United States vs Tonga Preview

United States vs Tonga Preview

OSAKA, JPN. – Following a short four-day turnaround, the USA Men’s National Team XVs will conclude their Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign against Tonga in the final match of Pool C. The contest takes place at Hanazono Rugby Stadium in Osaka, KO 1:45 AM ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold. 

QUICK LINKS   
LIVE STREAM | LIVE UPDATES | USA MEDIA GUIDE  | HOW RUGBY WORKS


MATCH-DAY 23

Six changes have been made to the match day roster following the Eagles’ contest with Argentina.

Lock Nick Civetta will be back in to start alongside Greg Peterson while flanker Malon Al-Jiboori will get his first taste of tournament action alongside Tony Lamborn. Will Hooley will start at fullback with Mike Te’o shifting to the reserves. 

Alongside Te’o on the bench are Hanco Germishuys and James Hilterbrand. If brought in, Hilterbrand will also be playing his first minutes of the tournament. 

The full match day 23 owns 582 cumulative test caps. 

STARTERS

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS
1. Eric FryPropVannes47
2. Joe Taufete’eHookerWorcester Warriors26
3. Titi LamositelePropSaracens31
4. Greg PetersonLockNewcastle Falcons29
5. Nick CivettaLockUnattached25
6. Tony LambornFlankerMelbourne Rebels
Hawke’s Bay Magpies
22
7. Malon Al-JibooriFlankerUnattached5
8. Cam DolanNo. 8NOLA Gold50
9. Ruben de HaasScrum halfFree State Cheetahs16
10. AJ MacGintyFlyhalfSale Sharks27
11. Marcel BracheWingWestern Force22
12. Paul LasikeCenterHarlequins18
13. Bryce CampbellCenterLondon Irish31
14. Blaine Scully (C)WingUnattached53
15. Will HooleyFullbackBedford Blues14

RESERVES

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS
16. James HilterbrandReserveManly Marlins19
17. Olive KilifiReserveSeattle Seawolves30
18. Paul MullenReserveUnattached17
19. Ben LandryReserveEaling Trailfinders24
20. Hanco GermishuysReserveGlendale Raptors20
21. Ben PinkelmanReserveUSA Sevens4
22. Nate AugspurgerReserveSan Diego Legion25
23. Mike Te’oReserveSan Diego Legion27

MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM XVs STAFF

General Manager | Dave Hodges
Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Set Piece | Shawn Pittman
Assistant Coach, Defense | Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Assistant S&C and Analyst | Tom Kindley
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Chris Hanson
Assistant Team Manager | Oscar Alvarez


LAST MATCH | ARG 47-17 USA

For the first 20 minutes, the United States men were clinical; putting the Pumas under tremendous pressure and making it within touching distance of scoring the first points. With the U.S. unable to execute, the Pumas stole momentum back with a collection of quick line breaks that built a 19-0 lead. 

At halftime, a clever grubber kick by AJ MacGinty saw Captain Blaine Scully bolting down the wing to collect five points. And though the Eagles carried momentum with them into the break, the Pumas came back with a vengeance in the second half. 

By the 61st minute, the Argentinians were up 40-5 where the USA’s Paul Lasike dove over the tryline to tamper with the deficit. The U.S. defense held on until the final minute where Captain Blaine Scully added another five points for his side to make it 47-17 at full time. 

While the Americans didn’t get the result they hoped for; and with mistakes aside, the group played with relentless effort until the very end. 

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS | VIEW STATS 


THE MATCHUP | USA VS TONGA

The United States and Tonga last met three years ago in San Sebastian, where the Tongans defeated the Americans 17-20. In nine total meetings dating back to 1999, the Eagles sit on the lesser side of a 1-8 record. 

Tonga comes into the match following a seven day break from their impressive performance against France. The Tongans came back from a 17 point deficit to threaten the French and nearly force an upset at 23-21. 

