Eagles Name Starting XV for Critical RWC Qualifier
Posted: March 28, 2014 at 10:04 pm
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.