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With overseas pros becoming available and injuries piling up, the USA’s November tour roster is fluid. Head coach Gary Gold has sent some guys packing and welcomed more into the fold ahead of Saturday's clash with Samoa in San Sebastian, Spain. 

First, injuries. Nate Augspurger is going to have to undergo surgery, ruling him out for the rest of the tour. He was pulled last-minute from the lineup to face the Maori All Blacks on the weekend, along with Luke Hume, who is also out for the fall with a torn hamstring.

Dylan Audsley played Saturday with a torn meniscus. It was known and surgery was already booked before the game, but the team’s medical professionals determined he wouldn’t do any further damage by playing, so he did. It appeared Saturday as though Gold yanked Audsley for an interception in the second half, but the coach said he was pleased with the center’s performance, and he’d already submitted the substitution before Audsley threw the pick.

Shaun Davies is in concussion protocol after being slammed by the Maoris’ Pari Pari Parkinson Saturday. He will not be available for Samoa but could return this tour.

Marcel Brache comes into camp carrying an injury. He isn’t available for Samoa, but the coaching staff is hopeful he’ll be available thereafter.

To cover for the injuries, scrumhalves Devereaux Ferris and Nick Boyer have been brought in, along with David Ainuu, the 18-year-old prop playing for Toulouse.

Joining the team as scheduled are seven overseas pros who will be expected to step right in and make an impact – Titi Lamositele (prop, Saracens), Joe Taufete’e (hooker, Worcester), Tevita Tameilau (No. 8, Glasgow), Samu Manoa (lock, Cardiff), Paul Lasike (center, Harlequins), Bryce Campbell (center, Ealing), Blaine Scully (Cardiff).

The injuries are testing depth at three key playmaker positions. Entirely healthy, the Eagles would be as collectively strong at scrumhalf, flyhalf and fullback as they have been in a long time, if not ever. With the front line scrumhalf and flyhalf down, the front line fullback, Will Hooley, has had to cover flyhalf, leaving a void at fullback. Mikey Te’o is still nursing a knee injury, and Hume, who was supposed to start at 15 Saturday, is now lost, too.

Scully has plenty of experience at fullback, though he’s been playing primarily wing for a few years now. Gold’s choices are to stick Scully or Will Magie, who’s typically a flyhalf, there.

At scrumhalf, it seems pretty straightforward that the jersey goes to de Haas. If Augspurger were available, it may well go to him. He’d certainly be the next option, if not. So the Eagles are now down to their second or third option at scrumhalf, spelled by the fourth and fifth.

Predicted Starters for Samoa
1) Eric Fry
2) Joe Taufete'e
3) Paul Mullen
4) Samu Manoa
5) Nick Civetta
6) John Quill
7) Tony Lamborn
8) Cam Dolan
9) Ruben De Haas
10) Will Hooley
11) Ryan Matyas
12) Paul Lasike
13) Bryce Campbell
14) Gannon Moore
15) Blaine Scully

Reserves
16) Dylan Fawsitt
17) Titi Lamositele
18) Dino Waldren
19) Greg Peterson
20) David Tameilau
21) Nick Boyer
22) Will Magie
23) Tim Maupin

Comments

Don't know if anyone noticed last weekend, but Paul Lasike was on the bench wearing #20 for the Harlequins. Indeed, he came on at Center in the first half due to an injury. He had some storming runs throughout the game. In the second half, he packed down as a blindside flanker, moving to the scrum from the backs. Given that he was assigned a back-row replacement #, I wonder if the Harlequins aren't giving him consideration as a back row asset. Any insights?
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