Eagles Name Starting XV for Critical RWC Qualifier
The USA Eagles will try and finish what they started last weekend in Uruguay and qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Mike Tolkin’s side return home after a 27-27 tie in the first leg and will look to take care of business on Saturday at Fifth Third Bank Stadium at Kennesaw State University.
3 changes have been made with the starting line-up from last weekend. Luis Stanfill replaces Hayden Smith, Seamus Kelly replaces Folau Niua, and Luke Hume replaces Tim Maupin.
After a less than stellar performance in the first leg, especially in the opening half, the Eagles have been training as a team the last week and this should pay dividend in the deciding match.
“We’ve gotten much more familiar as a group with the playing style,” Tolkin said. “We’ve had a lot more repetitions and the guys have spent more time on the field together. It’s been good to be at home.”
A spot in England at the 2015 Rugby World Cup is on the line. If the U.S. wins they will be placed in Pool B as Americas 2 along with South Africa, Samoa, Scotland, and the Asia 1 qualifier.
With a loss, the Eagles will be placed in the Repechage tournament.
The Repechage tournament determines the 20th and final qualifier to the RWC. It is contested by the 4 best non-qualifying teams from each region, excluding Oceania. The play-off includes a 1 game semifinal and two leg home and away final. The losing team on Saturday would open the semifinal against the 2nd place team from Asian qualification.