USA Men’s National 15s Team Head Coach Mike Tolkin has named his squad to face Canada Saturday in Edmonton, Alb.
Troy Hall and Adam Siddall will get their first-ever caps in this match, with Hall starting at outside center and Siddall starting at fullback. In addition, reserves Tom Coolican, Nick Wallace, Liam Murphy, Chris Saint, and Seamus Kelly could earn their first caps in this match.
Originally dubbed a non-cap international by the International Rugby Board, this game was upgraded to a full-on test match by the IRB this week.
Todd Clever captains the side and will play No. 8, partnering with Peter Dahl at openside and John Quill at blindside. Both flankers showed themselves well during the fall tours. The front row is Shawn Pittman at loosehead, and Eric Fry at tighthead, with Zach Fenoglio getting his first USA start and second cap at hooker. Chris Biller is out due to injury.
Brian Doyle and Lou Stanfill return as what has become the USA’s top-choice second row combination.
Robbie Shaw and Toby L’Estrange return as the halfbacks, while scrumhalf Mike Petri remains sidelined due to a broken thumb.
Andrew Suniula comes in at inside center for his 19th cap and partners with Hall, who has a long history playing for NYAC, but has many times just missed out on playing for the Eagles.
Luke Hume is back from 7s duty and sets up on the right wing, while James Paterson, unavailable for the November tour due to work, returns to the position he patrolled in the 2011 World Cup and in the spring of 2012.
Siddall, who emerged as a star flyhalf for Old Blue this season, slots in at fullback in favor of Blaine Scully due to the fact he has been playing more 15s (Scully has been with the USA 7s team), and because the team needs a goalkicker. Suniula and Paterson can both kick, but Siddall is deemed more reliable.
Phil Thiel returns to the USA after taking 2012 off to play rugby league. He will sub in as a prop. He joins four solid young US college products on the bench: Nick Wallace (St. Mary’s), Graham Harriman (UM-Duluth), Chris Saint (Penn State), Seamus Kelly (Cal), and Blaine Scully (Cal).
Also on the best is Boston flanker Liam og Murphy, who played for the USA at age-grade level, and Tom Coolican, who played for Australian Universities, but qualifies for the USA by parentage.
USA Lineup to face Canada (Club, College)
1. Shawn Pittman (Unattached)
2. Zach Fenoglio (Glendale)
3. Eric Fry (London Scottish)
4. Brian Doyle (NYAC)
5. Lou Stanfill (Vicenza Rangers)
6. John Quill (Dolphin)
7. Peter Dahl (Belmont Shore)
8. Todd Clever © (NTT Communications)
9. Robbie Shaw (Richmond)
10. Toby L’Estrange (NYAC)
11. James Paterson (Glendale)
12. Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins)
13. Troy Hall (NYAC)
14. Luke Hume (Old Blue/USA 7s team)
15. Adam Siddall (Old Blue)
16. Tom Coolican (NYAC)
17. Phil Thiel (Life)
18. Nick Wallace (St. Mary’s College, Calif.)
19. Graham Harriman (Chicago Griffins)
20. Liam Murphy (Boston)
21. Chris Saint (Houston ARC)
22. Seamus Kelly (University of California)
23. Blaine Scully (USA 7s team)