Wyles captains United States at Rugby World Cup

United States head coach Mike Tolkin has named Saracens star Chris Wyles has
been named as captain of his 31-man squad for the Rugby World Cup.

The former captain Todd Clever was mysteriously kicked out of the national
set-up for “multiple squad conduct violations” earlier this year in
July.

Thirty-one-year-old Wyles is one of the USA’s most experienced players and
will be appearing in his third world cup after playing in the 2007 and 2011
tournaments.

Coach Mike Tolkin acknowledged that the US squad would be raw in terms of World
Cup experience but noted that 13 members of the party have professional contracts
overseas.

“In terms of Rugby World Cup experience, yes, this is a relatively inexperienced
group,” Tolkin said in a statement.

“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.”

Wyles was the top US points scorer at the last World Cup in New Zealand.

Among those making their World Cup debuts are California-born former Northampton
and Toulon forward Samu Manoa.

Manoa missed the last World Cup due to club commitments but Tolkin is delighted
to have the 30-year-old lock/number eight in the squad.

“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,” Tolkin said.

The Eagles face a daunting World Cup assignment, where they tackle South Africa,
Samoa, Scotland and Japan in the first round’s Pool B. The Americans have never
advanced beyond the first phase of the tournament in six previous appearances.

United States Rugby World Cup squad

Forwards: Danny Barrett (USA Sevens), Chris Baumann (Santa
Monica), Cameron Dolan (Cardiff Blues/WAL), Andrew Durutalo (USA Sevens), Zach
Fenoglio (Glendale), Eric Fry (Newcastle/ENG), Olive Kilifi (Seattle), Titi
Lamositele (Saracens/ENG), Scott LaValla (unattached), Samu Manoa (Toulon/FRA),
Al McFarland (New York), Matekitonga Moeakiola (Castanet/FRA), Greg Peterson
(Glasgow Warriors/SCO), John Quill (New York), Louis Stanfill (Seattle), Joe
Taufete’e (Belmont Shore), Phil Thiel (Life Rugby)

Backs: Seamus Kelly (San Francisco), Niko Kruger (Glendale),
AJ MacGinty (Life Rugby), Takudzwa Ngwenya (Biarritz/FRA), Folau Niua (USA Sevens),
Thretton Palamo (London Welsh/ENG), Mike Petri (New York), Blaine Scully (Saracens/ENG),
Hayden Smith (Saracens/ENG), Andrew Suniula (Bucarest/ROM), Shalom Suniula (Seattle),
Zack Test (USA Sevens), Brett Thompson (USA Sevens), Chris Wyles (Saracens/ENG)

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