Following their match with Argentina, the U.S. will have had four days to recover and prepare for the match with the Tongans. As both teams have yet to register a win, fans can expect a competitive and well-fought match on both sides this Sunday. 


COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH GARY GOLD 

“While we know we still have some work to do, I’m proud of the guys for sticking in there until the very end against Argentina. A short turnaround is never easy but as a group we are anxious to close out our Rugby World Cup campaign with a positive result.

“Tonga are another good team, as are all the sides we’ve played in this tournament and we absolutely must execute in every opportunity we get during this game. 

“It will be a hugely physical challenge; but, as we’ve said before, these are the kinds of games we need to be playing in order to continuously improve. We’re looking forward to another opportunity to prove ourselves against these top teams.” 


RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL C UPDATE 

England and France have both advanced into the Quarterfinals with the Red Roses claiming the first seed and Les Bleus claiming the second. Argentina took the third place with their win over the USA on Wednesday which also gave them automatic qualification for France 2023. The United States and Tonga will each battle to end the tournament with a win. 

TEAMPLWDLTFPFPAPDBPPOINTS
ENGLAND4310171192099317
FRANCE43109795128115
ARGENTINA4202141069115311
TONGA300353686-5011
USA3003433125-9200

WHERE TO WATCH  

All USA matches in pool play are broadcast LIVE on NBCSN linear television network along with a collection of other games including the Rugby World Cup final. In addition to coverage on NBCSN, fans can also stream every game LIVE and on-demand with NBC Sports Gold’s rugby pass. To purchase rugby pass, click here. To find NBCSN in local listings, click here


USA SCHEDULE & RESULTS

vs England | 45-7 (L)

vs France | 33-9 (L)

vs Argentina | 47-17 (L)

vs Tonga
October 13 | 1:45 AM ET
Hanazono Rugby Stadium
WATCH | NBCSN + NBC Sports Gold

VIEW FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE HERE

Cam Dolan becomes the eleventh Men’s National Team XVs player to reach 50 test caps

Cam Dolan becomes the eleventh Men’s National Team XVs player to reach 50 test caps

To reach 50 test caps is a special achievement. And to do that in a Rugby World Cup only enhances the milestone. 

Now entering the third match of his second Rugby World Cup campaign, No. 8 Cam Dolan will become the eleventh USA Men’s National Team XVs player to earn his 50th cap. And unlike any of the Men’s Eagles before him, Dolan reaches the benchmark in only six years. 

Native of Fort Myers, Florida, Dolan began playing rugby at 17 in high school where he quickly earned All-American selection and became embedded in USA Rugby’s age-grade pathway. In college at Life University, he played for both the USA Under-20s and Collegiate All-Americans before making his senior national team debut in 2013 against Fiji.

Since his debut, Dolan has contributed a number of prolific performances. In test matches, he’s scored 16 tries and built an overall record of 27-2-20 (W-D-L) for a 57% win percentage. He appeared in his first Rugby World Cup in 2015 in England and served as a key figure in the Eagles’ historic 2018 season which included a second straight Americas Rugby Championship title, first ever wins over then No. 6 Scotland and Samoa, as well as a 9-1 record in tests. 

Through the peaks and valleys of his journey as an athlete and a man, Dolan credits the culture and brotherhood he’s experienced in rugby for helping him achieve success. 

“Earning my 50th cap, it just seems like yesterday I got my first one here in Japan and it’s kind of bittersweet to get number fifty back in Japan,” he says. “From the teammates I had from my first camp to the teammates I have now, I’m fortunate to be able to have those guys on my journey and to be there for their journey as well.

“Without fifteen guys on the pitch for eighty plus minutes every game, it’s impossible to win. That’s the most important part for me, the brotherhood and the friendships you build off the field more so than you do on the field.” 

