The USA Eagles are set for the final round of the Pacific Nations Cup against number 11 – Japan, where the winners will take home the PNC title this weekend.
Following two victories over rival- Canada and Samoa, the men’s eagles have risen two spots in the in the World Rugby Rankings to number 13, with one more opportunity this Saturday.
The USA Eagles and Japan will meet for the first time since the Rugby World Cup 2015 in England, where the Eagles fell to an 18-28 Japanese victory. Since their first match-up in 1985, the USA men have logged 14 wins, one draw and 8 losses against Japan.
Two bonus point victories over Tonga and Fiji give the upcoming Rugby World Cup hosts 10 points and the current top placing in the PNC standings. The USA sit one point behind after its own bonus point win over Canada and narrow edging of Samoa last week.
Eagles Head Coach, Gary Gold has made eight changes to his starting line-up from last week’s 13-10 win over Samoa, allowing a number of players to get needed rest while others have an opportunity to make an impact in the anticipated tournament finale.
Mickey Sosene-Feagai will start at hooker in his first appearance with the Men’s Eagle since facing Urugay in 2016. Nate Landry shifting to the bench, while Malon Al-Jiboori and Hanco Germishuy are both at flanker.
Newly Capped Jamason Fa’anana Schultz will take number 8 spot with Shaun Davies back in at Scrum-Half. Madison Hughes will start at wing with Will Magie shifting to the bench and Marcel Brache back at centre after completing the HIA protocol.
From the bench, Thretton Palamo could make his first appearance after a long-awaited recovery from injury, since facing Tonga in 2016.
The USA Eagles will take on the Brave Blossoms – Japan, at 4.35pm this Saturday at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.