Samoa - USA 2015 Rugby World Cup Match Preview: Crucial clash for both sides
Alesana Tuilagi's experience will be key for the Samoan side (image via: telegraph)

Pool B’s second match takes place on Sunday, when the Samoans and Americans take their bows at the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

The match at the Brighton Community Stadium kicks off at midday on Sunday, and is a must-win game for each side who will need to get off to a fast start in a tough-looking pool.

South Africa are expected to run the table in Pool B, with Japan, Scotland, USA and Samoa most likely fighting it out for the second qualification spot.

Looking ahead to this matchup, and Samoa have history on their side, having won the previous four matches between the sides.

This includes a World Cup match eight years ago, and a Pacific Nations Cup match in July this year where they prevailed 21-16 thanks to tries from Ahsee Tuala and Alesana Tuilagi.

Samoans hoping to reach knockouts for first time in 20 years

Despite always leaving their mark on a Rugby World Cup, the Samoans have actually been pretty disappointing when it comes to results.

This is the kindest draw Samoa have been handed in the last 12 years and they will be hoping to take advantage of that.

Going by world rankings, Samoa will finish third in this group behind South Africa and Scotland, yet their final group game against Vern Cotter’s Scottish side looks set to decide the second qualifiers from Pool B, making wins against USA and Japan essential.

For the opener, head coach Stephen Betham has named his strongest side possible, who will be captained by Ofisa Treviranus.

Lock forward Kane Thompson is missing out through suspension, whilst Super Rugby star Tim Nanai-Williams has been selected to start at full-back. 

American big names all involved

This game is equally crucial for the American’s who will harbour hopes of making a statement at this competition, with what looks like their best squad in years.

Chris Wyles captains the side from the wing, with Takudzwa Ngwenya and Blaine Scully joining him in a potentially dangerous back three.

Head coach Mike Tolkin has decided to play the team’s best player, Samu Manoa, at number eight, with the Toulon bound player capable of taking the game by the scruff of the neck. 

How the teams line up

Samoa: 1. Sakaria Taulafo, 2. Ole Avei, 3. Anthony Perenise
4. Teofilo Paulo, 5. Iosefa Tekori
6. Maurie Fa'asavalu, 7. Jack Lam, 8. Ofisa Treviranus (captain)
9. Kahn Fotuali'I, 10. Tusi Pisi
11. Alesana Tuilagi, 12. Rey Lee-Lo, 13. Paul Perez, 14. Ken Pisi, 15. Tim Nanai-Williams

Replacements: 16. Viliamu Afatia, 17. Motu Matu'u, 18. Census Johnston, 19. Faifili Levave, 20. Alafoti Faosiliva, 21. Vavao Afemai, 22. Mike Stanley, 23. Fa'atoina Autagavaia

USA: 1 Eric Fry, 2 Zach Fenoglio, 3 Titi Lamositele

4 Hayden Smith, 5 Greg Peterson

6 Al McFarland, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 8 Samu Manoa

9 Mike Petri, 10 AJ MacGinty

11 Chris Wyles (captain), 12 Thretton Palamo, 13 Seamus Kelly, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 15 Blaine Scully

Replacements - 16 Phil Thiel, 17 Oli Kilifi, 18 Chris Baumann, 19 Cam Dolan, 20 Danny Barrett, 21 Shalom Suniula, 22 Folau Niua, 23 Brett Thompson

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