Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vets Return As Eagles Name Starters To Face Tonga

After last week's loss to Romania head coach John Mitchell has made several changes to the Eagles as they get ready to play Spain on Saturday. After coming off the bench last week Samu Manoa will get the start as will the likes of Marcel Brache, Cam Dolan, and Tony Lamborn, all players that sat last week. Overall, the team will have a very familiar feel to it from the teams that played Romania and the Maori All Blacks.

Nate Augspurger and Will Holder will get the starts in the halfbacks once again. They've each had their up and down moments this fall and the match against Tonga will be one more audition before next year's World Cup qualifiers. Brache will join Thretton Palamo in the centers. Brache has played center for most of his career before sliding out to the wing for the Western Force. The wings will be Martin Iosefo and Blaine Scully once again. Scully will captain the side. Madison Hughes will be the fullback.

In the front-row Joe Taufete'e keeps his starting spot but at prop, not hooker. Chris Baumann will start once again. Eric Fry, who was on the bench last week, and Titi Lamositele, who started, are back with their respective clubs. Starting at hooker is James Hilterbrand.

Take the jump to read more.

Cam Dolan is available this week and gets the nod at lock. Nick Civetta has been allowed by Newcastle to play in the match and he'll start with Dolan. The back-row looks incredibly strong with Manoa, Lamborn, and Andrew Durutalo all starting.

On the bench you have a mixture of veterans and relative newcomers. Pat Blair will be the back-up hooker while Angus MacLellan and Dino Waldren are the prop reserves. Al McFarland and Langilangi Haupeakui round out the forwards. Mike Te'o, JP Eloff, and Bryce Campbell are the backs reserves.

The Eagles take on Tonga in San Sebastian, Spain on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. et/8:00 a.m. pt. The match will be shown on The Rugby Channel.

Forwards: Joe Taufete'e, James Hilterbrand, Chris Baumann, Cam Dolan, Nick Civetta, Samu Manoa, Tony Lamborn, Andrew Durutalo

Backs: Nate Augspurger, Will Holder, Martin Iosefo, Marcel Brache, Thretton Palamo, Blaine Scully, Madison Hughes

Bench: Pat Blair, Angus MacLellan, Dino Waldren, Al McFarland, Langilangi Haupeakui, Mike Te'o, JP Eloff, Bryce Campbell

1 comment:

  1. Better, but still some odd selections.

    How much time has Joe Taufete'e played at prop?

    There is still not enough cover at lock.

    Why is a number 8 (Manoa) playing on the flank while an openside (Durutalo) plays at 8?

    Palamo plays 12 at his club, and Brache is a winger or outside center. Why has Mitchell picked Brache at 12 and Palamo at 13?