USA coach Eddie O’Sullivan has made wholesale changes to his line-up for Friday’s Pool C encounter with Australia in Wellington.
Among 14 changes, Australia-born scrum-half Tim Usasz takes the captain’s armband from flanker Todd Clever, who misses out on the matchday squad altogether.
Only Saracens second row Hayden Smith retains his place in the Eagles side following the 13-6 victory over Russia. Last week’s forward starters Matekitonga Moeakiola, Louis Stanfill and Nic Johnson are named on the bench.
Six of the players that were not chosen in the first 22 against Ireland and Russia were promoted to the starting line-up.
“There’s quite a few changes. It’s a fairly mixed bag,” O’Sullivan said.
“But the guys are bringing lots of energy.
“We’re not throwing a bunch of rookies in there. There are a lot of guys who were close to starting against Ireland and against Russia.
“We’ll have to keep our heads, keep the tempo and stick with it.”
USA: 15 Blaine Scully, 14 Colin Hawley, 13 Tai Enosa, 12 Junior Sifa, 11 Kevin Swiryn, 10 Nese Malifa, 9 Tim Usasz (capt), 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Pat Danahy, 6 Inaki Basauri, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Scott LaValla, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Brian McClenahan, 17 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 18 Louis Stanfill, 19 Nic Johnson, 20 Mike Petri, 21 Roland Suniula, 22 Chris Wyles.
Date: Friday, September 23
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 20.30 (08.30 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)
The USA will never win this game,but it would have been nice to see what our best team can do against #2 in the world. Instead,we get a starting XV with an average of 9 caps each…including 2 “unattached” players. I guess it was all about beating Russia for the Eagles,and that’s just sad. With that mindset,we will NEVER be a 1st tier nation.
September 21, 2011| Flag Comment