USA announce side to face Australia

by Staff Writer

USA head coach Eddie O'Sullivan on Wednesday announced his team to play their third Pool C match against Australia at Wellington Regional Stadium on Friday, with the Irish-born mentor making 14 changes to his Starting XV.

Previously, the USA have never changed their lineup with more than nine different players in successive RWC matches at the same tournament.

It also marked the most changes made by any side so far at Rugby World Cup 2011.

The only player to retain his spot in the starting lineup is second row Hayden Smith.

Six of the players that were not chosen in the first 22 against Ireland and Russia were promoted to the starting lineup. Another, Brian McClenahan, was chosen among the replacements.

Todd Clever, who captained USA against Ireland and Russia, has joined several other key players in being rested and is not even in the 22. The captaincy has been passed to scrumhalf Tim Usasz, who joins Hayden Smith as the two Australian-born players in the USA squad.

A former Australian Universities halfback, Usasz will captain the USA side for the first time in his career. He becomes the 10th Eagles skipper in World Cup history.

With the exception of #3 hooker McLenahan, all of the players who logged less than a game’s worth of time are starting on Friday.

USA:

1. Shawn Pittman

2. Phil Thiel

3. Eric Fry

4. Scott LaValla

5. Hayden Smith

6. Inaki Basauri

7. Pat Danahy

8. JJ Gagiano

9. Tim Usasz (c)

10. Nese Malifa

11. Kevin Swiryn

12. Junior Sifa

13. Tai Enosa

14. Colin Hawley

15. Blaine Scully

Replacements:

16. Brian McClenahan

17. Matekitonga Moeakiola

18. Louis Stanfill

19. Nic Johnson

20. Mike Petri

21. Roland Suniula

22. Chris Wyles

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