USA vs Russia News, Notes, Analysis

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USA vs Russia

RWU friend Ray’s Rugby provides us with this match preview courtesy of his blog.

London, England  The Cold War rivalry continues as Russia face off against the United States for the fifth time in four years and the fourth consecutive match on neutral grounds.

While the Bears vs the Eagles sounds more like an upcoming NFL game, rest assured there will be rugby played at Allianz Park, the home of Saracens.

Russia have never beaten a full American side in a test match, though they did beat a USA XV development side in the remote Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk in July of 2003. Their last meeting came in Colwyn Bay, Wales a year ago, with the Eagles touching down six times to claim a convincing 14 point victory. Lets take a look at the Russia team to face USA:

15 Ramil Gaysin
14 Vasily Artemyev
13 Igor Galinovskiy
12 Dmitry Gerasimov
11 Vladimir Ostroushko
10 Sergey Sugrobov
9 Anton Ryabov
8 Victor Gresev
7 Pavel Butenko
6 Alexander Khudyakov
5 Andrey Garbuzov
4 Alexander Voytov (c)
3 Evgeny Pronenko
2 Valery Tsnobiladze
1 Grigory Tsnobiladze

16 Vladislav Korshunov
17 Aleksey Volkov
18 Innokentiy Zykov
19 Denis Antonov
20 Artem Fatakhov
21 Yury Kushnarev
22 Andrey Otrokov
23 Denis Simplikevich

RussiaRussia Head Coach Kingsley Jones will not have been impressed with his side’s second-half performance against Japan a week ago, as they shipped 27 unanswered points to their opponents after being level at the half. His selection options have been hampered, however, and he has opted to make only one change to the first XV, with Igor Galinovski starting for the first time since the World Cup, taking the place of pedestrian Alexei Makovetski in the midfield.

usa_rugby_logoAfter a famous win against the Georgian Lelos last Saturday, Mike Tolkin’s squad has been further boosted by the additions of Scott LaValla and Robbie Shaw, with Derek Asbun moved to the bench and Mike Petri unavailable due to work commitments. Petri has had a tumultuous year in Eagle colors, with many calling for his head alongside NYAC teammate Toby L’Sigh L’Estrange. If Shaw and Adam Siddall impress again on Saturday, Petri’s international days could be numbered. Lets take a look at the USA team to face Russia:

15 Chris Wyles
14 Blaine Scully
13 Folau Niua
12 Andrew Suniula
11 Tim Maupin
10 Adam Siddall
9 Robbie Shaw
8 Cameron Dolan
7 Scott LaValla
6 Todd Clever (c)
5 Samu Manoa
4 Tai Tuisamoa
3 Titi Lamositele
2 Phil Thiel
1 Nick Wallace
16 Zach Fonoglio
17 Olive Kilifi
18 Eric Fry
19 Graham Harriman
20 Derek Asburn
21 Shaun Davies
22 Seamus Kelly
23 Luke Hume


Tai Tuisamoa will make his official test debut forming a powerhouse second row with Samu Manoa and Titi Lamositele will enjoy a memorable afternoon as he makes his first test start on the grounds of his new club Saracens, who are poised to sign the young prop to a pro contract following the match. Interestingly he is selected at tighthead, as opposed to his usual loosehead spot, perhaps a response to both Nick Wallace’s increasing value and Eric Fry’s shambolic performance in the scrum.

The Americans should have little trouble ending their year on a high as the only real threats the Bears have at their disposal are on the wings. Galinovski could add some creativity to the midfield but he has to get the ball first and that continues to be a problem for the limited Russian attack. Expect the surging Eagles to enjoy the speed of the Allianz turf and close out the season with their best performance of the year en route to a 20-point victory.

Saturday, November 23, 15:00 GMT, London
Referee: Marius Mitrea (FIR)
Assistants: t.b.a. (RFU appointments)
TMO: n/a

That’s it for now… feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUpJunoir BlaberDJ EberleNick HallJames HarringtonCody KuxmannJaime Loyd and Declan Yeats, respectively.

About Rays Rugby 24 Articles
I have played rugby since 1993, and began coaching and refereeing as well in 2005. I started writing in 1998, first published on the old Rugby Canada website followed by the National Rugby Post, Goff On Rugby, and I featured as a columnist for the new-defunct Canadian Rugby News before taking a long writing sabbatical while I pursued other interests. I have kept up my knowledge of the game, however, and have returned to comment and inform, only this time on all rugby matters, not just those Canadian. Thanks for reading!