(Toronto, Canada) 18 June 1999 -- One eye on Saturday, one eye on the World Cup remains the USA's theme as it prepares to play Canada in an Epson Cup match tomorrow in Toronto.
The US makes four changes and introduces one new cap against the defending champions, looking to get back in the winner's column but continuing to build a player pool primed for October's world championship, US manager Rick Humm today said in announcing the team.
At prop, Joe Clayton earns his first start after a strong performance for the USA Developmental XV the same weekend the Eagles downed Tonga. George Sucher moves over to tighthead to anchor the scrum.
Elsewhere, Chris Morrow has rebounded from a national club championship match injury to make his second start at fullback, while Alec Parker earns his second start at lock. Morrow and Kurt Shuman and Parker and Philippe Farner have been splitting time so far this season.
The same is true in the centers, where Juan Grobler and Alatini Saulala get the nod, and Mark Scharrenberg goes to the reserves bench despite scoring a crucial try last Saturday against Japan.
Dan Lyle skippers the team. The forward pack also includes hooker Tom Billups, lock Luke Gross, and flankers Dave Hodges and Richard Tardits. Leading scorer Kevin Dalzell is at halfback, with David Niu at flyhalf. Vaea Anitoni and Brian Hightower, now with three tries in three games, are at wing.
Of special note, hooker Billups and wing Anitoni each make their 39th international appearances tomorrow, breaking Chris Lippert's one-year-old record for Eagle caps.
United States: Chris Morrow; Vaea Anitoni, Alatini Saulala, Juan
Grobler, Brian Hightower; David Niu, Kevin Dalzell; Joe Clayton*, Tom
Billups, George Sucher, Luke Gross, Alec Parker, Dave Hodges, Richard
Tardits, Dan Lyle (captain).
Reserves: Bill LeClerc, Shaun Paga, Philippe Farner, Kirk Khasigian, Britt Howard, Mark Williams, Mark Scharrenberg.
* = new cap
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