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). 

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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