Team Announcement: Giteau Back for the Giltinis' Fireworks

5 months ago

Slick playmaker Matt Giteau (above) is back to run the LA Giltinis’ attack for Sunday’s match against NOLA Gold at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

It is a timely return to heat up the club’s push towards the play-offs now the former Wallabies star has beaten the hip injury that sidelined him for two games.

There’s big news for the Giltini he replaces too with Luke Carty picked to make his USA Eagles debut against England at Twickenham on Sunday.

Fellow veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper has also overcome an achilles issue to make his return on the wing in place of Ryan James, who is also on tour with the Eagles.

More positive news is Mahe Vailanu (below) picked as back-up hooker to play off the bench.

The high-impact hooker was one of the form forwards in Major League Rugby before missing five games with the broken thumb he sustained in mid-May.

No DTH van Merwe means the 10-try winger is still getting over a knee issue while utility back Luke Burton wasn’t considered because of last weekend’s concussion.

Fans are certain of a special Fourth of July fireworks display after the match but coach Darren Coleman is responsible for those on the field from 7pm (PT).

“Our trainings go to another level when ‘Gits’ is driving the team and part of that is making players around him play better,” Coleman said.

“It’s good to have him back.

“It’s also good for Cristian Rodriguez to get another start at scrumhalf. His strong effort a week ago against Seattle was good for him but also our team getting confidence in him.”

“NOLA are a gritty team. They have won some big games on the road and we know they’ll come to the Coliseum as a desperate team needing a win to keep their season alive.

“The way I see it, we have to extinguish them early and control the game.”

The 11-2 Giltinis sit atop the MLR standings but with plenty to play for in the three matches before the play-offs.

“We need six points from three games to lock up the No.1 spot (in the Western Conference) for home ground advantage in the play-offs,” Coleman said.

“The plan is to get them in two from our back-to-back games at the Coliseum.”

LA GILTINIS (v NOLA Gold)

1 Blake Rogers, 2 Sean McNulty, 3 Marco Fepulea’i, 4 Dave Dennis (c), 5 Nathan Den Hoedt, 6 Angus Cottrell, 7 Pago Haini, 8 Adam Ashe, 9 Cristian Rodriguez, 10 Matt Giteau, 11 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Seru Vularika, 13 Billy Meakes, 14 John Ryberg, 15 Glenn Bryce

Replacements: 16 Mahe Vailanu, 17 JP Smith, 18 Ma’ake Muti, 19 Sean O’Brien, 20 Ben Weischedel, 21 Harrison Goddard, 22 Jonetani Vasurakuta, 23 Adam Channel

IN: Blake Rogers, Matt Giteau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Mahe Vailanu, Harrison Goddard

OUT: Sione Tuihalamaka, Luke Carty, Ryan James, Luke Burton, Gelen Robinson

The Giltinis play NOLA Gold at the Coliseum on Sunday from 7pm (PT). Be there for the Fourth of July fireworks on and off the field.

The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 in USA and can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.

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