USA Men’s National 15s team Head Coach Mike Tolkin has
selected his starting lineup to face Russia Friday in Colwyn Bay, Wales.
Star wing Takudzwa Ngwenya is out due to visa issues that prevented him from
entering the United Kingdom; he would otherwise be expected to start. Instead,
Cornelius Dirksen gets his first cap for the United States.
Todd Clever is captain and No. 8, while a new halfback combo is selected as scrumhalf
Robbie Shaw returns for his first cap in four years, and Toby L’Estrange makes
his debut at flyhalf. Regular scrumhalf Mike Petri is on the bench, having
joined the team late due to work commitments.
Also making his debut and starting is Boston RFC openside flanker John Quill.
Tolkin has an eight-man bench, with three front-rowers in Zach Fenoglio, Nick Wallace,
and Tony Purpura. Should they play, Fenoglio and Wallace would earn their first
Inaki Basauri provides cover at flanker and lock, and Peter
Dahl, back on the Eagles side for the first time since 2009, is a sub at
flanker. Joining Petri on the bench for the backs is the experienced and
versatile Roland Suniula, and rookie Gearoid McDonald.
Derek Asbun, who might have been expected to be in the squad, has been battling
an ankle injury.
Tolkin has essentially
picked two flankers to cover the back five in the forwards, however, with Scott
LaValla and Lou Stanfill able to transition between lock and flanker, and
Basauri, the Eagles have plenty of cover there.
With no pure wing on the bench, expect Paul Emerick or Chris Wyles to move to
wing, with Roland Suniula going to center or event McDonald going to fullback,
should a wing need to be replaced.
|USA National Team Lineup to
Face Russia Nov 9 2012
|1. Loose Head
|16. Front Row
|17. Front Row
|18. Front Row