LOS ANGELES: Captain Blaine Scully is among three players who will head to their third Rugby World Cup as part of the US Eagles´ squad announced on Sunday by head coach Gary Gold.
Winger Scully and prop Eric Fry both featured in 2011 and 2015 while center Thretton Palamo competed in 2007 — when he was the youngest player in history to appear in a Rugby World Cup — and 2015.
The 31-strong squad of 18 forwards and 13 backs features three Rio 2016 Olympians including Nate Augspurger, Martin Iosefo and Ben Pinkelman.
“We´ve picked a pretty balanced team,” Gold said. “We think that the attrition for this Rugby World Cup, especially our pool, is going to take it out of our forwards, so we´ve gone with an extra forward.
“We´ve got good depth in almost every position, I think we´re well covered.
“Where I think we are very lucky is that we´ve got quite a few guys who can play in multiple positions. From that point of view, we thought long and hard about those combinations and how we can best make up the combinations for the squad and what´s going to be a rather attritious pool.”
The United States continued their preparations for the ninth World Cup, which starts in Japan on September 20, with a 20-15 victory over Canada in Vancouver on Saturday.
The Eagles are drawn in Pool C against England, France, Argentina and Tonga.
In the four years since the last World Cup in England, the Eagles have lost heavily to Ireland on two occasions but claimed an impressive victory over Scotland last June and have won six of their eight Test matches this year.
Backs (13): Blaine Scully (Unattached-capt), Will Hooley (Bedford Blues/ENG), Martin Iosefo (USA Sevens), Mike Te´o (San Diego Legion), Marcel Brache (Western Force/AUS), Nate Augspurger (San Diego Legion), Paul Lasike (Harlequins/ENG), Thretton Palamo (Houston SaberCats), Bryce Campbell (London Irish/ENG), Will Magie (Unattached), AJ MacGinty (Sale Sharks/ENG), Shaun Davies (Glendale Raptors), Ruben De Haas (Free State Cheetahs/RSA)
Forwards (18): Cam Dolan (NOLA Gold), Malon Al-Jiboori (Unattached), Hanco Germishuys (Glendale Raptors), Tony Lamborn (Melbourne Rebels, AUS/Hawke´s Bay Magpies/NZL), Ben Pinkelman (USA Sevens), John Quill (Rugby United New York), Nate Brakeley (Rugby United New York), Nick Civetta (Unattached), Ben Landry (Ealing Trailfinders/ENG), Gregory Peterson (Newcastle Falcons/ENG), David Ainu´(Toulouse/FRA), Eric Fry (Vannes/FRA), Olive Kilifi (Seattle Seawolves), Paul Mullen (Unattached), Titi Lamositele (Saracens/ENG), Dylan Fawsitt (Rugby United New York), James Hilterbrand (Manly Marlins/AUS), Joseph Taufete´e (Worcester Warriors/ENG)