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. 

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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