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US squad will attend 9/11 service

The United States rugby World Cup squad will attend a church service to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, just hours before their opening Pool C clash against Ireland in New Plymouth.

The team confirmed to Rugby World Cup organisers\[Daniella Matar\] on Wednesday today that the squad would attend |the 10am (11pm Irish time) service at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in New Plymouth on Sunday.

Their match against Ireland kicks off at 6pm (7am Irish time).

US ambassador David Huebner and a New Zealand government minister will also attend, announced Rev Kim Francis, who leads the service\[Daniella Matar\], told the Taranaki Daily News.

US coach Eddie O’Sullivan said earlier in the week that the big task for him on Sunday would be ensuring his players’ emotions did not get the better of them as they remembered the attacks on New York and Washington, which killed almost 3,000 people in 2001.

“Motivation isn’t going to be an issue for these lads, they’re always easy to fire up,” former Ireland boss O’Sullivan said.

“It’s going to be emotional I think. For me, part of my job is to contain the emotion.

“If they get too emotional, they’ll make mistakes, and if they make mistakes they’ll pay a big price.”