LONDON, Sept 1 (Reuters) - There were no surprises in the United States World Cup squad announced on Tuesday as coach Mike Tolkin named the same 31 players who had been selected for the country’s three warm-up matches
Captain Chris Wyles will lead 20 World Cup debutants in a squad containing 13 players who have professional contracts overseas.
“In terms of Rugby World Cup experience, yes, this is a relatively inexperienced group,” Tolkin said in a statement.
“However, while the Rugby World Cup is a whole different kettle of fish, many of these players do have a fair bit of international play under their belts since 2011.”
Wyles, Mike Petri, Mate Moeakiola, Taku Ngwenya, and Louis Stanfill will be appearing in their third World Cups.
Among those making their debuts in the World Cup, which starts on Sept. 18 at Twickenham, is Toulon’s Samu Manoa, who was forced to miss the 2011 tournament after his then-new English Premiership club Northampton Saints would not release him. The United States face Japan, Scotland, Samoa and South Africa in Pool B.
U.S. World Cup squad:
Danny Barrett, Chris Baumann, Cameron Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, Zach Fenoglio, Eric Fry, Seamus Kelly, Olive Kilifi, Niku Kruger, Titi Lamositele, Scott LaValla, AJ MacGinty, Samu Manoa, Al McFarland, Matekitonga Moeakiola, Takudzwa Ngwenya, Folau Niua, Thretton Palamo, Greg Peterson, Mike Petri, John Quill, Blaine Scully, Hayden Smith, Louis Stanfill, Andrew Suniula, Shalom Suniula, Joseph Taufete‘e, Zack Test, Phil Thiel, Brett Thompson, Chris Wyles (captain). (Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Clare Fallon)