The No. 16 USA Men’s National Team will face No. 22 Canada in a two-match Rugby World Cup Qualifier Series on September 4 at Swilers Rugby Club, St John’s, Newfoundland, and on September 11 at Infinity Park at Glendale.
The kickoff on September 4 is 3 pm local time (1:30 pm ET) and on September 11 is 7 pm local time (9 pm ET). The matches will be broadcast on Flo Rugby in the U.S. and on Premier Sports in Canada.
The winner of the two-match North American series is determined by an aggregate score across both games. The winner will move on to face Uruguay on October 2 and 10, with the victor of this series qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023 as Americas’ #1.
The loser of the two-match North American series will move on to face Chile on October 2 and 10, with the victor qualifying for Rugby World Cup 2023 as Americas’ #1. The loser will have one last chance to qualify for the Rugby World Cup 2023 in the Repechage that will be held in 2022.
USA Men’s Head Coach Gary Gold said “This is the first of two very crucial games for us in terms of Rugby World Cup qualification. We are very clear on what our roles are and what we need to do this weekend and now it’s time to execute against those plans.
“As a squad, we have had to adapt not only over the past year but in these last two weeks as the travel restrictions and safety requirements due to COVID-19 have changed the preparation landscape for everyone. On top of that, Canada brings a well-coached and formidable side with a wealth of talented players. They have proven time and time again just how much of a threat they are in terms of their game plan, experience, and rugby intelligence as we all saw at our warm-up match back in 2019.
“All our focus and energy right now is on Canada this weekend in St John’s as they pose a massive challenge for us.”
Saint Mary’s of California graduate, Tavita Lopeti, who was selected in the recent Major League Rugby Draft by the Seattle Seawolves, could make his Eagles debut as a reserve.
Thirteen of 15 USA starters played this season in Major League Rugby, with another three on the reserves. The forwards have a strong Rugby United New York influence with Dylan Fawsitt, Nate Blakely, Nick Civetta, and Hanco Germishuys having played together all season. Chance Wenglewski previously played with Rugby United New York in 2019 and has worked well with Fawsitt in the front row, with Utah Warriors Paul Mullen playing in the front row for the Eagles the last few years. Old Glory DC’s Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz and NOLA Gold’s Cam Dolan, with 53 caps round out the starting forwards.
The halfback combination of Ruben de Haas and Will Magie are seasoned veterans, with speedsters Mika Kruse and Christian Dyer on the wings. The center pairing of Bryce Campbell and Marcel Brache adds another strong veteran presence with LA Giltinis Luke Carty at fullback.
Gary Gold elected to bring his European players off the bench with a front row of Kapeli Pifeleti (Saracens), David Ainu’u (Toulouse), and Joe Taufete’e (Lyon), with San Diego Legion lock Siaosi Mahoni, NOLA Gold’s MLR Rookie of the Year, Andrew Guerra at flanker. Former USA captain and San Diego Legion scrum half Nate Augspurger, Seattle Seawolves Tavita Lopeti, and Sale Sharks AJ MacGinty provide a strong group of reserves, who will make their presence felt later in the match.
Canada also has a strong Major League Rugby presence in the match with 9 starters and all 8 reserves. Ten of the MLR players are from the Toronto Arrows.
Seattle Seawolves Djustice Sear-Duru and Toronto Arrows Andrew Quattrin are in the front row along with Castres tighthead prop Matt Tierney. The locks are Corey Thomas and Conor Keys, who plays for the LA Giltinis and Rugby ATL, respectively. The back-row includes Toronto Arrows Lucas Rumball and Siaki Vikilani with Rugby ATL Matt Heaton at openside flanker.
The Canadian backs include Arrows Ross Braude with pairs with Peter Nelson (Aurillac). The Arrows centers Spencer Jones and Ben LeSage, join Pacific Pride wings Kainoa Lloyd and Brock Webster, who will debut for the side. Canadian Sevens Cooper Coates is at fullback.
The reserves all come from Major League Rugby with a front row of Eric Howard (Nola Gold), along with Toronto Arrows props Cole Keith and Tyler Rowland. Mason Flesch (Toronto Arrows) is a lock. with Michael Smith (San Diego Legion) rounding out the forwards at flanker.
Back reserves include flyhalf Rob Povey (Houston SaberCats), scrum-half Jason Higgins (Toronto Arrows), and fullback/wing Patrick Parfrey (Toronto Arrows).
