Roster named for RWC 2015 Qualifier in Atlanta

Roster named for RWC 2015 Qualifier in Atlanta

MARIETTA, Ga. – Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin has selected the starting XV for Saturday’s IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier second leg against Uruguay at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University.

Hayden Smith, who pulled on the Eagles jersey last Saturday in Montevideo for the first time since IRB Rugby World Cup 2011, misses out in favor of Louis Stanfill at lock. Samu Manoa, scorer of the Eagles’ second try in the first-leg, 27-27 draw, retains his spot at lock alongside the Seattle-OPSB man.

“[Hayden] is coming back after two years of not playing rugby,” Tolkin said. “It’s a tough decision with him; he played fine [in the first leg]. We have three powerful, big-impact players and we’re trying to maximize the potential of all three.”

Tai Tuisamoa takes Smith’s place in the Eagles squad wearing No. 19.

The only other changes from last weekend’s starting XV are Seamus Kelly starting at outside center partnering Andrew Suniula and Luke Hume replacing Tim Maupin on Blaine Scully’s opposite wing. Kelly replaces Folau Niua, who will wear the No. 22 jersey on the bench, while Maupin will wear No. 23.

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“[Luke] added some electricity and had a bit better game at wing [last weekend],” Tolkin said. “For Seamus, he’s a hard runner and had good forward ball. He was best-suited to play Uruguay.”

The Eagles must win Saturday’s match in front of a near-sold out crowd in order to qualify for next year’s Rugby World Cup. With a loss, the Eagles will enter the Repechage tournament, which would mean at least two more legs before seeding in RWC 2015’s Pool A (Australia, England, Wales, and the Oceania 1 qualifier).

A full week in Atlanta has created more cohesiveness within the team, following a less-than-stellar first-half performance in Uruguay.

“We’ve gotten much more familiar as a group with the playing style,” Tolkin said. “We’ve had a lot more repetitions and the guys have spent more time on the field together. It’s been good to be at home.”

A win Saturday means the Eagles will qualify as Americas 2 in Pool B with South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, and the Asia 1 qualifier.

Watch the second leg of the IRB Rugby World Cup 2015 Qualifier on Universal Sports from 3:00 P.M. ET from Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University or purchase tickets here to watch the most important match of the year in person. Follow live match updates with @USARugby on Twitter.

Men's Eagles | v Uruguay
1. Olive Kilifi
2. Phil Thiel
3. Eric Fry
4. Louis Stanfill
5. Samu Manoa
6. Todd Clever (C)
7. Scott LaValla
8. Cam Dolan
9. Mike Petri
10. Toby L'Estrange
11. Luke Hume
12. Andrew Suniula
13. Seamus Kelly
14. Blaine Scully
15. Chris Wyles

Men's Eagles | Reserves
16. Tom Coolican
17. Nick Wallace
18. Titi Lamositele
19. Tai Tuisamoa
20. Kyle Sumsion
21. Shalom Suniula
22. Tim Maupin
23. Folau Niua


Uruguay
1. Aleja Corral
2. Arturo Avalo (C)
3. Oscar Duran
4. Santiago Vilaseca
5. Mathias Palomeque
6. Juan Manuel Gaminara
7. Diego Magno
8. Alejandro Nieto
9. Agustin Ormaechea
10. Felipe Berchesi
11. Jeronimo Etcheverry
12. Andres Vilaseca
13. Joaquin Prada
14. Leandro Leivas
15. Gaston Mieres

Uruguay | Reserves
16. Cristofer Soares de Lima
17. Rodolfo de Mula
18. Mario Sagario Cagnani
19. Carlos Pombo
20. Franco Lammana
21. Juan de Freitas Turcatti
22. Alejo Duran
23. Francisco Bulanti

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Comments (16)

  • Guest (gues)

    I can't believe that Petri retained he No 9 jersey after such a pitiful showing last week. But that's Tolkin he will play his NYAC boys over anyone.

  • Guest (Mase)

    Same with Fry. He's kept his spot in the front row for much too long. Listen they gave him ample time to develop, why not let someone with more talent do the same now in Lamositele? Sure he may struggle at first, but Fry's been struggling for years now!

  • Guest (Tom O'Hara)

    Yeah, because it was all Mike Petri's fault, right?

  • Guest (gues)

    In reply to: Guest (Tom O'Hara)

    I didn't say it was all Mike Petri's fault, I said that he had a poor showing last week, and it is surprising to me that he retained the No 9 Jersey. Especially since Robbie Shaw has been getting good game time in England, and generally gets the ball out a bit quicker than Petri.

  • Guest (MLB3BB2)

    Glad to see Seamus Kelly and Luke Hume in the starting 15. Go Eagles!

  • Guest (Jesus himself)

    Calling for clever to resign. Get Danny Barrett in the mix already. I mean jaaaasus boys. The gent stands out like Osama bin laden in Ireland.

  • Guest (5Lock4ward)

    In reply to: Guest (Jesus himself)

    I cannot agree more about the need to get Barrett involved asap. I think if he gets one cap he goes pro in Europe on a legit squad getting legit minutes. That said I can't say it's time for Clever to go just yet but he should be on the open-side as opposed to the blind.

  • Guest (WTF)

    Tolkin has doubled down on his NYAC guys. If he loses he's gone, and the Eagles are screwed with no coach and a mountain to climb just to qualify.

    They should beat Uruguay by 20 on any given day. My worry is these coaches will take a win by that margin as an endorsement of their weird selections that have people from all over the rugby world scratching their heads.

    And I like how USAR thought they were being slick by waiting until the 11th hour to release the team because they knew it would provoke negative reaction.

    But screw it, I'm an American rugger through and through and always cheer for the Eagles like I will be on Saturday, it's just that this level of coaching and analysis is just not good enough.

  • Guest (Tom Clayman)

    I've been saying it for 18 months. Tolkin is all about his Xavier and NYAC boys regardless of how rubbish they play. Or Petri and Co have video of Tolks diddling kids behind the rectory.

  • Guest (5Lock4ward)

    If we must insist on Fry being there he should be moved to the loose-head side. Clearly Wallace and Lamositele are the future and had we bothered to qualify against Canada those guys could be getting valuable minutes. But now we're stuck with Fry's experience being needed although he's usually experiencing a walloping in the scrum. Stanfill is no lock, I'll say it till I'm blue in the face but b/c Smith isn't in game shape yet and Tuisamoa is lacking in experience that gives us few options. As usual I think Lavalla and Clever should switch sides and Manoa should be at 8 to unleash his ball carrying skills. I hope that Hume's offense is enough to overcome his porous defense. I like Kelly at 13 but I'd have preferred to see Wyels there w/ Scully at 15. All that said let's get behind them. God help the short term to midrange future of rugby in this country if they lose.

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