The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles and Canada have named their match-day 23 for the finale of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 this Friday, Mar 8 at Starfire Sports in Seattle, WA. Kickoff is set for 7 PM Pacific Time with the game broadcast live on FloRugby in the U.S. and live in Canada on TSN.ca and on tape delay at 11 pm ET/8 pm PT on TSN3. The match is considered a home match for Canada.
Professional rugby commitments in Europe and for Major League Rugby have impacted the availability of players, as well as the consistency of squads from week to week.
USA Head Coach Gary Gold has made six changes to the starting XV and five to the bench from last week’s matchup with Uruguay. The forwards will have David Ainuu starting at loosehead prop, Ben Landry at lock and John Quill returning to start at flanker. The backs have scrumhalf Shaun Davies and wing Mike Te’o returning, while Marcel Brache shifts to fullback with Will Hooley out due to HIA protocol.
In the reserves, Malon Al-Jiboori could gain his second cap, as well a Tadgh Leader. Olive Kilifi joins the squad for the first time in the 2019 ARC. Greg Peterson has returned from France for the match and with Shaun Davies return, Ruben de Haas will come off the bench.
The full match-day 23 owns 402 total caps.
Head Coach Gary Gold said that “Obviously we are hugely disappointed with the result last weekend, especially knowing how important it is for us to execute in a Rugby World Cup year. But, by no means does one loss, or even two losses take away from our ability to come back and have another good string of performances in this last ARC game and as the year continues. We know what we need to do; and as a group, we are committed to one another, committed to our performance and together we’ll overcome this period of adversity.”
“We have massive respect for Canada not only in the way they performed against Argentina XV last week but in how they themselves have evolved as a team. They’re a well-coached group with some very talented players whom we know will apply a lot of pressure on our guys this weekend, especially now that they’ve also qualified for Rugby World Cup. We’ll certainly be focused on putting our best foot forward on Friday as we know the Canadians will not make it easy for us.”
The match against Canada is the last one of the 2019 ARC. The team entered the ARC with high expectations as two-time champions and as favorites to win again. That did not happen and the lessons learned from the competition could help the team in preparation for the Rugby World Cup later in 2019. Opportunities exist to look at areas of concern and to make the necessary corrections. Coaches will also look at positions carefully, particularly with executing under pressure.
Canada Head Coach Kingsley Jones has also made changes in his squad. Phil Mack will make his 2019 debut for Canada, while number 8 Luke Campbell returns from injury to bolster the forward pack. Canada will be captained by flanker Lucas Rumball. Replacement hooker Jordan Olsen could win his test match debut off the bench.
After Canada’s 56-0 win over Chile, the team had a competitive loss to Argentina XV last weekend.
Jones said, “I was pleased with our performance, we were competitive in every department last weekend against a very strong Argentina XV, scoring some good tries with some excellent individual performances.”
“The USA will be disappointed with their home defeat last week, we are expecting a tough game against a highly motivated USA team. They are an excellent side and they will also be looking to end their ARC with a positive result in front of their home fans on Friday,” added Jones.
“There’s a passionate rivalry between these two nations and the USA have had the upper hand lately, so we need to be prepared and maximize the opportunity. A win on Friday would be huge for momentum as we push to the Rugby World Cup.”
USA vs Canada Squads
USA: 1 David Ainuu (Toulouse) 2 Joe Taufete’e (Worcester Warriors) 3 Paul Mullin (Houston SaberCats) 4 Ben Landry (Ealing Trailfinders) 5 Nick Civetta (Doncaster Knights) 6 John Quill (Rugby United New York) 7 Hanco Germishuys (Glendale Raptors) 8 Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold) 9 Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors) 10 Will Magie (Glendale Raptors) 11 Mike Te’o (San Diego Legion) 12 Paul Lasike (Harlequins) 13 Bryce Campbell (London Irish) 14 Blaine Scully (C)(Cardiff Blues) 15 Marcel Brache (Western Force) 16 Kapeli Pifeleti (San Diego Legion) 17 Olive Kilifi (Seattle Seawolves) 18 Dino Waldren (London Irish) 19 Greg Peterson (Bordeaux Bégles) 20 Malon Al-Jiboori (Glendale Raptors) 21 Ruben de Haas (Free State Cheetahs) 22 Tadhg Leader (New England Free Jacks) 23 Gannon Moore (Utah Warriors)
Canada: 1. Hubert Buydens (NOLA Gold) 2. Benoit Piffero (Blagnac Sporting Club) 3. Cole Keith (Toronto Arrows) 4. Conor Keys (Rotherham Titans) 5. Kyle Baillie (NOLA Gold) 6. Justin Blanchet (Bedford Blues) 7. Lucas Rumball (C)(Toronto Arrows) 8. Luke Campbell (James Bay AA) 9. Phil Mack (Seattle Seawolves) 10. Gordon McRorie (Calgary Hornets) 11. Kainoa Lloyd (Toronto Arrows) 12. Ciaran Hearn (London Irish) 13. Nick Blevins (Calgary Hornets) 14. Andrew Coe (Markham Irish) 15. Theo Sauder (Toronto Arrows) 16. Jordan Olsen (Northland) 17. Noah Barker (Glendale Raptors) 18. Ryan Kotlewski (Westshore RFC) 19. Josh Larsen (Austin Elite) 20. Dustin Dobravsky (Castaway Wanderers) 21. Jamie Mackenzie (Toronto Arrows) 22. Pat Parfrey (Unattached) 23. Doug Fraser (Austin Elite)
USA Men’s Eagles Staff
Head Coach Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards Shawn Pittman
Defense Coach Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer Kristen Douhan
Team Manager Chris Hanson
USA Men’s Eagles: Americas Rugby Championship 2019 Results
- vs Chile 71-8 (W)
- vs Argentina XV 45-14 (L)
- vs Brazil 33-28 (W)
- vs Uruguay 25-32 (L)
- Friday, Mar 8 vs Canada 7:10 PM PT Starfire Sports, Seattle, WA Get Tickets
Rugby Canada: Americas Rugby Championship 2019 Results
- Canada 17 – 20 Uruguay
- Canada 10 – 18 Brazil
- Canada 56 – 0 Chile
- Canada 23-39 Argentina XV
- Canada vs. USA