USA Rugby World Cup Squad Named for Japan

USA Rugby Release by Aalini Tabani

Head Coach Gary Gold names 18 forwards and 13 backs with 677 cumulative test caps

The No. 13 USA Men’s National Team XVs officially announce the 31-player squad for Rugby World Cup Japan 2019.

Head Coach Gary Gold has named 18 forwards and 13 backs with 10 players having previously competed in a Rugby World Cup (RWC). Three will look ahead to their third World Cup event including Captain Blaine Scully, Eric Fry, and Thretton Palamo. Scully and Fry both competed in 2011 and 2015 while Palamo competed in 2007 as the youngest player in history to appear in an RWC event and 2015.

The group features three Rio 2016 Olympians including Nate Augspurger, Martin Iosefo and Ben Pinkelman. Pinkelman and Iosefo were both recently instrumental in leading the USA Men’s Sevens program to their most successful season in history.

More than half of the named squad began playing rugby at the youth level (middle school and earlier) with another 12 picking up the sport in high school and three doing so in college. A total of 29 players can be considered multi-sport athletes, having played in an official program for a sport other than rugby at one point in their athletic career.

The full squad features 677 cumulative test caps.

Head Coach Gary Gold said: “We’ve picked a pretty balanced team, we’ve gone with 18 forwards and 13 backs. We think that the attrition for this Rugby World Cup, especially our pool, is going to take it out of our forwards, so we’ve gone with an extra forward. We’ve got good depth in almost every position, I think we’re well covered. Where I think we are very lucky is that we’ve got quite a few guys who can play in multiple positions. From that point of view, we thought long and hard about those combinations and how we can best make up the combinations for the squad and what’s going to be a rather attritious pool.”

As the ninth edition of the quadrennial event, the World Cup will run from September 20 – November 2 with the Eagles drawn in Pool C against England (No. 3), France (No. 8), Argentina (No. 11) and Tonga (No. 15).

The United States men have appeared in all but one Rugby World Cup event (1995) with three total wins in the group stages including Japan in 1987 and 2003, as well as Russia in 2011.

In the four years since the last World Cup in England, the Eagles have improved from a 3-5 test match record in 2016 to a 9-1 test match record in 2018. The team will go into Japan 6-2 in test matches this year.


David Ainu’u Prop Toulouse 8
Malon Al-Jiboori Flanker Unattached 5
Nate Brakeley Lock Rugby United New York 21
Nick Civetta Lock Unattached 23
Cam Dolan No. 8 NOLA Gold 47
Dylan Fawsitt Hooker Rugby United New York 12
Eric Fry Prop Vannes 45
Hanco Germishuys Flanker Glendale Raptors 17
James Hilterbrand Hooker Manly Marlins 19
Olive Kilifi Prop Seattle Seawolves 27
Tony Lamborn Flanker Melbourne Rebels (AUS)
Hawke’s Bay Magpies (NZL)
Titi Lamositele Prop Saracens 28
Ben Landry Lock Ealing Trailfinders 22
Paul Mullen Prop Unattached 14
Gregory Peterson Lock Newcastle Falcons 26
Ben Pinkelman Flanker USA Sevens 1
John Quill Flanker Rugby United New York 36
Joseph Taufete’e Hooker Worcester Warriors 23


Blaine Scully (C) Wing Unattached 50
Nate Augspurger Scrumhalf / Wing San Diego Legion 24
Marcel Brache Center/Wing Western Force 19
Bryce Campbell Center London Irish 28
Shaun Davies Scrumhalf Glendale Raptors 25
Ruben De Haas Scrumhalf Free State Cheetahs 13
Will Hooley Fullback Bedford Blues 12
Martin Iosefo Wing USA Sevens 6
Paul Lasike Center Harlequins 16
AJ MacGinty Flyhalf Sale Sharks 24
Will Magie Flyhalf Unattached 25
Thretton Palamo Center Houston SaberCats 18
Mike Te’o Wing San Diego Legion 24


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


Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 will be broadcast LIVE across NBC Sports properties in the United States. A total of 26 matches will be aired on NBCSN linear television network including all USA pool games and the Final on November 2nd. Fans can watch every game LIVE and on-demand through the NBC Sports Gold package available for purchase here.


  • WATCH on NBCSN + NBC Sports Gold
  • vs England, September 26  at 6:45 AM ET Kobe Misaki Stadium
  • vs France, October 2 at 3:45 AM ET Fukuoka Hakatanomori Stadium
  • vs Argentina, October 9 at 12:45 AM ET Kumagaya Rugby Stadium
  • vs Tonga, October 13 at 1:45 AM ET Hanazono Rugby Stadium


Other Articles

DJCoil Rugby articles are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.

About Author

North American Rugby News With A USA Slant