USA: 1 Chance Wenglewski 2 Dylan Fawsitt 3 Paul Mullen 4 Nate Brakely 5 Nick Civetta 6 Hanco Germishuys 7 Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz 8 Cam Dolan 9 Ruben De Haas 10 Will Magie 11 Mika Kruse 12 Bryce Campbell (C) 13 Marcel Brache 14 Christian Dyer 15 Luke Carty 16 Kapeli Pifeleti 17 David Ainu’u 18 Joe Taufete’e 19 Siaosi Mahoni 20 Andrew Guerra 21 Nate Augspurger 22 Tavita Lopeti 23 AJ MacGinty
Canada: 1 DJustice Sears-Duru 2 Andrew Quattrin 3 Matt Tierney 4 Corey Thomas 5 Conor Keys 6 Lucas Rumball 7 Matt Heaton 8 Siaki Vikilani 9 Ross Braude 10 Peter Nelson 11 Kainola Lloyd 12 Spencer Jones 13 Ben LeSage 14 Brock Webster 15 Cooper Coates 16 Eric Howard 17 Cole Keith 18 Tyler Rowland 19 Mason Flesch 20 Michael Smith 21 Rob Povey 22 Jason Higgins 23 Patrick Parfrey
USA 31 Man Squad
- LHP: David Ainu’u (Toulouse, FR), Matt Harmon (NOLA Gold), Chance Wenglewski (Rugby ATL)
- H: Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York), Kapeli Pifeleti (Saracens, UK), Mike Sosene-Feagai (Old Glory DC)
- THP: Paul Mullen (Utah Warriors), Joe Taufete’e (Lyon, FR), Dino Waldren (NOLA Gold)
- L: Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York), Nick Civetta (Rugby United New York), Siaosi Mahoni (San Diego Legion), Greg Peterson (Newcastle Falcons, UK)
- BR: Benjamín Bonasso (Rugby United New York), Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold), Hanco Germishuys (Rugby United New York), Jamason Fa’anana-Schultz (Old Glory DC), Andrew Guerra (NOLA Gold), Moni Tonga’uiha (NOLA Gold)
- SH: Nate Ausgpurger (San Diego Legion), Michael Baska (Utah Warriors), Ruben de Haas (Saracens, UK)
- FH: Luke Carty (LA Giltinis), AJ MacGinty (capt., Sale Sharks, UK)
- C: Marcel Brache (Western Force, AU), Bryce Campbell (Austin Gilgronis), Ryan Matyas (San Diego Legion)
- W: Christian Dyer (USA Sevens), Ryan James (LA Giltinis), Mika Kruse (Utah Warriors)
- FB: Will Magie (Austin Gilgronis)
Canada 30 Man Squad
Uncapped players include Toronto Arrows Spencer Jones, Mason Flesch, and Jason Higgins in the 30-man selection, along with the Pacific Pride pair, Foster DeWitt and Brock Webster.
- LHP: Cole Keith (Toronto Arrows), Djustice Sears-Duru (Seattle Seawolves), Foster DeWitt (Pacific Pride)
- H: Eric Howard (NOLA Gold), Andrew Quattrin (Toronto Arrows)
- THP: Jake Ilnicki (Seattle Seawolves), Tyler Rowland (Toronto Arrows)
- L: Matt Tierney (Castres, FR), Kyle Baillie (NOLA Gold), Conor Keys (Rugby ATL), Corey Thomas (LA Giltinis)
- BR: Mason Flesch (Toronto Arrows), Matt Heaton (Rugby ATL), Lucas Rumball (Toronto Arrows), Michael Smith (San Diego Legion), Siaki Vikilani (Toronto Arrows)
- SH: Ross Braude (Toronto Arrows), Jason Higgins (Toronto Arrows)
- FH: Will Kelly (Toronto Arrows), Peter Nelson (Aurillac, FR), Robbie Povey (Houston SaberCats)
- C: Brock Webster (Pacific Pride), Spencer Jones (Toronto Arrows), Lockie Kratz (NOLA Gold), Ben LeSage (Toronto Arrows), Quinn Ngawati (Rugby United New York)
- W: Cole Davis (Austin Gilgronis), Kainoa Lloyd (Pacific Pride)
- FB: Patrick Parfrey (Toronto Arrows), Cooper Coats (Canada Sevens)
USA Men’s XVs National Team Staff
- Head Coach Gary Gold
- Asst Coach Rob Hoadley
- Asst Coach Steve Brett
- Asst Coach Shawn Pittman
- Head of Strength & Conditioning Huw Bevan
- Asst. Strength & Conditioning Josh Schnell
- Performance Analyst Jimmy Harrison
- Team Doctor Sam Akhavan
- Head Physiotherapist Kristen Douhan
- Athletic Trainer Ron Klingensmith
- Sports Massage Therapist Dahlia Hurwitz
- Team Manager Oscar Alvarez
- Head coach Kingsley Jones
- Assistant Coach Rob Howley
- Assistant Coach Phil Mack
- Strength & Conditioning Michael Deasy
The Americas Qualification Process
Round 1 – USA vs Canada
- USA at Canada September 4, KO 3 PM NT, Swilers Rugby Club, St John’s, Newfoundland
- Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistants: Moe Chaudhry (Canada) & Robin Kaluzniak (Canada)
TMO: Chris Assmus (Canada)
September 11, 2021, vs Canada, KO 7 PM MT, Infinity Park, Glendale, CO Tickets Here
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistants: Scott Green (USA) & Luke Rogan (USA)
TMO: Derek Summers (USA)
- *Winner on net points is North America 1
- *Loser on net points is North America 2
Round 2 – North America vs South America
- Uruguay (South America 1) at North America 1 on October 2
- Chile (South America 2) at North America 2 on October 2
- North America 2 at Chile on October 10
- North America 1 at Uruguay on October 10
- *Winner on net points earns automatic qualification in RWC 2023 as Americas 1
- *The loser on net points plays the winner of below for Americas 2
October 2, 2021, vs South America TBC KO 6 PM MT, Infinity Park, Glendale, CO, Tickets Here
October 11, 2021, vs South America TBC, Time and location TBC
Round 3 – TBD in 2022
- The loser of Uruguay v North America 1 series plays the winner of Chile v North America 2
- The winner of this net points series qualifies automatically for RWC ‘23 as Americas 2
The loser of Round 3 still has one last opportunity to qualify for the RWC by representing the Americas in the Repechage tournament.
**Argentina automatically qualified for the 2023 RWC based on their performance in the 2019 RWC
Other USA Tests
October 23, 2021, vs All Blacks, KO 3 PM ET FedEx Field, Washington, D.C. Tickets Here
October 30, 2021, vs Ireland, KO To be Confirmed, Allegiant Stadium, Las Vegas, NV, Tickets Here
DJCoil Rugby articles by Doug Coil are also available on Facebook. Other Social Media sites to follow or subscribe to include Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube for interviews.