USA National Rugby Team


USA Makes One Change for Canada Match

(Manchester, New Hampshire) 31 May 2000 -- Boston's Tom Kelleher is set to make his international debut in front of a home crowd, as the Eagles make only one change for their Epson Cup match against Canada this Saturday.

Kelleher, a 6'5" lock, comes in for collegiate All-American Matt Kane in what is a tactical decision by head coach Duncan Hall. "Tom is a good driving forward, and we've selected a team for this game specifically," said Hall whose side will be challenged to match the physicality and aggression of the Maple Leafs.

The front row sees John McBride at loosehead, Kirk Khasigian at hooker and Ray Lehner at tighthead, while Philippe Farner will pair with Kelleher at lock. In the backrow, captain Dave Hodges stays at No. 8 with Don Younger and Kort Schubert on the flanks.

In the backs, scrumhalf Kevin Dalzell and flyhalf Grant Wells combine again and the centers are Denver's Juan Grobler and Chicago's Philip Eloff. Kurt Shuman starts at fullback, with Andre Blom on the right wing, and Malakai Delai on the left.

"We had a great start last week and we want to consolidate this week," said Hall. "Canada always plays the USA with a lot of pride and their young players have a good deal of experience in the Canadian development program. It's going to be a very difficult encounter for us."

The Eagles will need to watch out for Canada's captain Al Charron in particular. The Bristol-based lock had a stand-out performance in the Maple Leafs' win over Tonga two weeks ago.

The USA's bench remains the same except for the call-up of Olympic Club center Ryan Fried who replaces Jovesa Naivalu.

Saturday's international match in Manchester, New Hampshire shares the spotlight with the division one men's club national championships. In Saturday's semi-finals, to be played prior to the test, OMBAC faces Hayward, while Golden Gate squares off against Aspen.

United States: Kurt Shuman; Andre Blom, Juan Grobler, Philip Eloff, Malakai Delai; Grant Wells, Kevin Dalzell; John McBride, Kirk Khasigian, Ray Lehner, Tom Kelleher, Philippe Farner, Don Younger, Dave Hodges (captain), Kort Schubert.
Reserves: John McGeachy, Link Wilfley, Ryan Fried, John Burke, Tom Kelleher, Joe Clayton, Robbie Flynn.

© USA National Rugby Team
Scott Compton, Media Relations
Hudson Rugby Fieldhouse
Berkeley, California 94720 4426
phone 510.643.1971 / fax 510.643.2192