Select XV set for second place battle in ARC
BOULDER, Colo. – A North American showdown is in the making for the USA Select XV as they prepare to square-off with the Canada Selects tomorrow in Cordoba, Argentina. Both teams are 1-1 in the tournament and will battle for second place tomorrow.
The squad selected by USA Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan is very capable of getting the job done against Canada. However, they will need to remedy a few issues that popped-up in the Select XV’s loss to Argentina last Sunday.
“We got stretched a lot in the last game and ended up giving a lot of points to a slick Jaguars outfit. Against Canada, we need to work on both sides of the ball,” said O’Sullivan.
The squad worked on all facets of the game in the days following Sunday’s loss, but there was an emphasis on set piece and defense.
Having had several days to lick their wounds, the Select XV will face a Canadian side that is coming off a win. The Canada Selects are “an experienced side…who had a good result against Tonga. They are in good step at the moment,” according to O’Sullivan.
Two American players, Dan LaPrevotte (knee) and Alipate Tuilevuka (ankle), have returned to the USA for injury evaluation. Sevens expert Mark Bokhoven flew to Cordoba to replace LaPrevotte in the forwards, but Tulievuka has not been replaced. In addition, Troy Hall is dealing with a recurring neck issue that is being monitored and assessed on an ongoing basis today. His playing status will be a game-time decision and will remain on the roster until further notice.
If Hall is unavailable, Milemoti Pulu would slide to center and Duncan Kelm would start on the wing. This would also mean that every available back on the touring squad would be on the roster tomorrow.
USA Select XV
1. Phillip Thiel (Life), 2. Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), 3. Eric Fry (Unattached), 4. Samu Manoa (San Francisco Golden Gate), 5. Brian Doyle (New York Athletic Club), 6. Patrick Danahy (Life), 7. Matthew Hawkins (Belmont Shore), 8. *Nic Johnson (Denver Barbarians), 9. Shalom Suniula (Brisbane), 10. Nese Malifa (Glendale Raptors), 11. Zach Test (Loughborough University), 12. Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), 13. Troy Hall (New York Athletic Club), 14. Milemoti Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate), 15. Taivalu Enosa (Belmont Shore)
Reserves: 16. Anthony Purpura (Boston Rugby Club), 17. Ross Silverman (Unattached), 18. Tom Katzfey (New York Athletic Club), 19. Mark Bokhoven (Denver Barbarians), 20. Benny Mateialona (Life), 21. Volney Rouse (At Large), 22. Duncan Kelm (San Diego State University)
Coach: Eddie O’Sullivan
Manager: Tristan Lewis
Unavailable due to injury:
Dan LaPrevotte (knee), Alipate Tulievuka (ankle)