USA National Rugby Team


Strong US Side Named for Queensland

(Brisbane, Australia) 22 July 1999 --The USA has named a near full-strength side for its match against Queensland at Ballymore on Saturday night. The only changes are at inside center, where Tomasi Takau gets his first start of 1999, and at lock, where injuries give Australian-based Rob Johnston an opportunity. The only player to double up from the big midweek loss to Emerging New South Wales is lock Luke Gross.

"The Reds will provide a stiff challenge, but I have no doubt we will be a much improved team through these selections," Clark said. "We are anxious to conclude this short tour on a positive note.

"To do so, we will need to be much improved in the primary phases--they need to be an attacking platform--and we will also have to tighten up our midfield defense. Queensland will leave no room for defensive lapses."

The backs boast are degree of experience, with regulars Vaea Anitoni and Brian Hightower on the wings, Kurt Shuman at fullback, and Takau and Alatini Saulala in the centers. The successful combination of David Niu at flyhalf and Kevin Dalzell at scrumhalf is also in place.

In the forwards, Tom Billups starts at hooker, with George Sucher and Ray Lehner at prop. Gross and Johnston pair in the second row, with Lyle at number 8 and Dave Hodges and Tasi Mounga at the flanker positions.

Only one new face appears on the bench, Sydney-based prop Marc L'Huillier, a 1998 Pacific Coast ITT player who may get a run during the match.

"Marc and Rob have been on our radar screen for a while," noted Clark. "Both are from American families and both have a good deal of rugby experience here in Australia. An injury to Philippe Farner and the unavailability of Alec Parker gives Rob a chance to impress."

United States: Kurt Shuman; Vaea Anitoni, Alatini Saulala, Tomasi Takau, Brian Hightower; David Niu, Kevin Dalzell; George Sucher, Tom Billups, Ray Lehner, Rob Johnston, Luke Gross, Dave Hodges, Tasi Mounga, Dan Lyle (captain). Reserves: Marc L'Huillier, Kirk Khasigian, Shaun Paga, Rob Lumkong, Britt Howard, Juan Grobler, Chris Morrow.

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Scott Compton
USA National Rugby Team
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