Captain Blaine Scully (left); Cam Dolan (right)

“Personally, I’m very proud of Cameron,” said Captain Blaine Scully. “He’s grown a lot as a man and as a player. To be a part of his journey has been special. Being a teammate, captain and most of all a friend – to be a part of this journey and share this experience with people you really respect and care about is what makes it extra special. To be able to see someone you care about reach a personal milestone like that is hugely rewarding.”

Fans can watch No. 8 Cam Dolan make his 50th international test appearance against Argentina tomorrow at 12:45 AM ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

Cameron Dolan Career Stats

Test Matches

Overall appearances | 50 (including Argentina)
Overall record | 27-2-20
Total tries | 16
Win percentage | 57.14

Men’s Eagles over 50 caps

Cameron Dolan | 2013- present
Blaine Scully | 2011-present | 52 caps
Todd Clever | 2013-17 | 76 caps
Mike Petri | 2007-15 | 57 caps
Lou Stanfill | 2005-15 | 56 caps
Chris Wyles | 2007-15 | 54 caps
Mike MacDonald | 2000-12 | 67 caps
Paul Emerick | 2003-12 | 53 caps
Alex Parker | 1996-2009 | 58 caps
Dave Hodges | 1996-2004 | 53 caps
Luke Gross | 1996-2003 | 62 caps

*Ordered by most recent year of appearance.

United States vs Argentina Roster & Preview

United States vs Argentina Roster & Preview

KUMAGAYA, JPN. – Following a much improved performance against France, the USA Men’s National Team XVs will face Argentina Weds, Oct 9 (KO 12:45 AM ET on NBCSN) in their third Pool C matchup of Rugby World Cup Japan 2019. 

QUICK LINKS   

LIVE STREAM | LIVE UPDATES | USA MEDIA GUIDE  | HOW RUGBY WORKS


MATCH-DAY 23

Head Coach Gary Gold has made eight changes from last week’s match against France. 

Paul Lasike will start at center with Will Hooley shifting to the bench as both have recovered from injuries sustained against England. With Lasike in to start, Marcel Brache shifts from center to wing with Martin Iosefo moving to the reserves. 

The backs will also see young Ruben de Haas start at scrumhalf in place of Shaun Davies, where the forwards will see Greg Peterson start at lock for Nick Civetta and Ben Landry claim a place on the bench. Nate Augspurger could also see his first taste of World Cup action as a reserve.

Alongside the changes comes a milestone to long-time No. 8 Cam Dolan who will earn his 50th test cap against Argentina. Dolan becomes the 11th Men’s National Team XVs player to cross the half-century mark after Captain Blaine Scully made his 50th test appearance against Canada in the Rugby World Cup warm-up.  

The full match day 23 owns 570 cumulative test caps, the highest total which has featured in a match this World Cup. 

STARTERS

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS
1. Eric FryPropVannes46
2. Joe Taufete’eHookerWorcester Warriors25
3. Titi LamositelePropSaracens30
4. Nate BrakeleyLockRugby United New York22
5. Greg PetersonLockNewcastle Falcons28
6. Tony LambornFlankerMelbourne Rebels (AUS)
Hawke’s Bay Magpies (NZL)
21
7. Hanco GermishuysFlankerGlendale Raptors19
8. Cam DolanNo. 8NOLA Gold49
9. Ruben de HaasScrum halfFree State Cheetahs15
10. AJ MacGintyFlyhalfSale Sharks26
11. Marcel BracheWingWestern Force21
12. Paul LasikeCenterHarlequins17
13. Bryce CampbellCenterLondon Irish30
14. Blaine Scully (C)WingUnattached52
15. Mike Te’oFullbackSan Diego Legion26

RESERVES

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS
16. Dylan FawsittReserveRugby United New York14
17. Olive KilifiReserveSeattle Seawolves29
18. Paul MullenReserveUnattached16
19. Ben LandryReserveEaling Trailfinders23
20. Ben PinkelmanReserveUSA Sevens3
21. Nate AugspurgerReserveSan Diego Legion24
22. Will HooleyReserveBedford Blues13
23. Martin IosefoReserveUSA Sevens8

STAFF

General Manager | Dave Hodges
Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Set Piece | Shawn Pittman
Assistant Coach, Defense | Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Assistant S&C and Analyst | Tom Kindley
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz
Team Manager | Chris Hanson
Assistant Team Manager | Oscar Alvarez


LAST MATCH | FRA 33-9 USA

For majority of the game, the United States put France under pressure. Facing their counterparts for the first time in roughly 15 years, the Eagles emerged much more precise and clinical than they showed in their opening matchup against England. 

