Selects named for final match of Americas Pacific Challenge

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay – The USA Rugby Selects finish their inaugural Americas Pacific Challenge campaign Sunday, Oct. 16, against Uruguay ‘A’ at Estadio Charrúa.

Having opened the developmental tournament with a loss to Pool B-toppers Fiji Warriors, Ray Egan’s squad rebounded against an experienced Canada ‘A’ midweek to move level with Samoa ‘A’ in Pool A. Final tournament standings will be decided following the third round of play, with the Selects kicking off the second match of the day at 1:15 p.m. ET. The match will be broadcast live in the United States to subscribers of The Rugby Channel.

Full back Mike Te’o captained the Selects in the victory against the border rival Wednesday, but returns the proverbial armband to hooker Joe Taufete’e, who provided second-half impetus as a substitute in the Canada match. Life University’s Alex Maughan earns his first start of the Americas Pacific Challenge at tight head, while Angus MacLellan – called to South America for the injured Mason Pedersen – will see his first action of the tournament from the loose head position.

Matt Jensen was not included in the last match-day squad after a 70-minute performance against the Fijians, and reclaims his second-row place beside Harry Higgins. AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans captain Aladdin Schirmer will make his tournament debut Sunday, partnering Lindenwood University’s Malon Al-Jiboori in the loose. Cecil Garber’s work rate around the field stifled numerous Canadian attacks, with the Seattle Saracen set to continue that trend wearing the No. 8 jersey against Uruguay.

The young half-back duo of Nicklas Boyer and Ben Cima stayed patient through Wednesday’s match; the former giving teammates quick ball and the latter causing damage with his boot in both open play and scoring situations. Boyer opened the scoring against Canada and Cima accounted for 22 of the Selects’ 47 points, successful kicking each of the nine conversions and penalties from the tee.

Indiana University’s Bryce Campbell and Men’s Eagles Sevens Olympian Martin Iosefo have held down the midfield for two consecutive matches, combining for two tries and a litany of go-forward runs through defenses. Following the Fiji match, Egan switched the combination to Campbell at inside center and Iosefo at outside, their positions for Sunday. Te’o will again round out the back line at full back, with Matai Leuta and Brett Thompson on either side of him.

Six of the starting XV have been capped with the Men’s Eagles, with Demecus Beach, Pat Blair, JP Eloff, Hanco Germishuys, and Stephen Tomasin capped Eagles available from the bench.

Uruguay kept pace with Samoa in the first round of the Americas Pacific Challenge, though the final score line favored the Pacific Island nation by two points, while Argentina XV showed no mercy in a 71-7 defeat of the tournament host in the second round. Uruguay sits at the bottom of Pool B with the two bonus points it earned against Samoa.

Kickoff for Sunday’s match is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. ET from Estadio Charrúa. The Rugby Channel’s live broadcast is available to subscribers in the United States.

USA Rugby Selects | v. Uruguay ‘A’

1. Angus MacLellan

2. Joseph Taufete’e (C)

3. Alex Maughan

4. Matt Jensen

5. Harry Higgins

6. Malon Al-Jiboori

7. Aladdin Schirmer

8. Cecil Garber

9. Nicklas Boyer

10. Benjamin Cima

11. Mataiyasi Leuta

12. Bryce Campbell

13. Martin Iosefo

14. Brett Thompson

15. Mike Te’o

USA Rugby Selects | Reserves

16. Hanco Germishuys

17. Jake Turnbull

18. Demecus Beach

19. Christian Ostberg

20. Pat Blair

21. Stephen Tomasin

22. Jean-Pierre Eloff

23. Ahmad Harajly

Uruguay ‘A’ | v. USA

1. Mateo Sanguinetti

2. Martín Espiga

3. Mario Sagario (C)

4. Diego Magno

5. Manuel Leindekar

6. Joaquín Dell’Acqua

7. Santiago Hernández

8. Manuel Diana

9. Santiago Arata

10. Jerónimo Etcheverry

11. Nicolás Freitas

12. Juan Manuel Cat

13. Santiago Gibernau

14. Rodrigo Silva

15. Manuel Blengio

Uruguay ‘A’ | Reserves

16. Marcos Chamyan

17. Ignacio Secco

18. Juan Echeverría

19. Lorenzo Surraco

20. Fernando Bascou

21. Guillermo Lijtenstein

22. Andrés Rocco

23. Joaguín Prada

Americas Pacific Challenge | Tournament Schedule

Round Date Team Team Time (ET)
1 Oct. 8 Argentina XV 56-29 Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
12-62 Fiji Warriors 1:15 p.m.
Samoa A 44-42 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
2 Oct. 12 Samoa A 26-39 Fiji Warriors 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
47-37 Canada A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV 71-7 Uruguay A 3:30 p.m.
3 Oct. 16 Samoa A v Canada A 11 a.m.
USA Rugby Selects
v Uruguay A 1:15 p.m.
Argentina XV v Fiji Warriors 3:30 p.m.