SA-born Kruger starts against Boks

2015-10-05 14:00
Niku Kruger (Getty Images)

London - USA coach Mike Tolkin has named his team for their Rugby World Cup Pool B clash against South Africa at the Olympic Stadium on Wednesday (kick-off 17:45 SA time).

Tolkin has made 12 changes to the starting line-up which lost 39-16 to Scotland September 27.

Only Phil Thiel, Samu Manoa and Blaine Scully have retained their place in the starting line-up from the Scotland match.

The match-day 23 includes seven players who have not played in this year’s Rugby World Cup so far. Five of them - Louis Stanfill, Matthew Trouville, Niku Kruger, Zach Test and Andrew Suniula - will start and two others - Joe Taufetee and Mate Moeakiola - are on the bench.

Trouville, Kruger and Test will make their World Cup debuts, while Taufetee could do the same by coming on as a replacement.

Kruger was born in Pretoria and made his Test debut against Canada last month. He qualified for the American team through residency and plays for Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.

If he comes off the bench, Moeakiola (37) will become the third oldest player to represent USA at the World Cup, behind flyhalf Mark Williams (38 in 1999) and prop Fred Paoli (37 in 1991). He would also become the eighth USA player to feature in three World Cups.

Stanfill will equal a team record with his third World Cup participation, something six Eagles have achieved before him, including Chris Wyles, Mike Petri and Takudzwa Ngwenya at RWC 2015.

Manoa will captain the Eagles for the first time in his Test career.


South Africa:



15 Blaine Scully, 14 Brett Thompson, 13 Folau Niua, 12 Andrew Suniula, 11 Zach Test, 10 Shalom Suniula, 9 Niku Kruger, 8 Samu Manoa (captain), 7 John Quill, 6 Danny Barrett, 5 Matthew Trouville, 4 Louis Stanfill, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Phil Thiel, 1 Oli Kilifi

Substitutes: 16 Joe Taufetee, 17 Zach Fenoglio, 18 Mate Moeakiola, 19 Titi Lamositele, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Al McFarland, 22 Mike Petri, 23 Chris Wyles

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