field. Kelly moves in one spot which sees Folau Niua starting at outside centre. The halves are unchanged while the same members of the back-three from Texas have also been retained.

1
Nick Wallace
2
Phil Thiel
3
Olive Kilifi
4
Samu Manoa
5
Scott LaValla
6
Danny Barrett
7
Todd Clever
8
Cam Dolan
9
Mike Petri
10
Shalom Suniula
11
Tim Maupin
12
Seamus Kelly
13
Folau Niua
14
Blaine Scully
15
Chris Wyles
16
Tom Coolican
17
Eric Fry
18
Titi Lamositele
19
Louis Stanfill
20
Kyle Sumsion
21
Chad London
22
Thretton Palamo
23
Miles Craigwell

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