The French committed countless penalties which allowed the U.S. to continuously make it into opposition territory and keep the scoreline within touching distance. By halftime, they were behind by only six points and in the 64th minute, another penalty kick by AJ MacGinty put the USA within only three points (12-9). 

France ultimately broke open for another three converted tries to make it 33-9 but the final score was far from a reflection of the competitive nature of the game. 

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS | VIEW STATS 


THE MATCHUP | USA VS ARGENTINA

The Men’s Eagles and Argentina have met eight times with Los Pumas owning all eight wins. Both last faced each other in 2003 where the Argentinians ran away with an 42-8 victory. 

Through the Americas Rugby Championship, the U.S. side has faced Argentina’s secondary side — Argentina XV — a number of times, drawing twice in 2016 and 2017 with their first win coming in 2018. Argentina XV claimed the most recent win in Buenos Aires this year. 

Los Pumas will enter the matchup on a short four-day turnaround after a 39-10 loss to England. The USA returns following six days of rest and preparation from their France game.


COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH GARY GOLD 

“I am proud of the guys for the way they performed against France, disappointed of course that we didn’t get the result but it was still a massive improvement from the week before. 

“Now we just need to build on that performance and continue to remain sharp and collected in the areas we feel will put us in the best position to compete against Argentina.

“We’ve got another opportunity ahead on Wednesday and are looking forward to showing what we can do.” 


RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL C UPDATE 

England increase their lead atop the Pool C standings with their third bonus point win over Argentina. France sit close behind in second place with a decisive clash against the English up ahead to determine who will head into the Quarterfinals as the top seed. 

TEAMPLWDLTFPFPAPDBPPOINTS
ENGLAND3300171192099315
FRANCE33009795128113
ARGENTINA310275974-1526
TONGA300353686-5011
USA200211678-6200

WHERE TO WATCH 

All USA matches in pool play are broadcast LIVE on NBCSN linear television network along with a collection of other games including the Rugby World Cup final. In addition to coverage on NBCSN, fans can also stream every game LIVE and on-demand with NBC Sports Gold’s rugby pass. To purchase rugby pass, click here. To find NBCSN in local listings, click here.


USA Schedule & Results

vs England | 45-7 (L)

vs France | 33-9 (L)

vs Argentina
October 9 | 12:45 AM ET
Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
WATCH | NBCSN + NBC Sports Gold

vs Tonga
October 13 | 1:45 AM ET
Hanazono Rugby Stadium
WATCH | NBCSN + NBC Sports Gold

VIEW FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE HERE

PHOTO CREDIT | MIKE LEE/KLC FOTOS

From South Africa to the States, Flanker Hanco Germishuys has grown with American Rugby

From South Africa to the States, Flanker Hanco Germishuys has grown with American Rugby

Representing your country in a World Cup is undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements in any athlete’s career — regardless of the sport, regardless of the outcome. 

And when Hanco Germishuys first picked up a rugby ball as a baby in South Africa, little did he know his journey would bring him to the highest peak of American rugby.

“As a baby I’d always go to my dad’s rugby matches; and since then, I’ve just played with bigger teams and joined his practices. After that, I was hooked, I’ve been playing since I was six years old,” he said. “When I turned 15 we moved to America and since then I’ve been playing rugby here.” 

When Germishuys moved to the U.S., his passion for rugby moved with him. And even though he was no longer pursuing a well-known and highly recognized national sport, it didn’t change anything.

