Wing Vaea Anitoni, the championship's leading try scorer with total of six in five games, spearheads the offensive attack. The USA leads the league in points scored. Coming off a 22-point performance last weekend, flyhalf Matt Alexander will also play an important role.
The tight five has remained unchanged from the game last week, with Chris Lippert, Tom Billups and Bill LeClerc in the front and Luke Gross and Alec Parker the big men in the second row. The backrow sees one change as stalwart openside flanker Richard Tardits shakes off an injury sustained last month against Canada. Rob Lumkong at number eight and blindside flanker Dan Lyle round out the trio. The captain's role again falls to Lyle.
In the backs, Malakai Dabuvuya replaces the injured Tomasi Takau at wing, while Andre Bachelet and Alexander form a familiar pairing as the halfback combination. Mark Scharrenberg and Ray Green assume the duties in the centers, and will undoubtedly see their ability to tackle tested as the Japanese team attack with an open style of rugby that is the hallmark of their game.
The US will be looking to revenge the 24-18 loss to Japan on June
16th in Tokyo, while the visitors are aware that a win will set the
stage for a chance to claim the championship with a victory over
Canada next week in Vancouver.