Suniula given chance to start at flyhalf against Georgia
GLENDALE, Colo. (AP) -- Flyhalf Roland Suniula has been given a chance to remind United States rugby coach Mike Tolkin of his credentials with a start against Georgia at Infinity Park on Saturday.
Will Holder debuted at flyhalf at the weekend in the 28-25 loss to Canada in Ontario, and Tolkin said on Friday he wanted to see where Suniula could lead the Eagles. Suniula, born in American Samoa, raised in New Zealand and living in Boston, was the Eagles' flyhalf at the World Cup in New Zealand last year and will appear in his 12th match for the U.S.
In the only other two changes, New Zealand-based flanker Taylor Mokate, who made his debut against Canada as a replacement, will start in place of Andrew Durutalo, and London Welsh loosehead prop Shawn Pittman starts ahead of Mike MacDonald, the Eagles' most capped player.
Center Paul Emerick will earn his 50th cap.
Meanwhile, Georgia made nine changes to the side which beat Ukraine 33-3 in Tbilisi last weekend to win its fifth European Nations Cup.
Georgia gave prop Irakli Mirtskhulava and flankers Beka Bitsadze and Giorgi Tkhilaishvili their debuts as replacements against Ukraine, and allowed Bitsadze to start this weekend, at lock. The other two were kept as reserves.
Merab Kvirikashvili was back at flyhalf, pushing Lasha Khmaladze out to fullback, while Merab Sharikadze was moved in one spot to inside center. Sharikadze will leave on Sunday to join Georgia Under-20s in Salt Lake City for the second-tier junior world trophy championship.
The Eagles won the first match between them at home in 2009, and Georgia won the return encounter in 2010.