He’d represent the USA in the first Olympic event that featured rugby in nearly 90 years with the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing; also earning more selections with the High School All-Americans and Under-20s.

Germishuys would remain embedded in the USA’s age-grade programs until he earned his first cap in XVs in 2016 against Brazil. Two years later in 2018, he’d score a crucial try to help the U.S. to its first-ever win over a top-ranked nation against then No. 6 Scotland. 

In the same way Germishuys grew in rugby, rugby has grown more prominent in the United States. 

“When I first came to America when I was 15, in my town, we had maybe three or four teams and now we’re up to maybe 14 teams. There’s definitely a lot of involvement,” he said.

And while the sport continues to carve out its place within the mold of American sport, Germishuys can already attest to the positive impact that comes with having the U.S. compete in a Rugby World Cup.

“One of my coaches back home, his son is seven years old and he’s watching the World Cup as a little boy. I talk to him maybe twice a week and he’s loving it.” 

As the World Cup has spread it’s bright and infectious spirit across the globe, Germishuys reflects on the privilege of representing the stars and stripes at the world’s third-largest single-sport event; something he’s dreamed of since he was the same age as his Coach’s son.

“It’s definitely a new experience being at the World Cup. I’m very excited, especially because I’ve been dreaming about this opportunity since I was six years old with my family. That feeling of being able to run out with my squad and sing the national anthem is definitely something I look forward to.” 

On Wednesday, Hanco Germishuys will start at flanker for the United States second matchup of Rugby World Cup Japan against France. The game kicks off at 3:45 AM ET on both NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold.

United States vs France Roster & Preview

United States vs France Roster & Preview

FUKUOKA, JPN. – Head Coach Gary Gold has named his side for the USA Men’s National Team XV’s next clash of Rugby World Cup 2019 against France Weds, Oct 2 (KO 3:45 AM ET on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold). 

QUICK LINKS   

LIVE STREAM | LIVE UPDATES | USA MEDIA GUIDE  | HOW RUGBY WORKS


MATCH-DAY 23

Following injuries to David Ainu’u, Will Hooley and Paul Lasike, as well as a red card to John Quill, the named  squad will feature eight total changes from last week’s battle with England. 

Forwards will see Eric Fry jump in at prop in what will be his third Rugby World Cup with Nate Brakeley in at lock and Hanco Germishuys starting at flanker. 

The backs will see Bryce Campbell start at center and Mike Te’o start at fullback. Both Te’o and Campbell came off the bench with much-needed energy last week against England with Campbell scoring a try in the final minutes. 

Ben Pinkelman, Thretton Palamo and Will Magie could see their first taste of World Cup action as all three are named to the reserves. Like Fry, Palamo would also be playing in this third Rugby World Cup tournament. 

With David Ainu’u having flown home to continue his recovery, Chance Wenglewski has joined the team in Japan. Will Hooley and Paul Lasike continue to progress daily with medical personnel hoping for both to be available for the final two matches of pool play. 

STARTERS

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS TO DATE
1. Eric FryPropVannes45
2. Joe Taufete’eHookerWorcester Warriors24
3. Titi LamositelePropSaracens29
4. Nate BrakeleyLockRugby United New York21
5. Nick CivettaLockUnattached24
6. Tony LambornFlankerMelbourne Rebels 
Hawke’s Bay Magpies 
20
7. Hanco GermishuysFlankerGlendale Raptors18
8. Cam DolanNo. 8NOLA Gold48
9. Shaun DaviesScrum halfGlendale Raptors26
10. AJ MacGintyFlyhalfSale Sharks25
11. Martin IosefoWingUSA Sevens7
12. Bryce CampbellCenterLondon Irish29
13. Marcel BracheCenterWestern Force20
14. Blaine Scully (C)WingUnattached51
15. Mike Te’oFullbackSan Diego Legion25

