Wyles to become ninth half-centurion in Eagles history at Soldier Field

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CHICAGO – Chris Wyles (Allentown, Pa.) will captain the Men’s Eagles in his 50th international test Saturday, Sept. 5, a 6:30 p.m. CT kickoff against Australia at Soldier Field.

The U.S.’s final pre-Rugby World Cup 2015 match, presented by Astellas, will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network. A high-definition live stream will also be available online at NBCSports.com/LiveExtra, or through the Live Extra application on mobile and tablet devices, as well as Apple TV- and Roku-connected television devices.

Under contract at Saracens of the Aviva Premiership, Wyles began his USA career eight years ago at wing, and has played in two Rugby World Cups. No stranger to any of the back-line positions with his club side, the U.S. captain will wear the No. 11 jersey opposite fellow two-time World Cup participant Taku Ngwenya.

Blaine Scully (Sacramento, Calif.), vice captain and holder of 25 caps heading into the weekend’s match, will start his second consecutive match at full back following the Eagles’ defeat to Harlequin F.C. at PPL Park in Philadelphia last weekend.

“Blaine was solid [Sunday] and his performance allowed us to play Chris at a position that he has played most of the season with ‘Sarries,’ and at which he feels very comfortable,” Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin said.

Zach Fenoglio (Denver) was one of 11 substitutes used against Harlequins, and returns to the front row between Eric Fry (Davis, Calif.) and Titi Lamositele (Bellingham, Wash.). Greg Peterson (Sydney, Australia), who scored his first try in a U.S. shirt in a 41-23 defeat of Canada – the Eagles’ third consecutive victory over the border rival – last month, will again partner Cam Dolan (Fort Myers, Fla.) in the second row.

Samu Manoa (Concord, Calif.) will start his second consecutive Eagles match at the back of the scrum after missing this summer’s World Rugby Pacific Nations Cup tournament due to preseason comittments with his new club, Toulon of France’s Top 14. Andrew Durutalo (Suva, Fiji) and Al McFarland (Sydney, Australia), who was inches away from scoring a go-ahead try at PPL Park, round out the back row.

Ranked second in the world, Australia visits the United States for just the third time in more than 100 years. With more than 700 caps amongst the 23-player Wallabies side – including one player without an international appearance – the Eagles’ opponent has won three of its past four tests against top-10-ranked nations.

Additionally, Saturday’s run-out will be the Eagles’ final match before their Sept. 20 Rugby World Cup 2015 opener against Samoa. Japan, Scotland, and South Africa also hope to reach the quarterfinals in England from Pool B.

“This will indicate where we are,” Tolkin said of the U.S.’s second match in less than a year at the 61,500-seat Soldier Field. “Win, lose, or draw, we want to see a quality performance over 80 minutes, where the opposition feels pressured on both sides of the ball all game. Whatever the outcome, if we can do that, we will have had a successful final tune-up match.

“No matter the lineup that Australia put out, it will be very talented; but if we want to consider ourselves a team who is on the rise in world rugby, then we need to stand up to them.”

Kickoff from Soldier Field is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT.

Men’s Eagles | v. Australia 
1. Eric Fry 
2. Zach Fenoglio 
3. Titi Lamositele 
4. Cameron Dolan 
5. Greg Peterson 
6. Al McFarland 
7. Andrew Durutalo 
8. Samu Manoa 
9. Mike Petri 
10. AJ MacGinty 
11. Chris Wyles (C) 
12. Thretton Palamo 
13. Seamus Kelly 
14. Takudzwa Ngwenya 
15. Blaine Scully

Men’s Eagles | Reserves 
16. Phil Thiel 
17. Olive Kilifi 
18. Chris Baumann 
19. Louis Stanfill 
20. John Quill 
21. Danny Barrett 
22. Shalom Suniula 
23. Folau Niua

Australia | v. USA 
1. James Slipper (C) 
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau 
3. Greg Holmes 
4. Kane Douglas 
5. Rob Simmons 
6. Ben McCalman 
7. Sean McMahon 
8. Wycliff Palu 
9. Nick Phipps 
10. Bernard Foley 
11. Rob Horne 
12. Matt Giteau 
13. Henry Speight 
14. Joe Tomane 
15. Kurtley Beale

Australia | Reserves 
16. James Hanson 
17. Scott Sio 
18. Toby Smith 
19. Dean Mumm 
20. Sam Carter 
21. Quade Cooper 
22. Will Genia 
23. Taqele Naiyaravoro

Men’s Eagles | Pre-Rugby World Cup Tour 
v. Canada – W 41-23 
v. Harlequin F.C. – L 24-19 
v. Australia – Saturday, Sept. 5 – 7:30 p.m. ET – Soldier Field – Chicago, Ill.

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