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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Mitchell Picks Eagles Summer Squad


Eagles head coach John Mitchell has named his squad this summer's tests against Italy and Russia. Surprisingly, the team includes some 7s players. It was thought that those players would be unavailable due to the Olympics. There are some new players into the team, including Tony Lamborn, a flanker for the Hurricanes in Super Rugby. The rest of the team comes from the same group that was around for the ARC plus some names like AJ MacGinty and Andrew Durutalo who were unavailable for the ARC.

The most notable name missing from the list is Samu Manoa, who is still recovering from injury. Also absent and not listed as unavailable is Eric Fry. Angus MacLellan, Peter Tiberio, Steve Tomasin, Harry Higgins, Seth Halliman, and Nate Augspurger could all gain their first caps. Blaine Scully and Todd Clever will share the captaining duties once again.

Take the jump to read more.
Also of note from the squad announcement, Phil Greening is staying on as the defense coach while Eagles 7s head coach Mike Friday is the attacking coach. Rob Hoadley and Marty Veale also remain on the coaching staff.

Forwards: Chris Baumann, Nate Brakeley, Todd Clever, Tom Coolican, Cam Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, Harry Higgins, James Hilterbrand, Ollie Kilifi, James King, Tony Lamborn, Titi Lamositele, Angus MacLellan, Brodie Orth, Greg Peterson, Aladdin Schirmer, Ben Tarr, Joe Taufete'e

Backs: Nate Augspurger, James Bird, Shaun Davies, Seth Halliman, Will Holder, Luke Hume, Chad London, AJ MacGinty, Deion Mikesell, Taku Ngwenya, Thretton Palamo, Blaine Scully, Shalom Suniula, Mike Te'o, Peter Tiberio, Steve Tomasin

Unavailable: JP Eloff, Ben Landry, Samu Mano

14 comments:

  1. No Christian Ostberg? Very disappointing.

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  2. Interesting that Bliss and Kruger have been left off the squad. Also what about David Tamilaeo (sp?). He was solid at #8 in the ARC.

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  3. No Eric Fry? He's a strong part of our front row

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  4. Not surprised about Bliss or Kruger. Kruger showed he isn't yet ready for Test Rugby during the ARC. His decision making needs work. Bliss just hasn't played much. Give him time. As far as Fry goes, you know what he gives you. Great in open play and a tactician at the lineout. But he's average at best come scrum time. Give some younger props minutes and see how they do. Plus, Fry hasn't played much rugby outside the ARC. He was the 3rd choice loosehead on a bad Newcastle team.

    Tameilau is a surprising omission, but not when you consider his fitness. After a year in the Premiership with Newcastle, I think he will be a regular. He just needs time to get fit for international rugby and to develop his game.

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    1. Disagree completely about Fry. The reason he got little time is that Newcastle made a decision to go with UK players as a matter of policy. Fry and Clever were both relegated to deep reserve.

      Fry and Lamisotele were forming a solip pair up front. The one feature of the WC was that the Eagle pack was solid - even taking two against the head vs Scotland.

      My guess is that Fry is sorting out where his rugby career goes from here. He is no kid and likely needs to decide where is career is headed. I hope he is not done. He is head and shoulders above any domestic options.

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    2. Well, if he was so good he would have already signed on with a squad for next season. The northern hemisphere squads are pretty much done signing players. I don't disagree that he is better than the domestic options, just simply that you know what you get with Fry. At some point we have to build depth.

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    3. They wouldn't leave our Fry to try out other players. They are looking to get their first Tier 1 Scalp. Fry and Lamositele are the two best options we have available to us right now hands down. The ARC was used for trying out our depth.

      I think the fact that we haven't seen Fry join a pro team or be included on this roster means he is taking a sabbatical from rugby or retiring.

      I think he will be missed against the Italian Scrum.....

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    4. Mitchell is on record as saying he dropped players with high penalty counts. Could that be Fry? He does give away penalties come scrum time.

      I think a front row of Kilifi/Baumann, Taufete'e, and Lamositele is pretty strong. We may miss Fry, but only time shall tell.

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  5. Has Phil Thiel retired? Seamus Kelly? Where is Al McFarland too? I also am surprised John Quill has been omitted.

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  6. Did Petri, Stanfill, Fenaglio, Trouville also retire? As I recall there were only three RWC players that made an official announcement (LaValla, Wyles, Smith) am I missing something or has Mitchell just dropped them from consideration?

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  7. You got to remember in the last interview with this site he said one of the biggest challenges since taking over is that "We cannot control selection & commitment of the best team mix & how long it will take to get the experience we need to consistently win." He is still not in control of selections it seems. My guess is Magleby which doesn't make much sense to me.


    http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2016/05/mitchell-discusses-summer-series.html

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    1. I think he is referring to the complexities of selecting amateur players with full-time jobs. He stated that unlike the ARC, he was able to pick this squad.

      I think Seamus Kelly and Petri are focusing on careers at the moment. Lou Stanfill retired as well. I think Thiel retired too. Trouville and McFarland aren't international quality players that will help us beat Tier 1 Nations. Good players, yes. International quality? I don't think so. Quill is a bit surprising though. He has played well. However, i can't see him starting over Clever, Durutalo, or Lamborn. He would be a good sub.

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  9. Why aren't players like Seamus Kelly and Zach Pangelinan in Pro Rugby?

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