USA National Rugby Team


USA's Lineup Steady for Irish Challenge

(Manchester, New Hampshire) 8 June 2000 -- Golden Gate hooker Robbie Flynn has played his way into the starting lineup for the Eagles, one of only two changes for Saturday's USA vs. Ireland match presented by Tullamore Dew.

Flynn, who made an impact off the bench against Canada last week, switches with Kirk Khasigian, while lock Matt Kane returns to the first XV and Tom Kelleher reverts to the bench.

The revised American forwards unit will face an even bigger challenge against Ireland than it did against Canada, with the Irish pack boasting the likes of established professionals Eric Miller, Jeremy Davidson, Paul Wallace and captain Keith Wood.

"There's certainly a lot of experience in that pack," noted USA head coach Duncan Hall, "with Lions and veteran test players. It is the biggest challenge our team has faced for a long time."

The Irish come into the USA determined to end the Eagles' perfect early-season record. The tourists were upset by Argentina last week, and have made no secret of their desire to silence critics with a big performance against the Americans.

For the Eagles, however, it is a 'steady-as-she-goes' approach with three more Epson Cup Pacific Rim matches to follow in July, and the team still a work in progress. "We need to go out and play to the best of our abilities," said Hall, "and learn from the way Ireland play rugby. It will be a totally different type of game to what the Epson Cup teams play, so it will be part of the learning curve.

"We're taking each week as it comes. We want to develop as a team, but every week you're playing for the pride of your country as well."

Organizers are expecting a sell-out crowd at Singer Family Park on Saturday and, while tickets are still available, gate sales will be limited. The USA vs. Ireland match presented by Tullamore Dew kicks-off at 2.00 PM with the curtain raiser between the USA women's development side and Quebec starting at 11.30 AM. Gates open at 10.30 AM.

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

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