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Monday, February 1, 2016

ARC Squad Positional Breakdown: The Forwards

The Eagles are in camp for the ARC this weekend and although the squad is going to be heavily split up depending on availability the battles at different positions are going to be huge. There are lots of young players looking for a breakthrough and this is going to be their chance, in particular against the likes of Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay. So with that, let's take a look at the forwards.

Prop: Chris Baumann, Ollie Kilifi, Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufete'e, Demecus Beach, Eric Fry

Of the six props brought into camp, five of them were at the World Cup. Eric Fry and Titi Lamositele are the favorites to start at this point but it's unclear if Lamositele will be available against Argentina. Behind them Kilifi and Baumann have the most experience. They are both going to get good time but also look for Joe Taufete'e and Demecus Beach to get run outs. Taufete'e can also play hooker as can Beach. It's Beach that could be the surprise. He's had a lot of experience with Life and could have a strong run through South America.

Take the jump to read more.

Hooker: Michelangelo Sosene-Feagai, Joe Taufete'e, Cam Falcon, James Hilterbrand

This is going to be one of the best battles. Phil Thiel is probably done with the Eagles and Zach Fenoglio is injured. It's unclear if Tom Coolican is in the picture still but if he's not that is going to leave at least one, more likely two, spots open at hooker. Michelangelo Sosene-Feagai is a former Samoa U-20 hooker and has been part of the larger Hurricanes squad. Having him available for all five matches means he'll get capped and a chance to play. A start against Argentina or Canada is likely to see how he handles a top tier team.

James Hilterbrand has Super Rugby experience and has played and started in Europe with Edinburgh. If he's committed to the U.S. then he could be a solid starter for the next four years. It all depends on how this camp goes. Both Taufete'e and Cam Falcon are options and will have the chance to play in South America. They are probably facing an uphill battle at hooker at the moment.

Lock: David Tameilau, Brodie Orth, Greg Peterson, Ben Landry, Cam Dolan

This is another position with opening. Peterson and Dolan are available for the Argentina match and will likely get the start. However, the rest of the tour is wide open. Tameilau spent some time with the Taranaki Academy in New Zealand recently and has been a big player for Life West. If we had to make a guess at who would break out during this tournament our guest would be Tameilau.

Brodie Orth has been floating around the larger Eagles squad for awhile while Ben Landry is coming along well at Seattle. In order to solidify their place going forward the line-out is going to have to work really well.

Back-row: Alec Gletzer, Bruce Thomas, Matt Trouville, Todd Clever, Cam Dolan, Hanco Germishuys, Aladdin Schirmer

Back-row, even with changes for the ARC, continues to be a strength for the Eagles. Putting aside Todd Clever and Dolan, all the new players into camp bring a lot of positive attributes. We've taught Hanco Germishuys for a long time and now he is going to get his shot. He's a bulldog who should dominate the South American teams. He'll miss the Canada match to play with the U-20s most likely. Alec Gletzer enjoyed an outstanding career at Cal and has all the attributes to excel with the Eagles. The same goes for Schirmer. Bruce Thomas is a great team guy that does a lot of the silent work that makes teams successful.

Just a note on Matt Trouville. He suffered an injury against UVic playing for Seattle last weekend and will not be available. 

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