Eagles select for RWC opener versus Ireland
September 30, 1999
The USA today announced their starting for Saturday's meeting with Ireland.
Captain Dan Lyle will lead the team from flanker as the Eagles will make their first appearance in the Rugby World Cup since 1991.
Rejoining the team from injury, will be former NFL player Richard Tardits and high scoring winger Vaea Anitoni. The inclusion of the two players will definitely make the Americans more solid in defence and provided an additional offensive threat through Anitoni.
Luke Gross is joined surprisingly by Dave Hodges in the second row. Hodges is more often seen playing flanker and is standing in for Alec Parker who was named in the reserves. The inclusion of Hodges and flanker Rob Lumkong puts every highly experienced international forward into the Eagle pack. Their experience will be vital, as the American scrummaging is expected to come under heavy pressure from Ireland's more experienced pack.
The USA who are the youngest Union at the competition were founded in 1975 - a year after the Irish celebrated their centenary!
United States: Kurt Schuman; Vaea Anitoni, Juan Grobler, Tomasi Takau, Brian Hightower; Mark Williams, Kevin Dalzell; George Sucher, Tom Billups, Ray Lehner, Luke Gross, Dave Hodges, Dan Lyle (captain), Richard Tardits, Rob Lumkong. Reserves: Mark Scharrenberg, David Niu, Jesse Coulson, Fifita Mo'unga, Alec Parker, Joe Clayton, Kirk Khasigian.