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Olive Kilifi. Mike Bobis photo

SEATTLE, WA. - The USA Men’s Eagles have named their match-day 23 to face rival-Canada in the finale of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 this Friday, Mar 8 at Starfire Sports in Seattle, WA. Kickoff is set for 7 PM Pacific Time with the game broadcast LIVE on FloRugby.

Head Coach Gary Gold has made six changes to the starting XV and five to the bench from last week’s matchup with Uruguay. The forwards will feature David Ainuu starting at prop, Ben Landry in at lock and John Quill back into a starting position at flanker. Scrumhalf Shaun Davies and wing Mike Te’o both return to the backs while Marcel Brache slots in at fullback. Will Hooley will remain out of Friday's contest due to HIA protocol.

San Diego Legion and former Men’s Eagles Sevens resident-athlete Malon Al-Jiboori will have a chance to make his second appearance with the Eagles (15s) as a reserve. Jiboori first debuted in the Americas Rugby Championship last year -- scoring his first try off the bench -- and spent the remainder of the season in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

Seattle Seawolves Olive Kilifi has the opportunity to play on his home turf at Starfire Sports with a place on the bench while Greg Peterson, Ruben de Haas and Tadhg Leader may also suit up as replacements this weekend.

The full match-day 23 owns 402 total caps.

“Obviously we are hugely disappointed with the result last weekend, especially knowing how important it is for us to execute in a Rugby World Cup year. But, by no means does one loss, or even two losses take away from our ability to come back and have another good string of performances in this last ARC game and as the year continues,” said Head Coach Gary Gold. “We know what we need to do; and as a group, we are committed to one another, committed to our performance and together we’ll overcome this period of adversity.

“We have massive respect for Canada not only in the way they performed against Argentina XV last week but in how they themselves have evolved as a team. They’re a well-coached group with some very talented players whom we know will apply a lot of pressure on our guys this weekend, especially now that they’ve also qualified for Rugby World Cup. We’ll certainly be focused on putting our best foot forward on Friday as we know the Canadians will not make it easy for us.”

Despite a 23-39 loss to 2019 ARC Champions Argentina XV, Canada will be playing with some confidence after a strong showing against the Argentinians last weekend. The Canadians are currently fifth in the tournament standings with six cumulative points.

The Men’s Eagles currently sit in third place in the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 after a harboring two devastating losses to Uruguay (25-32) last Saturday and Argentina XV in Week Two (45-14). As a team, the USA men have endured many ups and downs through the tournament, identifying areas in performance that will be crucial to master ahead of Rugby World Cup Japan this September. And after two haunting losses, the firm bond amongst the group will be an invaluable benefactor in overcoming the adversity of the year.

U.S. fans can relish in one more home match with the CanAm Trophy up for grabs in the biggest rivalry of North America. The Men’s Eagles are 20-2-38 all-time against the Canadians.

USA Men's Eagles
1) David Ainuu  /  Prop  /  Toulouse
2) Joe Taufete'e  /  Hooker  /  Worcester
3) Paul Mullen  /  Prop  /  Houston
4) Ben Landry  /  Lock  /  Ealing
5) Nick Civetta  /  Lock  /  Doncaster
6) John Quill  /  Flanker  /  RUNY
7) Hanco Germishuys  /  Flanker  /  RUNY
8) Cam Dolan  /  No. 8  /  NOLA
9) Shaun Davies  /  Scrumhalf  /  Glendale
10) Will Magie  /  Flyhalf  /  Glendale
11) Mike Te'o  /  Wing  /  San Diego
12) Paul Lasike  /  Center  /  Harlequins
13) Bryce Campbell  /  Center  /  London Irish
14) Blaine Scully (C)  /  Wing  /  Cardiff
15) Marcel Brache  /  Fullback  /  Western Force

16) Kapeli Pifeleti  /  San Diego
17) Olive Kilifi  /  Seattle
18) Dino Waldren  /  London Irish
19) Greg Peterson  /  Bordeaux
20) Malon Al-Jiboori  /  San Diego
21) Ruben de Haas  /  Cheetahs
22) Tadhg Leader  /  New England
23) Gannon Moore  /  Utah

USA Men's Eagles Staff
Head Coach | Gary Gold
Assistant Coach, Backs & Attack | Greg McWilliams
Assistant Coach, Forwards | Shawn Pittman
Defense Coach | Jaque Fourie
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Huw Bevan
Performance Analyst | Jimmy Harrison
Team Doctor | Mark Sakr (Chile, Argentina Uruguay, Canada)
Head Athletic Trainer | Kevin Ng
Assistant Athletic Trainer | Kristen Douhan
Team Manager | Chris Hanson