PHILADELPHIA, PA – Saturday sees the second contest between the USA and Canada this summer. Round 1 narrowly went to the Eagles thanks to a late drop goal by AJ MacGinty. Canada were winless in the Pacific Nations Cup, and it is the Eagles who head into the match with momentum.
For the Eagles, the most notable name is the one that is missing: Samu Manoa. Here is hoping he is included in next weekend’s lineup in Philadelphia against Harlequins.
The front row played relatively well during the Pacific Nations Cup. Heading into the summer, it seemed that Phil Thiel was the first choice hooker. Now, Zach Fenoglio might have the edge. The combination of Eric Fry and Titi Lamositele at prop seems to be the USA’s strongest at the moment.
Greg Peterson and Cameron Dolan are playing together on Saturday but likely competing with each other for a spot in a World Cup game day squad. There is a lot of flexibility in the second row and back row options, but also still quite a bit of uncertainty.
Andrew Durutalo and Danny Barrett at 7 and 8 both impressed in the PNC, so seeing them start together is not a big surprise. Al McFarland is being given another chance while John Quill, Matt Trouville, and Louis Stanfill are on the bench.
In the backs, nothing happened during the PNC to change Mike Petri as the first-choice 9. Shalom Suniula did have some good runs in the PNC, but he also made some poor decisions. Hopefully, Niku Kruger comes off the bench with enough time left in the match to really see what he can do.
In the centers, if Thretton Palamo and Seamus Kelly can work well defensively, they seem likely to be the go-to option in the World Cup.
Coach Mike Tolkin has chosen 6 forwards on the bench and 2 backs. Presumably, Chris Wyles would step in at 10 should MacGinty have to leave the game.
Kick off is 4pm EST on Saturday from Twin Elm Rugby Park in Ottawa.
USA starting lineup: 1) Eric Fry, 2) Zach Fenoglio, 3) Titi Lamositele, 4) Cameron Dolan, 5) Greg Peterson, 6) Al McFarland, 7) Andrew Durutalo, 8) Danny Barrett, 9) Mike Petri, 10) AJ MacGinty, 11) Brett Thompson, 12) Thretton Palamo, 13) Seamus Kelly, 14) Blaine Scully, 15) Chris Wyles (C)
Reserves: 16 ) Phil Thiel, 17) Olive Kilifi, 18) Chris Baumann, 19) Louis Stanfill, 20) Matt Trouville, 21) John Quill, 22) Niku Kruger, 23) Andrew Suniula
Canada starting lineup:1) Hubert Buydens, 2) Ray Barkwill, 3) Doug Wooldridge, 4) Tyler Hotson, 5) John Phelan, 6) Nanyak Dala, 7) John Moonlight, 8) Aaron Carpenter, captain, 9) Gordon McRorie, 10) Nathan Hirayama, 11) Taylor Paris, 12) Nick Blevins, 13) Conor Trainor, 14) Phil Mackenzie, 15) Harry Jones
Reserves: 16) Benoit Piffero, 17) Djustice Sears-Duru, 18) Andrew Tiedemann, 19) Evan Olmstead, 20) Kyle Gilmour, 21) Phil Mack, 22) Ciaran Hearn, 23) Matt Evans
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