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US makes only 3 changes to face Russia at RWC

Updated: September 12, 2011, 23:19

NEW PLYMOUTH, New Zealand(AP) The United States has made only three changes to its side for its Rugby World Cup match against Russia, even though Thursday's match will be its second in just five days.

Only hooker Phil Thiel, prop Shawn Pittman and fullback Blaine Scully drop out from the side that lost 22-10 to Ireland on Sunday. The trio are on the bench and replaced in the starting lineup selected Tuesday by Chris Biller, Matekitonga Moeakiola and Chris Wyles.

Locks John van der Giessen and Hayden Smith start together for the 12th time, fewer only than Luke Gross and Alec Parker.

Five days after making his U.S. record 63rd test appearance, prop Mike MacDonald will play his 10th World Cup match for the U.S. in New Plymouth, equaling Parker's record.


United States: Chris Wyles, Taku Ngwenya, Paul Emerick, Andrew Suniula, James Paterson, Roland Suniula, Mike Petri; Nic Johnson, Todd Clever (captain), Louis Stanfill, Hayden Smith, John van der Giessen, Chris Biller, Matekitonga Moeakiola, Mike MacDonald. Reserves: Phil Thiel, Shawn Pittman, Scott LaValla, Pat Danahy, Tim Usasz, Nese Malifa, Blaine Scully.

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