Chris Wyles to captain US Eagles' World Cup squad
Saracens' Chris Wyles will captain the US Eagles in the 2015 Rugby World Cup after coach Mike Tolkin confirmed his 31-man squad for the tournament.
The party includes 20 players who will be playing in their first World Cup and 13 who are contracted overseas. The star name is arguably Toulon back-row Samu Manoa while Stade Francais' Scott LaValla and Saracens' Hayden Smith will also offer valuable experience in what is a fairly youthful squad.
"In terms of Rugby World Cup experience, yes, this is a relatively inexperienced group," Tolkin said. "However, while the Rugby World Cup is a whole different kettle of fish, many of these players do have a fair bit of international play under their belts since 2011."
There is no room in the squad for ex-Eagles skipper Todd Clever while Cardiff Blues' versatile back Blaine Scully will act as vice-captain. The Eagles open their World Cup campaign against Samoa on September 20 and will then take on Scotland, South Africa and Japan and Tolkin is looking to Manoa to lead the team.
"It's good that we're operating from a base where those domestic guys went to Argentina and Uruguay and did well, got game time, then were joined by some of the professionals who added a bit more depth and professionalism to the squad," Tolkin said. "Samu is just another layer there.
"The guys feel confident playing without him, but he brings a great deal of impact to the side. He's a natural leader; he's a great ballplayer. Samu's been waiting to play in the World Cup for four years, so I know he's really thrilled at the prospect."
Forwards: Danny Barrett, Chris Baumann, Cameron Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, Zach Fenoglio, Eric Fry, Olive Kilifi, Titi Lamositele, Scott LaValla, Samu Manoa, Al McFarland, Matekitonga Moeakiola, Greg Peterson, John Quill, Louis Stanfill, Joe Taufete'e, Phil Thiel
Backs: Seamus Kelly, Niko Kruger, AJ MacGinty, Taku Ngwenya, Folau Niua, Thretton Palamo, Mike Petri, Blaine Scully, Hayden Smith, Andrew Suniula, Shalom Suniula, Zack Test, Brett Thompson, Chris Wyles
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