Saxons and Eagles set for Colorado clash
June 13, 2010
Saracens' Alex Goode will fill the England Saxons No.10 shirt against the USA © Getty Images
England Saxons head coach Stuart Lancaster has made nine changes to his starting line-up to face USA in their latest Churchill Cup clash in Glendale, Colorado.
Gloucester's Nick Wood, Wasps' George Skivington and Tom Varndell, Gloucester's Luke Narraway, Leicester's Anthony Allen and Bath's Nick Abendanon are the only survivors from Wednesday's 49-17 victory over Russia.
Saracens' Alex Goode comes in at fly-half for Stephen Myler, who takes his place on the bench with Northampton's Lee Dickson taking over from Newcastle's Micky Young at scrum-half. Montpellier's Ollie Smith starts on the wing in place of Gloucester's James Simpson-Daniel. In the front row London Irish's Alex Corbiserio makes his first Saxons start with Leeds' Kearnan Myall taking over from Worcester's Tom Wood in the second row.
"We have made several changes going into the USA game to give players opportunities to show their potential in what is effectively a semi-final," said Lancaster. "We have obviously only had a short turnaround since the Russia match but we've had a chance to review that game. We had some positives but also one or two areas we need to improve on going into tomorrow's match. We are expecting a tough encounter with USA on home soil, especially with them having plenty of time to prepare, so we need to be focused and get our execution right from kick off."
USA Eagles coach Eddie O'Sullivan has made nine changes to his starting line-up with four up front and five in the backs with a further three players set for their international bow off the bench.
"We were happy to start with the win," said O'Sullivan reflecting on his own side's 39-22 victory over Russia. "But we are very aware that the England Saxons side is a completely different animal. We have made a lot of changes to the team as we want to be able to get a good look at all of our players in several different combinations. We are very focused on this next match, but are also looking to build some depth as we head into the Rugby World Cup in 2011."
Joining last week's star performer Shawn Pittman in the front row are Anthony Purpura and Chris Biller, who both came off the bench against Russia. Scott Lavalla and captain John Van der Giessen return at lock while the loose forwards are all new to the starting line-up with flankers Patrick Danahy and Dan LaPrevotte set to pack down alongside No.8 Jonathan Gagiano.
Volney Rouse and Tim Usasz get the nod at fly-half and scrum-half respectively with Mike Petri and Nese Malifa providing cover on the bench. Andrew Suniula, Paul Emerick and Takudzwa Ngwenya all retain their places while outside centre Alipate Tuilevuka adds even more size to the back line. Elsewhere, California's Colin Hawley has made his way into the line-up at fullback after competing in the USA 7s Collegiate Championship Invitational (CCI) in Ohio last weekend.
On the bench, Phil Thiel, Louis Stanfill and NFL recruits Brian Howard and Leonard Peters look for time as forward replacements, while Petri and Malifa are joined by another USA 7s CCI participant, Blaine Scully .
Following this round of pool play, all six teams will be ranked for the Churchill Cup finals, which are set to take place on June 19, at the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J.
USA Eagles: Colin Hawley (California); Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz Olympique), Alipate Tuilevuka (Provo Steelers), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Paul Emerick (Parma RFC); Volney Rouse (Te Kawau), Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC); Tony Purpura (Boston Rugby Club), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Shawn Pittman (Bayside RFC), John Van de Giessen (Sporting Club Albi, captain), Scott Lavalla (Dublin University), Patrick Danahy (Life Univeristy), Dan LaPrevotte (San Francisco Golden Gate), J.J. Gagiano(University of Cape Town)
Replacements: Phillip Thiel (Life University), Brian Howard (Old Puget Sound Beach), Louis Stanfill (Canberra Royals), Leonard Peters (Gentlemen of Aspen), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Nese Malifa (Belmont Shore), Blaine Scully (California)
England Saxons: Nick Abendanon (Bath Rugby); Ollie Smith (Montpellier), Anthony Allen (Leicester Tigers), Brad Barritt (Saracens), Tom Varndell (London Wasps); Alex Goode (Saracens), Lee Dickson (Northampton Saints); Nick Wood (Gloucester Rugby), Andy Titterrell (Leeds Carnegie), Alex Corbiserio (London Irish), James Hudson (Newcastle Falcons), George Skivington (London Wasps, captain), Kearnan Myall (Leeds Carnegie), Andy Saull (Saracens), Luke Narraway (Gloucester Rugby)
Replacements: Tom Lindsay (London Wasps), Duncan Bell (Bath Rugby), Graham Kitchener (Worcester Warriors), Tom Wood (Worcester Warriors), Micky Young (Newcastle Falcons), Stephen Myler (Northampton Saints), Jon Clarke (Northampton Saints)
The All Blacks' form is not a peaking issue, but Hansen must threaten to wield his axe, to demand improvement, Craig Dowd writes
"It has been the World Cup that smashed down the gender barriers of the sport." Tom Hamilton looks back at a remarkable tournament
A selection of the best pictures from England's historic World Cup triumph in Paris as they beat Canada 21-9
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Women's World Cup, the opening round of the Top 14 and the Rugby Championship