USA, Ireland Ready For Test Match

The USA and Ireland have named their lineups for Saturday's test match at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.

This is the third time in a row that the Eagles will host Ireland at the same time as a British and Irish Lions tour, and this remains a matchup that promises to be closely contested.

Depleted Ireland Will Be No Weaklings

Ireland head coach Joe Schmidt, who led his team to a historic victory over New Zealand in his last trip to the U.S., has picked a young, hungry side that will be captained by flanker Rhys Ruddock. Ulster's Jacob Stockdale gets his first cap for Ireland, starting on the wing, and Connacht hooker Dave Heffernan, Leinster's  Andrew Porter and James Ryan, and Munster center Rory Scannell could all get their first caps if they get on from the bench.

The USA, for its part, isn't exactly brimming with experience. However, it's a relatively settled side with veterans Chris Baumann, Nate Brakeley, John Quill, AJ MacGinty, and Mike Te'o on board. Nate Augspurger starts at scrumhalf and will captain the USA, although he has stiff competition for the No. 9 jersey from Shaun Davis, who is on the bench. MacGinty, fresh off a strong season for the Sale Sharks, starts at flyhalf, with Ben Cima at fullback. Either could be the go-to goalkicker. 

But this is not a particularly experienced Eagles team, by any stretch. Only one player, flanker John Quill, has as many as 20 caps. After him, prop Chris Baumann has 17. MacGinty and Te'o are the only other players with more than 10. No starter makes his debut, but the center pairing of Martin Iosefo and Marcel Brache is a new wrinkle. While the USA has quite a bit of experience on the bench, it is clear Mitchell is testing some players out.

"It's fantastic that the guys are getting an opportunity to play in front of a big audience; they deserve to be on that stage with the work they've put in and the results they're capable of," Mitchell said. "It's essential for us as USA Eagles to play against one of the top three sides in the world. They have recently beat New Zealand and England, so being a top three side does not come easily or without reason. Clearly, they're doing something extraordinary under Joe Schmidt. All we can do is focus on what we can control and bring the necessary intensity with it."

Off the bench, Newcastle Falcons tighthead prop and longtime European pro Paddy Ryan, who was born in the USA but played for Ireland's U20s, could garner his first cap for the Eagles.

USA Lineup:

1. Ben Tarr 2. Peter Malcolm 3. Chris Baumann 4. Nate Brakeley 5. Nic Civetta 6. John Quill 7. Tony Lamborn 8. David Tameilau 9. Nate Augspurger (C) 10. AJ MacGinty 11. Martin Iosefo 12. Marcel Brache 13. Ryan Matyas 14. Mike Te'o 15. Ben Cima
Men's Eagles | Reserves 16. James Hilterbrand 17. Joe Taufete'e 18. Paddy Ryan 19. Matthew Jensen 20. Andrew Durutalo 21. Shaun Davies 22. Will Magie 23. Bryce Campbell

Ireland Lineup:

1. Cian Healy 2. Niall Scannell 3. John Ryan 4. Quinn Roux 5. Devin Toner 6. Rhys Ruddock (C) 7. Josh van der Flier 8. Jack Conan 9. Kieran Marmion 10. Joey Carbery 11. Jacob Stockdale 12. Luke Marshall 13. Garry Ringrose 14. Keith Earls 15. Tiernan O'Halloran
Ireland | Reserves 16. Dave Heffernan 17. David Kilcoyne 18. Andrew Porter 19. James Ryan 20. Dan Leavy 21. Luke McGrath 22. Rory Scannell 23. Simon Zebo

Notes: AJ MacGinty needs 16 points to vault himself from seventh all-time among USA players to fourth. MacGinty has scored 128 points in a USA jersey in just 11 test matches, and his points per game is the best among any USA player who has played more than one game.