Saracens' Hayden Smith returns for USA to face Scotland

Saracens forward Hayden Smith

Saracens forward Hayden Smith has been restored to the USA side to face Scotland, while Seattle fly-half Shalom Siniula will be handed his first start.

Siniula is rewarded for a try in the second leg after earning his first two caps in the World Cup qualifying victory over Uruguay.

Seattle lock Louis Stanfill was preferred to Smith for the second leg.

But Smith returns alongside Stanfill in a XV that includes six players who ply their trade in England.

Hayden Smith in action for New York Jets
Hayden Smith spent time in American Football with New York Jets before returning to Saracens

Full-back Chris Wyles is a team-mate of Smith's at Saracens, wing Blaine Scully is with Leicester Tigers, centre Andrew Suniula with London Wasps, number eight Cam Dolan with Northampton Saints, while forward Eric Fry has just left London Scottish for Newcastle Falcons.

Glasgow Warriors centre Folau Niua, Richmond forward Tom Coolican and Saracens' Tit Lamositele make the bench.

Meanwhile, starting flanker Scott LaValla plays in the French top flight with Stade Francais.

The Eagles are, however, minus Northampton forward Samu Manoa through injury for the match in Houston.

Head coach Mike Tolkin thought that 29-year-old Smith had shown improvement after a stint in the National Football League with New York Jets.

"Hayden's looking tighter, he's gotten rid of the extra bulk," said the coach. "He's made progress from March and has a road to go, but he's put himself in a position to play."

Tolkin thought was looking for Siniula to control the game against the Scots, who will also be group opponents in next year's Rugby World Cup finals.

"We're looking for Shalom to do what we want out of our 10s: run the show, be an organizer, be a leader," said the coach.

"He has athleticism, a nice step, he can shoot holes and take advantage of that.

"And he has a little bit of flair to his game, which we like. He's a real skilful player."

Half of the USA squad are home based, but Tolkin added that he thought that the depth of his squad had increased to such an extent that he was now confident about bringing players off the replacements' bench.

USA team to face Scotland

Chris Wyles (Saracens); Blaine Scully (Leicester), Seamus Kelly (University of California), Andrew Suniula (London Wasps), Luke Hume (Narbonne); Shalom Suniula (Seattle), Mike Petri (New York AC); Olive Kilifi (Seattle), Phil Thiel (Life Rugby), Eric Fry (London Scottish), Louis Stanfill (Seattle), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Todd Clever (NTT Shining Arcs, capt), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais), Cameron Dolan (Northampton Saints).

Replacements: Tom Coolican (Richmond), Nick Wallace (James Bay), Titi Lamositele (Saracens), Tai Tuisamoa (Old Mission Beach), Danny Barrett (USA Sevens), Folau Niua (Glasgow Warriors), Chad London (Glendale Raptors), Tim Maupin (USA Sevens).

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