Thursday, November 10, 2016

Eagles Named To Face Romania

Some big names have returned to the Eagles line-up as they get ready to take on Romania on Saturday. However, some of those names are going to have to wait to come off the bench. The biggest (literally) player that fits that category is Samu Manoa who doesn't get the start at lock or in the back-row. Instead, the same pairing from last week, Nate Brakeley and Nick Civetta, will get the nod at the locks. In the back-row Andrew Durutalo and Al McFarland come into the starting line-up to join Todd Clever. Tony Lamborn is out of the side completely as is Danny Barrett although Barrett's omission was expected. Langilangi Haupeakui is on the bench to provide cover.

In the front row Titi Lamositele and Chris Baumann keep their starting spots in the props while Joe Taufete'e comes in for James Hilterbrand at hooker. Hilterbrand is on the bench along with Dino Waldren and Eric Fry. Waldren has been playing with Blackrock in Ireland and could make his Eagles debut. Fry was not initially included in the Eagles November camp but his surprise inclusion is much needed given the performance of the Eagles scrum last weekend.

Take the jump to read more.
The backs will stay relatively similar to last weekend. Both Nate Augspurger and Will Holder keep their spots at scrumhalf and flyhalf respectively. Martin Iosefo stays on the wing but Blaine Scully comes in for Matai Leuta who is now on the bench. Bryce Campbell also keeps his spot in the centers with Thretton Palamo joining him. Madison Hughes will be the fullback. Backs reserves include Steve Tomasin, JP Eloff, and Matai Leuta.

On paper this is a balanced team that should bring a lot of power to Romania. The Oaks will be strong in their scrum but unlike the Maori All Blacks could be very vulnerable if the Eagles can swing the ball out wide early and often. Additionally, the return of several veterans should also calm the team.

Forwards: Titi Lamositele, Joe Taufete'e, Chris Baumann, Nate Brakeley, Nick Civetta, Al McFarland, Todd Clever (C), Andrew Durutalo

Backs: Nate Augspurger, Will Holder, Martin Iosefo, Bryce Campbell, Thretton Palamo, Blaine Scully, Madison Hughes

Bench: James Hilterbrand, Eric Fry, Dino Waldren, Samu Manoa, Langilangi Haupeakui, Steve Tomasin, JP Eloff, Matai Leuta


  1. No Dolan, Brache, Lamborn or Ngwenya on the squad at all? Manoa on the bench? What's going on here?

  2. How is it that Todd Clever is still on this team? Not a single professional rugby side in the world will pay this guy 1 red cent for his services and he still gets selected to captain an International side. Look at the tape, he was absolutely rubbish against the MAB. I am really starting to question Mitchell's coaching/selection ability.

  3. Rumors are they having issues with Ngwenya traveling again....

  4. I was really hoping for something like this:

    Manoa / Dolan
    Dolan / Manoa




    How he can select Clever after last week and leave out Manoa is beyond me.

    Brache has 42 appearances in Super Rugby and would be the best 3/4 on the park in Bucharest, but Mitchell prefers a guy with college experience.

  5. Two things with this selection. First, Mitchell is trying to develop younger players so that we have depth in our squad. Which explains some of the selections. We already know what Manoa and Dolan contribute, which is why we need to see Civetta and Brakely in action. Second, he is likely saving the strongest roster for what should be the harder test match, Tonga. This gives all of those players who just came in to camp a week of getting used to the pattern of play before playing. It also allows them to be rested and not carrying niggles from what should be a physical encounter against Romania.