Emotional USA make RWC debut vs Ireland

GREG STUTCHBURY
Last updated 08:11 11/09/2011
Todd Clever and Eddie O'Sullivan
Getty Images

HIGH EMOTIONS: USA captain Todd Clever (left) and coach Eddie Sullivan speak at a press conference in New Plymouth. The USA will open their campaign on the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.

Related Links

Irish to embrace tightness against USA Conor Murray a surprise starter for Ireland

Match Scorecard

0
Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty goals:
0
Tries:
Conversions:
Penalty goals:
Venue:
Error: Cannot find match file.

Relevant offers

Rugby

Ryan Crotty expected to miss Crusaders' trip to Fiji, but Kieran Read raring to go Hurricanes confident of re-signing star playmaker Beauden Barrett Marc Hinton: Statement series for big movers Beauden Barrett and Israel Dagg Chiefs coach Dave Rennie won't start all his All Blacks against Crusaders in Fiji The Hurricanes have adopted a unique mindset to cope with Super Rugby break Italy secure comeback win against Canada with a late penalty Zac Guildford leaves the NSW Waratahs - cutting short his Super Rugby season All Blacks prop Joe Moody commits through to next Rugby World Cup Wainuiomata send powerful message to Jubilee Cup rugby rivals 'Bordering on the ridiculous': Hansen says global season can't come soon enough

Champions South Africa and contenders Australia open their rugby World Cup campaigns later on Sunday while the United States will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks before taking on Ireland.

PREVIEW: The entire US squad will attend a morning church service, both sides will wear black armbands and the crowd will be asked to observe a period of silence to remember the attacks on New York and Washington in which nearly 3,000 people died.

"You can say a lot of things now, but in the heat of the moment the emotion is going to hit," US prop Mike MacDonald said earlier this week. "It will hit people in different ways."

MacDonald will earn his record 63rd test cap for the American side at Stadium Taranaki in New Plymouth, surpassing the 62 he had shared with the now retired Luke Gross, and he felt the timing was poignant.

"I'm ecstatic it's happening when it is. It's a great occasion, being the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and the first game of the World Cup. It really means a lot for me that it has come at this time."

Tri-Nations champions Australia also start their World Cup with a match against Italy at North Harbour Stadium.

"Critically it's the start to the tournament and the nature of tournament play is 'you do or you die'," Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said. "That's what we've got in front of us."

The final match of the day pits the world champion Springboks against Wales in a clash that is expected to be crucial for the future direction of Pool D with the forecast bad weather likely to favour South Africa's grinding game plan.

"Without doubt the weather is going to be a factor tomorrow night, but we can't be overly concerned with it," Wales assistant coach Robin McBryde said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

Who was the best-performed All Blacks forward on the northern tour?

Dane Coles

Nathan Harris

Keven Mealamu

Wyatt Crockett

Charlie Faumuina

Ben Franks

Owen Franks

Joe Moody

Brodie Retallick

Luke Romano

Jeremy Thrush

Patrick Tuipulotu

Sam Whitelock

Sam Cane

Jerome Kaino

Richie McCaw

Liam Messam

Kieran Read

Vitor Vito

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content