Preview: United States v Ireland

Fri, 09 Jun 2017 17:24
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INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT: Ireland coach Joe Schmidt will run the rule over a fresh crop of players on Saturday as the Six Nations side prepare for a one-off Test against the United States in New Jersey.

With the bulk of Ireland's usual starting line-up in New Zealand on duty with the British & Irish Lions, Schmidt has picked a relatively untested squad for the brief tour of the United States and Japan.

Ulster wing Jacob Stockdale wins his first cap in Saturday's game at the Red Bull Arena, with another four debutants on the bench.

Blindside flank Rhys Ruddock captains a youthful Irish side which has an average age of 25 and includes two 21-year-olds in Stockdale and Joey Carbery.

Stockdale lines up in a back three alongside Keith Earls and Tiernan O'Halloran, who makes his third start at fullback.

Rising star Garry Ringrose and  Luke Marshall line up in the centres as Schmidt attempts to deepen the player pool with the 2019 World Cup in Japan just two years away.

I'm sure people at home are excited to see the new blood that we're trying to bring in and build the base," Schmidt said.

"The whole tour is about long term investment and short term success. The long term investment is the team selection, now we have got to get the short term success with some performances from that."

After this weekend's Test against the Eagles, the Irish will head to Japan for two more internationals in Shizuoka on June 17 and Tokyo on June 24.

The Eagles meanwhile are using Saturday's Test as preparation for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Canada.

The game will be one of the last under the reign of coach John Mitchell, the New Zealander who is joining South Africa's Super Rugby strugglers the Northern Bulls.

An inexperienced Eagles line-up will be skippered by veteran scrumhalf Nate Augspurger, who partner's Connacht flyhalf A.J. MacGinty at halfback.

"We've come up with a team mix that is prepared for our own game and for an Ireland team that plays a game that's very quick and well-rehearsed," Mitchell said.

"It's fantastic that the guys are getting an opportunity to play in front of a big audience - they deserve to be on that stage with the work they've put in and the results they're capable of.

"It's essential for us as USA Eagles to play against one of the top sides in the world,"

Players to watch:

For United States:  There are certainly players to watch in this side who are under construction with a passionate love for the game.  Flyhalf A.J MacGinty would have to use his vision and accuracy to launch his backline and get them in the right areas of the park.  Utility back Marcel Brache can give the Ireland defense headaches with his pace and agility.

For Ireland: Garry Ringrose can be influential if he fires on all cylinders while debutant Jacob Stockdale should make a big impact to strengthen his spot in the senior side.

Head-to-head: The battle in the midfield will be something to behold. Ryan Matyas and Marcel Brache against Garry Ringrose, and Luke Marshall. At flyhalf the young Joey Carbery has everything to prove against experience AJ MacGinty. In the forwards, Ireland’s all-Leinster backrow  - captain Rhys Ruddock, Josh van der Flier and Jack Conan-  will be posing questons to unknown but robust trio David Tameilau, Tony Lamborn, and John Quill

Recent results:

2013: Ireland won 15-12, Houston
2011: Ireland won 22-10, New Plymouth
2009: Ireland won 27-10, Santa Clara
2004: Ireland won 55-6, Dublin
2000: Ireland won 83-3, Manchester
1999: Ireland won 53-8, Dublin
1996: Ireland won 25-18, Atlanta
1994: Ireland won 26-15, Dublin

Predictions: Despite missing 11 players due to the British & Irish Lions commitments in New Zealand, the youthful Ireland side would prove too strong for the hosts and will take it by 20 points.         


Teams:

USA: 15 Ben Cima, 14 Mike Te’o, 13 Ryan Matyas, 12 Marcel Brache, 11 Martin Iosefo, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Nate Augspurger (captain), 8 David Tameilau, 7 Tony Lamborn, 6 John Quill, 5 Nic Civetta, 4 Nate Brakeley, 3 Chris Baumann, 2 Peter Malcolm, 1 Ben Tarr
Replacements: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Joe Taufete’e, 18 Paddy Ryan, 19 Matthew Jensen, 20 Andrew Durutalo, 21 Shaun Davies, 22 Will Magie, 23 Bryce Campbell

Ireland: 15 Tiernan O'Halloran, 14 Keith Earls, 13 Garry Ringrose, 12 Luke Marshall, 11 Jacob Stockdale, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Josh van der Flier, 6 Rhys Ruddock (captain), 5 Devin Toner, 4 Quinn Roux, 3 John Ryan, 2 Niall Scannell, 1 Cian Healy
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Andrew Porter, 19 James Ryan, 20 Dan Leavy, 21 Luke McGrath, 22 Rory Scannell, 23 Simon Zebo

Date: Saturday, June 10
Venue: Red Bull Arena, Newark, New Jersey
Kick-off: 17.00 (21.00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Chris Assmus (Canada)
TMO: Neil Paterson (Scotland)