Friday, 21 March 2014

Team News: RWC Americas Qualifier


Team news ahead of the first leg of the World Cup qualifying playoff between Uruguay and USA to decide the Americas 2 spot.

Uruguay Uruguay v USA United States
Venue: Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo
Kickoff: 16:00 (local time), 15:00 (New York), 19:00 (GMT)
Leandro Leivas

For Uruguay: Los Teros squad looks very similar to the one that beat Spain 16-15 last November, with 19 of the 23 man squad that won that match being retained. The other 4 players all featured in the crucial win over Chile and includes wing Leandro Leivas.

Uruguay are considered strong underdogs in this fixture, they have far less experience at as high a level as their opponents (their one experienced Top 14 player Rodrigo Capo Ortega is missing), but they will be looking to test themselves against the USA and make use of their home advantage and give the Eagles a tough time and take confidence into the likely World Cup playoff against Russia they might have.

Starting XV: 15 Gastón Mieres14 Leandro Leivas13 Joaquín Prada12 Andrés Vilaseca11 Jerónimo Etcheverry10 Felipe Berchesi9 Agustín Ormaechea1 Alejo Corral2 Arturo Avalo (c)3 Oscar Durán4 Mathias Palomeque5 Santiago Vilaseca6 Juan Gaminara7 Diego Magno8 Alejandro Nieto.
Replacements: 16 Nicolás Klappenbach17 Rodolfo de Mula18 Mario Sagario19 Cristofer Soares de Lima20 Franco Lamanna, 21 Juan de Freitas; 22 Alejo Durán23 Francisco Bulanti.

For USA: The Eagles are very nearly at full strength for their trip to Montevideo, only fly half Adam Siddall (concussion) and prop Shawn Pittman (long standing concussion issues) are out through injury, whilst Takudzwa Ngwenya is absent from the squad.
Olive Kilifi

In a surprising change, prop Nick Wallace despite being praised this week by scrum coach Justin Fitzpatrick is dropped and the 27 year old Olive Kilifi comes in to make his first ever international start. Scrum half Robbie Shaw who has been in a long running battle with Mike Petri for the 9 shirt is dropped altogether from the squad, instead 25 year old Sevens player Shalom Suniula is on the bench and could become the third Suniula to play for the Eagles. Tim Maupin also retains his starting place above the energetic winger Luke Hume and unsurprisingly Tolkin favourite Toby L'Estrange comes in as a straight swap for Siddall.

The game will mark a notable return to Eagles colours for the time since the World Cup for Hayden Smith. After finishing his stint with NFL side the New York Jets, the lock has returned straight back to both club and country sides he was in before. Tai Tuisamoa, who won his first cap in the last game against Russia last November, is left out of the squad for another returning player Lou Stanfill.

There could also be two more debutants from the bench where hooker Tom Coolican and Kyle Sumsion have ousted Zach Fenoglio and Derek Asbun.

Starting XV: 15 Chris Wyles; 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Folau Niua, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Tim Maupin; 10 Toby L'Estrange, 9 Mike Petri; 1 Olive Kilifi, 2 Phil Thiel, 3 Eric Fry; 4 Hayden Smith, 5 Samu Manoa; 6 Todd Clever, 7 Scott LaValla, 8 Cam Dolan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Coolican, 17 Nick Wallace, 18 Titi Lamositele; 19 Lou Stanfill, 20 Kyle Sumsion; 21 Shalom Suniula, 22 Seamus Kelly, 23 Luke Hume.

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