The USA Eagles have released the side that will take on Samoa in their opening Rugby World Cup game against Samoa. In what is a potentially winnable match Head Coach Mike Tolkin has selected a thoroughly strong side in the hope of competing with a heavily physical Samoan side. The Pool B clash will take place in Brighton at 12pm (BST) on Sunday 20th September.
USA Eagles Braced For Samoan Struggle: Team Announcement
The Saracens winger, Chris Wyles will lead his nation into a World Cup for the first time hoping to build upon his own personal winning pedigree. He forms one third of what could be busy back three if the men in front of them allow Samoa to get fast ball. Takudzwa Ngwenya, remembered for his epic speed shown against South Africa’s Bryan Habana at the 2007 Rugby World Cup and Blaine Scully complete the back three.
In midfield Palamo and Kelly will have their work cut out for them against a solid Samoan combo, whilst AJ MacGinty will have the pressure on him to keep the scoreboard ticking over. He will be ably assisted in his Rugby World Cup debut by veteran Mike Petri at scrum half.
The standout player in the pack will that man mountain Samu Manoa at number 8. The physicality levels that he offers will undoubtedly be a defining factor in this match. Leading on the front foot is the best that the USA Eagles can hope for. The USA pack as a whole could be in for a difficult afternoon if they do not stamp their authority on the game early.
Coming into the match off of a historic yet underwhelming defeat to Harlequins, the USA needs to regain the form that they had in the summers Pacific Nations Cup. Victories against Japan and Canada (twice) were overwhelmed slightly by defeats to Tonga, Samoa and Fiji. Despite the losses the games against all the Pacific Island nations, the performances and score lines suggested that the gap is closing. Indeed it was only a 5 point losing margin to their Rugby World Cup opponents Samoa, losing out 21-16. All four test games between these two nations have been settled by a margin of seven points or less always in Samoa’s favour.
The Rugby World Cup is finally upon us, both sides have been named and now it is just a case of enjoying the opening games before the pressure and excitement reaches boiling point for Eagles fans in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Rugby World Cup Pool B Match- Sunday 20th September 2015 Brighton, England
USA Eagles Samoa
- E. Fry 1. S. Taulafo
- Z. Fenogolio 2. O. Avei
- T. Lamositele 3. A. Perenise
- H. Smith 4. T. Paulo
- G. Peterson 5. I. Tekori
- A. McFarland 6. M. Fa’asavalu
- A. Durutalo 7. J. Lam
- S. Manoa 8. O. Treviranus (C)
- M. Petri 9. K. Fotuali’i
- AJ MacGinty 10. T. Pisi
- C. Wyles (C) 11. A. Tualagi
- T. Palamo 12. R. Lee-Lo
- S. Kelly 13. P. Perez
- T. Ngwenya 14. K. Pisi
- B. Scully 15. T. Nanai- Williams