RESERVES

PLAYER NAMEPOSITIONCLUBCAPS TO DATE
16. Dylan FawsittReserveRugby United New York13
17. Olive KilifiReserveSeattle Seawolves28
18. Paul MullenReserveUnattached15
19. Greg PetersonReserveNewcastle Falcons27
20. Ben PinkelmanReserveUSA Sevens2
21. Ruben de HaasReserveFree State Cheetahs14
22. Will MagieReserveUnattached25
23. Thretton PalamoReserveHouston SaberCats18

STAFF

General Manager | Dave Hodges
Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Set Piece | Shawn Pittman
Assistant Coach, Defense | Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison 
Assistant S&C and Analyst | Tom Kindley
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr 
Team Doctor | Sam Akhavan
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Massage Therapist | Daliah Hurwitz 
Team Manager | Chris Hanson
Assistant Team Manager | Oscar Alvarez 


LAST MATCH | ENG 45-7 USA

In their opening match of Rugby World Cup 2019, the United States faced England for the first time in roughly 12 years. The Red Roses were sharp to say the least, dominating field position, set piece play and possession to come away with their second bonus point victory of Japan. 

The first 20 minutes of action were close, plagued by an injury to U.S. prop David Ainu’u who came off the field within the first two minutes. U.S. penalties, a powerful English maul and missed tackles allowed the Red Roses to build 19-0 lead at halftime, though the scoreline was still within grasp coming out of the break. 

Where the first half was challenging, the second half became detrimental. The United States were stuck in their own half for far too long as England remained quick off the line and dangerously precise with ball in hand. A red card to U.S. flanker John Quill with injuries to fullback Will Hooley and center Paul Lasike put an unfortunate spin on an already disappointing performance for the USA. 

With a minute to go and England up by 45 points, Ruben de Haas broke the gain line and Bryce Campbell dove over the tryline to signal the never-ending fight by the Americans at full time. 

FULL MATCH RECAP | WATCH HIGHLIGHTS 


THE MATCHUP | USA VS FRANCE 

History will always follow any matchups between the Men’s Eagles and the French as it was nearly a century ago when the U.S. side defeated France to win gold in the 1920 and 1924 Olympic Games. 

Since both first met in 1920, France have sat on the better side of a 2-6 overall record with the USA men falling 31-39 in their most recent meeting in Connecticut 15 years ago (2004). France comes into Wednesday’s matchup as No. 7 in the World Rankings with the U.S. holding steady at No. 13. 

After a narrow 23-21 victory over Argentina, France sit third in Pool C with 4 points and will enter Wednesday’s matchup having had 11 days of rest. The United States comes off of a short week where only six days will separate their previous matchup with England. 


COMMENTS FROM HEAD COACH GARY GOLD 

“It’s been a tough week and more than anything we’re ready to get back out there and prove that we’re a much better rugby team than we showed against England. Based on the standards we set for ourselves, we’re disappointed in our performance as we know we have much more to offer.

“The injuries we’ve picked up present their own challenge, no doubt. But this is a team built with much more than 23 players and we have faith in the ability of the guys selected to step up and do their jobs. 

“France is another very good rugby team whom we know will bring an incredibly physical challenge. We have the utmost respect for them as we do all the teams in our pool and we realize that if we don’t remain sharp or disciplined in every aspect of this game, the French will punish us in the same way. It’ll be a very competitive challenge but one that we welcome with open arms.”


RUGBY WORLD CUP POOL C UPDATE 

Following their victory over the United States, England sit atop the Pool C standings with 10 points from two bonus point wins. 

Argentina come in second at six points, after a narrow loss to France where they still collected a bonus point, as well as a victory over Tonga days ago. The French are third with four points with the U.S. and Tonga still seeking their first points in the table. 

TEAMPLWDLTFPFPABPBPPOINTS
ENGLAND220011801070210
ARGENTINA2101649351426
FRANCE110022321204
USA10011745-3800
TONGA200221563-4800

PHOTO CREDIT | MIKE LEE