Eagles name record-breaker MacDonald

Date published: September 10 2011

Mike MacDonald will become the USA's most-capped player when he turns out in the Eagles' clash against Ireland.

Mike MacDonald will become the USA's most-capped player when he turns out in the Eagles' opening World Cup clash against Ireland.

McDonald will represent the Eagles for the 63rd time on Sunday, surpassing the record previously held by Luke Gross.

The prop, together with centre Paul Emerick, will also equal the record of eight World Cup appearances, currently held by Alec Parker.

Eagles coach Eddie O'Sullivan has made eight changes to the team that lost to Japan in their final warm-up clash.

In the back-line, Taku Ngwenya replaces Kevin Swiryn on the wing while Andrew Suniula comes in for Tai Enosa in the midfield, with Paul Emerick moving one over to outside centre. Roland Suniula starts at fly-half, with Nese Malifa dropping to the bench.

Patrick Danahy is the only back row survivor from the Japan clash, with JJ Gagiano and Louis Stanfill replaced by Nic Johnson and returning skipper Todd Clever respectively. At lock, John van der Giessen replaces Scott LaValla who has to make do with a spot on the bench. In the final change, Shawn Pittman replaces Eric Fry at prop.

Rugby World Cup betting odds

USA: 15 Blaine Scully, 14 Taku Ngwenya, 13 Paul Emerick, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 James Paterson, 10 Roland Suniula, 9 Mike Petri, 8 Nic Johnson, 7 Todd Clever (capt), 6 Louis Stanfill, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 John van der Giessen, 3 Shawn Pittman, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Chris Biller, 17 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 18 Scott LaValla, 19 Pat Danahy, 20 Tim Usasz, 21 Nese Malifa, 22 Colin Hawley.

Date: Sunday, September 11
Venue: New Plymouth
Kick-off: 18:00 (06:00 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Carlo Damasco (Italy)
Television match official: Graham Hughes (England)