Could brothers Roland and Andrew Suniula, both alumni of Kelston Boys High School in New Zealand, play together for the USA at the World Cup?
Neither is assured of a starting position, but it’s likely the two will line up together at some point. Both play center, while Roland also works out at flyhalf. Not only are they pushing to get playing time, they are sometimes competing for the same position.
“Training is competitive, we push each other,” said Roland, who added that they don’t worry about selections, and leave that up to the coaches. ““He knows a lot about my strengths, and I know his strengths - I’m more dynamic and he’s more direct, more of a crash runner. Who they feel is the right man for the position, will play there.”
But it’s a tough situation. Are they competitors first? Brothers? Teammates?
“We have to be teammates first,” said Andrew.
Roland, of course, has been slated as the backup flyhalf for Nese Malifa, and continues to push for a starting job there. Andrew has started fairly regularly at inside center, and keeps racking up tries.
“I've been focusing on my communication, and being able to take charge of the pattern and all the responsibilities of flyhalf,” said Roland. “The position is not new to me, and I've had time in the number 10 jersey since last year in Australia.”
Andrew said he’s been working on his kicking and ensuring little skill issues – such as some iffy passing against Russia – aren’t an issue anymore.
“I am just trying to get ready mentally for the match on September 11,” he added. “We just need to bring execution, and a killer instinct.”
Roland will remember that he scored a try against Ireland in 2009 when the touring Irish beat the USA 27-10, while Andrew is looking forward to facing Brian O’Driscoll, who made his World Cup debut against the USA in 1999.
“I’m really looking forward to it. He’s a top class centre and these are the games you want to play, to test yourself against the best. I don’t know much about him, but I’ll be looking at videos over the next couple of days, and try to sort something out for Sunday.”