USA Rugby Men”s Eagles Face Samoa: 2019 Pacific Nations Cup

The USA Men’s National Team XVs will play their second match of the Pacific Nations Cup 2019 against No. 16 Samoa on Friday, Aug 2 at 10:30 PM ET on NBC Sports Gold in Suva, Fiji.  Last Saturday, the USA defeated Canada 47-19 in front of a sellout crowd in Colorado, and sit atop the tournament standings. Samoa opened their PNC with a 25-17 win over Tonga, their first over them in three years.

Head Coach Gary Gold has made five changes in the starters and an additional four in the reserves from last week’s match against Canada.

In the forwards, James Hilterbrand, Greg Peterson , and Tony Lamborn are at hooker, lock, and flanker, respectively. Dylan Fawsitt movers to the reserves, Nick Civetta is out of the PNC with a lower limb injury and Malon Al-Jiboori is rested as the coaching staff looks at other players from the Rugby World Cup 2019 squad.

In the backs, Rugben De Haas is in for Shaun Davies at scrumhalf and Paul Lasike replaces Marcel Brache at center, who continues HIA protocol.

Nate Brakeley, Ben Pinkelman, Nate Augspurger and Will Magie have all been named to the reserves with Pinkelman having an opportunity to earn his first cap in XVs. Augspurger last played with the Eagles in June 2018 and missed tests in 2019 after recovering from injury.

The full match-day 23 owns 391 cumulative test caps.

The United States men and Samoa will meet for the first time since the 2018 Autumn Internationals where the Eagles beat the Samoans, 30-29 for the first time in history.

Following Samoa, the United States will face World Cup hosts Japan in the finale of Pacific Nations Cup 2019.

Samoa haed Coach Steve Jackson has made ten changes in his starters since last week’s win over Tonga. The team has a number of professionals playing in the English Premiership, PRO14, the French Top 14, and from Super Rugby. Both Senio Toleafoa and Henry Stowers will earn their first caps for Somoa as they start at lcok and flanker, respectively. Johnny Vaili earned his first cap at wing last week.

The reserves includes four experienced starters from last week in props Logovi’i Multipola and Paul Alo-Emile at loosehead and tighthead, respectively. Afa Amosa was at No8 and Rey Lee-Lo at inside center. Jack Lam is also a very experienced back row. JJ Taulagi is a reserve again and looks to make an impact as the match dictates.

*Indicates uncapped player 

USA:  1. Chance Wenglewski (Rugby ATL, 4) 2. James Hilterbrand (Manly Marlins,AUS,18) 3. Paul Mullen (Houston SaberCats, 11) 4. Ben Landry (Ealing Trailfinders,ENG,19) 5. Gregory Peterson (Newcastle Falcons , ENG, 23) 6. Tony Lamborn (Melbourne Rebels,AUS/Hawkesbay Magpies,NZL,18) 7. John Quill (Rugby United New Yor, k34) 8. Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold, 45) 9. Ruben De Haas (Free State Cheetahs, RSA, 12) 10. AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks, ENG, 22) 11. Martin Iosefo (USA Sevens, 4) 12. Paul Lasike (Harlequins, ENG, 13) 13. Bryce Campbell (London Irish, ENG, 26) 14. Blaine Scully (C) (Unattached, 47) 15. Will Hooley (Bedford Blues, ENG, 9) 16. Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York, 9) 17. David Ainu’u (Toulouse Rugby, FRA,6) 18. Paddy Ryan (Rugby United New York, 5) 19. Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York, 18) 20. Ben Pinkelman*R (USA Sevens, 0) 21. Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion, 21) 22. Will Magie (Glendale Raptors, 23) 23. Madison Hughes (USA Sevens, 4)

Samoa: 1 Jordan Lam 2 Seilala Lam 3 James Lam 4 Teafilo Paulo 5 Senio Toleafoa 6 Henry Stowers 7 TJ Ionane 8 Piula Faasalele (C) 9 Peleifofoga Cowley 10 AJ Alatimu 11 Alapati Leiua 12 Henry Taefu 13 Kieron Fonotia 14 Johnny Vaili 15 Ahsee Tuala 16 Raymond Elia 17 Logovi’i Mulipola 18 Paul Alo-Emile 19 Jack Lam 20 Afa Amosa 21 Auvasa Felealii 22 Rey Lee-Lo 23 JJ Taulagi 24 Kane Le’aupepe


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 | Mark Drown

The USA are currently atop the Pacific Nations Cup standings on points differential with Japan close behind and Friday’s opponent Samoa after them. Round Two will see Japan face Tonga and Fiji face Canada which could shake the outlook of the standings with only one more week for teams to build on their position. Matchups this weekend will be crucial to gain momentum in the standings and remain in contention for the PNC title awarded next week.



USA 1 1 0 0 47 19 28 6 3 1 5
TONGA 1 0 0 1 17 25 -8 3 3 0 0
FIJI 1 0 0 1 21 34 -13 3 5 0 0


JAPAN 1 1 0 0 34 21 13 5 3 1 5
SAMOA 1 1 0 0 25 17 8 3 3 0 4
CANADA 1 0 0 1 19 47 -28 3 6 0 0

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant