The Latest: Scully to set US Rugby World Cup appearance mark
TOKYO (AP) — The Latest on Day 22 at the Rugby World Cup (all times local):
United States captain Blaine Scully has been selected to play his 11th Rugby World Cup game and equal the U.S. record.
Scully leads a team with three changes for the last Pool C game against Tonga in Osaka on Sunday.
The three switches are Nick Civetta in for Nate Brakeley at lock, Malon Al-Jiboori in for Hanco Germishuys at flanker, and Will Hooley in for Mike Te’o at fullback. Hooley returns after sustaining a concussion in the Americans’ opening game against England.
The U.S. lost 45-7 to England, 33-9 to France and 47-17 to Argentina in a tough pool. Tonga is the U.S.′ best chance of a first World Cup win since 2011.
United States: Will Hooley, Blaine Scully (captain), Bryce Campbell, Paul Lasike, Marcel Brache, AJ MacGinty, Ruben de Haas; Cam Dolan, Malon Al-Jiboori, Tony Lamborn, Nick Civetta, Greg Peterson, Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufete’e, Eric Fry. Reserves: James Hilterbrand, Olive Kilifi,, Paul Mullen, Ben Landry, Hanco Germishuys, Ben Pinkelman, Nate Augspurger, Mike Te’o.
Star wing Kenki Fukuoka finally starts for Japan in the quarterfinal decider against Scotland on Sunday in Yokohama after he tore a calf muscle five weeks ago.
Fukuoka was a late, forced inclusion in the reserves against Ireland and scored the match-winning try, and scored another try off the bench against Samoa last Saturday. He’s back as a starter among four changes to the starting lineup.
Hooker Shota Horie, lock Luke Thompson, and fullback William Tupou are recalled.
Fukuoka, Horie, and Thompson, along with prop Keita Inagaki, captain Michael Leitch, flyhalf Yu Tamura and wing Kotaro Matsushima repeat as starters against Scotland from the 2015 Rugby World Cup match which the Scots won 45-10 to cost Japan a place in the quarterfinals.
Japan: William Tupou, Kotaro Matsushima, Timothy Lafaele, Ryoto Nakamura, Kenki Fukuoka, Yu Tamura, Yutaka Nagare; Kazuki Himeno, Pieter Labuschagne, Michael Leitch (captain), James Moore, Luke Thompson, Jiwon Koo, Shota Horie, Keita Inagaki. Reserves: Atsushi Sakate, Isileli Nakajima, Asaeli Ai Valu, Uwe Helu, Hendrik Tui, Fumiaki Tanaka, Rikiya Matsuda, Ryohei Yamanaka.
New Zealand lock Sam Whitelock has sympathized with Italy captain Sergio Parisse blasting Rugby World Cup organizers for their pool match being cancelled because of Typhoon Hagibis without a backup plan.
Parisse believed Italy was disrespected, and their match in Toyota scheduled for Saturday when the typhoon should hit, would not have been cancelled if the defending champion All Blacks needed the points to reach the quarterfinals. Italy missed out.
“It is ridiculous that there was no Plan B, because it isn’t news that typhoons hit Japan,” Parisse said on Friday. “We had the chance to play in a big stadium, against a great team. The alternative is Plan B. When you organize a World Cup you should have one in place. Sure, if Italy and New Zealand decide they don’t want to play then fine, but if New Zealand needed the points, it wouldn’t have been cancelled.”
Whitelock, who has never been in a typhoon, understood where Parisse was coming from.
“It’s a bit of frustration coming out,” he said.
Whitelock has dealt with cancelled games before, when Crusaders Super Rugby home matches in Christchurch were called off in 2011 because of the deadly earthquake, and last March after the deadly Mosque shootings.
“In both instances you understand why,” Whitelock said.
“Rugby’s just a small thing. We tend to get carried away with it a little bit, we’re so passionate about rugby, and we always want to go out and play, but sometimes the right thing is not playing. There would be nothing worse than if we did play and people were getting hurt.”
Just five days after being hammered by South Africa, Canada limited its changes to five for its last pool match against Namibia on Sunday in Kamaishi.
Loosehead prop Djustice Sears-Duru comes out of the reserves, Eric Howard is at hooker, and Conor Keys replaces Kyle Baillie at lock in the forwards.
Gordon McRorie displaces Phil Mack at scrumhalf, and Pat Parfrey is at fullback with Andrew Coe in the reserves.
Canada is on a 10-match winless streak in Rugby World Cups dating to 2011.
Namibia is trying to win its first World Cup match ever, after 22 straight defeats over 20 years.
Canada: Pat Parfrey, Jeff Hassler, Conor Trainor, Ciaran Hearn, DTH van der Merwe, Peter Nelson, Gordon McRorie; Tyler Ardron (captain), Matt Heaton, Lucas Rumball, Conor Keys, Evan Olmstead, Jake Ilnicky, Eric Howard, Djustice Sears-Duru. Reserves: Andrew Quattrin, Hubert Buydens, Matt Tierney, Luke Campbell, Dustin Dobravsky, Jamie Mackenzie, Shane O’Leary, Andrew Coe.
Coach Toutai Kefu has made three changes to his starting lineup as Tonga seeks to end its Rugby World Cup with a win.
Tighthead prop Siua Halanukonuka and wings Viliami Lolohea and ’Ateli Pakalani are into the team against the United States in Osaka on Sunday.
Flanker Sione Kalamafoni and captain Siale Piutau will also set a new Tonga record by appearing in their 12th Rugby World Cup games.
Tonga has lost to England, Argentina and France in Pool C. The United States is also winless in three games in Japan.
Tonga and the U.S. last met in 2016, a 20-17 win for Tonga. Tonga has won eight of their nine meetings.
Tonga: Telusa Veainu, ’Atieli Pakalani, Malietoa Hingano, Siale Piutau (captain), Viliami Lolohea, James Faiva, Sonatane Takulua; Maama Vaipulu, Zane Kapeli, Sione Kalamafoni, Halaleva Fifita, Sam Lousi, Siua Halanukonuka, Paula Ngauamo, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi. Reserves: Siua Maile, Vunipola Fifita, Ma’afu Fia, Dan Faleafa, Nasi Manu, Leon Fukofuka, Latiume Fosita, David Halaifonua.
Flanker Justin Tipuric will captain Wales for the first time in a starting lineup with 13 changes for their last pool match against Uruguay on Sunday in Kumamoto.
A cleanout was expected with the match just four days after Wales edged Fiji 29-17 in Oita to advance to the quarterfinals.
Only inside center Hadleigh Parkes and Josh Adams, swapped from the left to the right wing, start again. Adams scored three tries against Fiji.
Unbeaten Wales likely need to beat Uruguay to win Pool D ahead of Australia.
With Dan Biggar unavailable after a head knock, Wales picked scrumhalves Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies as cover for the entire backline.
Wales: Leigh Halfpenny, Josh Adams, Owen Watkin, Hadleigh Parkes, Hallam Amos, Rhys Patchell, Aled Davies; Aaron Wainwright, Justin Tipuric (captain), Aaron Shingler, Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Dillon Lewis, Ryan Elias, Nicky Smith. Reserves: Elliot Dee, Rhys Carre, Wyn Jones, Jake Ball, Ross Moriarty, James Davies, Tomos Williams, Gareth Davies.
Australia and Georgia meet for the first time in their last pool match in the Rugby World Cup on Friday in Shizuoka.
It’s expected to rain during the evening match about 180 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, with the approach of Typhoon Hagibis up the eastern coast of Japan.
The Wallabies have already qualified for the quarterfinals after beating Fiji and Uruguay but still have a chance to top Pool D. They need to beat the Lelos, with a handy four-try bonus point, to put some pressure on unbeaten Wales to beat Uruguay on Sunday.
Australia has never lost two pool matches.
Georgia, which has beaten only Uruguay, is trying to win two pool matches for only the second time, and claim third place from Fiji and an automatic qualifying spot for the 2023 tournament in France. The Lelos have never beaten a Tier One team.
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