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Sweeping changes for USA

21st September 2011 05:23

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Tim Usasz

Tim Usasz: To lead the Eagles

USA coach Eddie O'Sullivan has made wholesale changes to his line-up for Friday's Pool C encounter with Australia in Wellington.

Among 14 changes, Australia-born scrum-half Tim Usasz takes the captain's armband from flanker Todd Clever, who misses out on the matchday squad altogether.

Only Saracens second row Hayden Smith retains his place in the Eagles side following the 13-6 victory over Russia. Last week's forward starters Matekitonga Moeakiola, Louis Stanfill and Nic Johnson are named on the bench.

Six of the players that were not chosen in the first 22 against Ireland and Russia were promoted to the starting line-up.

"There's quite a few changes. It's a fairly mixed bag," O'Sullivan said.

"But the guys are bringing lots of energy.

"We're not throwing a bunch of rookies in there. There are a lot of guys who were close to starting against Ireland and against Russia.

"We'll have to keep our heads, keep the tempo and stick with it."

USA: 15 Blaine Scully, 14 Colin Hawley, 13 Tai Enosa, 12 Junior Sifa, 11 Kevin Swiryn, 10 Nese Malifa, 9 Tim Usasz (capt), 8 JJ Gagiano, 7 Pat Danahy, 6 Inaki Basauri, 5 Hayden Smith, 4 Scott LaValla, 3 Eric Fry, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Shawn Pittman.
Replacements: 16 Brian McClenahan, 17 Matekitonga Moeakiola, 18 Louis Stanfill, 19 Nic Johnson, 20 Mike Petri, 21 Roland Suniula, 22 Chris Wyles.

Date: Friday, September 23
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 20.30 (08.30 GMT)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Wayne Barnes (England), Vinny Munro (New Zealand)
TMO: Tim Hayes (Wales)

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