Gold reveals hand for Tonga clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: USA coach Gary Gold has made just three changes to his starting XV for the Pool C match against Tonga in Hanazono on Sunday, despite the four-day turnaround from the 17-47 defeat to Argentina.
“For us, not winning a game here at the World Cup, we’ll see as a huge negative,” said Will Hooley, who comes in at fullback after making an impact off the bench against Argentina, his first appearance since suffering a concussion in the USA’s opening game.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, recognise where we went wrong and be better for Sunday.
“We deserve to have a big performance hopefully with that we can get a result.”
Nick Civetta returns to start in the second row, while Malon Al-Jiboori will get his first taste of tournament action at openside flank.
Scrumhalf Ruben de Haas keeps his place after a good performance on his 21st birthday.
If hooker James Hilterbrand appears as a replacement, he will be the 31st and final member of the USA squad to get game time at World Cup 2019.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 11, 2019
USA: 15 Will Hooley, 14 Blaine Scully (captain), 13 Bryce Campbell, 12 Paul Lasike, 11 Marcel Brache, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 Malon Al-Jiboori, 6 Tony Lamborn, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Titi Lamositele, 2 Joe Taufete’e, 1 Eric Fry.
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Olive Kilifi, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Ben Landry, 20 Hanco Germishuys, 21 Ben Pinkelman, 22 Nate Augspurger, 23 Mike Te’o.
Date: Sunday, October 13
Venue: Hanazono Rugby Stadium, Higashiosaka City
Kick-off: 14.45 (01.45 USA-Eastern time; 05.45 GMT; 18.45 Tonga time)
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Jérôme Garcès (France), Shuhei Kubo (Japan)
TMO: Graham Hughes (England)