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Eagles Select for Japan

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Eagles Select for Japan

CARSON, Calif. – USA Men's 15s Team Head Coach Mike Tolkin has named his team’s starting roster for its opening match of the IRB Pacific Nations Cup against Japan Saturday, June 14, at StubHub Center.
 
The starting XV features five changes from the Eagles’ starters in last week’s 24-6 loss to Scotland at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas, including the return of Samu Manoa at lock. Danny Barrett will earn his first starting cap at blindside flanker and Nick Wallace will partner Olive Kilifi at prop.
 
Barrett played against the New Zealand Maori All Blacks last November, a non-test match, and was a member of the Eagles Select XV at the 2013 IRB Americas Rugby Championship in Canada last August.
 
“We like the way Danny’s progressed,” Tolkin said. “He’s had a great ARC, he’s done really well in sevens, he’s performed for us in camp. So it adds another ball-carrying option for us.
 
“He’s a good defender, a good, young player. That kind of dictated some of the other moves we had.”
 
Barrett will start alongside Todd Clever, who will captain the Eagles from openside flanker.
 
Andrew Suniula will miss the Pacific Nations Cup with an injury sustained in last weekend’s match, though Phil Thiel retains his spot at hooker despite coming out of the match against Scotland with an apparent first-half injury.
 
Seamus Kelly will take Suniula’s spot at inside center, while Folau Niua will start at outside center.
 
“At Cal, [Kelly] played a lot of 13, and with the Eagles he’s played a lot of 13,” Tolkin said. “But he’s done some 12 and before college he played a lot of 12 so he’s got a lot of experience at both centers.”
 
In total, nine of the starting XV currently hold fewer than 10 international caps; Cam Dolan and Kelly will earn their 10th caps Saturday.
 
“Every game, we play the team we believe suits the opposition,” Tolkin said. “That’s how we go about selections. We think we have young players who can step in and a do a job.”
 
Japan scored six tries, including a penalty try, in a 38-20 win at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo during last year’s Pacific Nations Cup. Clever, who plays professionally for NTT Shining Arcs in Japan’s Top League, earned his 50th cap against Japan.
 
Japan has won the previous four meetings between the two nations and holds a 7-1-12 all-time record against the Eagles.
 
Kickoff at StubHub Center Saturday is scheduled for 7:30PM PT and is live on Universal Sports.
 
USA lineup to face Japan
1. Nick Wallace 
2. Phil Thiel 
3. Olive Kilifi 
4. Samu Manoa 
5. Scott LaValla 
6. Danny Barrett 
7. Todd Clever 
8. Cameron Dolan 
9. Mike Petri 
10. Shalom Suniula 
11. Tim Maupin 
12. Seamus Kelly 
13. Folau Niua 
14. Blaine Scully 
15. Chris Wyles
 
Reserves 
16. Tom Coolican 
17. Eric Fry 
18. Titi Lamositele 
19. Louis Stanfill 
20. Kyle Sumsion 
21. Chad London 
22. Thretton Palamo 
23. Miles Craigwell