USA National Rugby Team


US Names Great Britain Tour Squad

(Berkeley, California) 7 August 1999 -- The United States welcomes three players back from injury for this month's tour of England and Wales, but has lost another for both the tune-up trip and October's World Cup.

Veteran flyhalf Mark Williams rejoins the squad after an injury-marred Epson Cup Pacific Rim campaign, while flanker Richard Tardits has recovered from a hamstring injury and center Mark Scharrenberg returns from a knee injury.

Lock Philippe Farner has been sidelined by a back operation on a bulging disc, however, and will miss the Rugby World Cup campaign. A 1999 debutant, Farner quickly became a mainstay during the Epson Cup, rotating with Luke Gross and Alec Parker. His absence means a call-up for Eric Reed, who joins the national team for the first time.

The other new face may be winger Sinapati Uigalelei, whose dominant, MVP-performance at USA Rugby's Division II championship tournament in June caught the attention of National Team coaches and selectors. The 20-year-old is nursing a slight knee injury and will need to come through a fitness test before the team leaves for England.

Elsewhere, forwards Rob Johnston and Mark L'Huillier did enough in last month's Queensland match to earn another look from selectors, with prop Bill LeClerc making way for the Sydney-based L'Huillier, a 1998 Pacific Coast selection. The remainder of the squad is unchanged from the Australia tour.

Players have a last chance to press for a Rugby World Cup roster spot, said US head coach Jack Clark on announcing the team. "While the nucleus of our team is stable, there are perhaps ten places in the squad that remain up-for-grabs.

"We will face very good teams on this tour and we are waiting to see which players stake their World Cup claim in the face of such competiton."

Captained by Dan Lyle, the US faces England A on August 17 in Northampton, England on August 21 at Twickenham, and Wales in a non-cap match on August 30 at Cardiff's newly renovated Millenium Stadium.

United States: Forwards: Tom Billups, Joe Clayton, Dougald Gillies, Luke Gross, Dave Hodges, Rob Johnston, Kirk Khasigian, Marc L'Huillier, Ray Lehner, Rob Lumkong, Dan Lyle (captain), Fifita Mounga, Shaun Paga, Alec Parker, Eric Reed, George Sucher, Richard Tardits. Backs: Vaea Anitoni, Kevin Dalzell, Juan Grobler, Brian Hightower, Britt Howard, Chris Morrow, David Niu, Alatini Saulala, Mark Scharrenberg, Kurt Shuman, Tomasi Takau, Sinapati Uiagalelei, Mark Williams.

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Scott Compton
USA National Rugby Team
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