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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

30 Tickets To Japan: Prop & Hooker


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It's been awhile since our last edition of 30 Tickets but with the ARC halfway done and World Cup qualifying just around the corner we thought it was time to give it another go. For those that aren't aware 30 Tickets (okay it's 31 since there is an extra front row player) a guess at who would be on the Eagles World Cup roster if the tournament started today. The Eagles player pool has evolved a lot over the last two months so we'll be looking at the props and the forwards first before looking at other positions.

Prop Pool: Titi Lamositele, Eric Fry, Chris Baumann, Tony Purpura, Ben Tarr, Alex Maughan, Dino Waldren, Ollie Kilifi, Demecus Beach, Angus MacLellan,

It's interesting how much it feels like the prop situation for the Eagles has changed over the last year but in reality is pretty much the same. There is still two to three players who are close to guarantees to make the World Cup team if healthy and then there are a handful of players fighting for the last two spots.

Take the jump to read more.
At this point Titi Lamositele is pretty much an automatic selection for head coach John Mitchell. It's had his best year for Saracens yet and has been a big presence for the Eagles for a few years now. That's crazy to think because he's only 21. Lamositele still has improvements to make in his game but he's one of the first players to pencil in and will almost certainly be at his second World Cup barring injury.

Chris Baumann also seems to be close to a guarantee. He has also had his best year as a professional not only for Denver but then for Wellington. If there is a third player to be close to a guarantee it's Eric Fry. Maybe we're off in that analysis as Fry hasn't always been involved over the last year but we think he's really come along as a player and a leader. He's one of the few Eagles props playing consistently at a high level and that is so hard to overlook.

Then comes who fills in. There is a whole host of players fighting for those last few spots. Just at this year's ARC there is Tony Purpura, Ben Tarr, Alex Maughan, Dino Waldren, Ollie Kilifi, and Demecus Beach. You can also add in Angus MacLellan who has been good when given a chance.

Because the Eagles get an extra front-row player they could take two more props but Joe Taufete'e's versatility at hooker and at prop changes that equation so we think only one makes it and it's MacLellan.

Our Picks: Lamositele, Baumann, Fry, MacLellan

Hooker Pool: James Hilterbrand, Peter Malcolm, Hanco Germishuys, Joe Taufete'e, Pat Blair

Hooker is a much more straightforward position but their will be battle. James Hilterbrand is pretty much guaranteed a selection if he's healthy. The same goes for Joe Taufete'e who is making his name over in England. As mentioned above he's versatile enough to be that extra front-row player.

Those battling for what is likely a third spot are Peter Malcolm, Hanco Germishuys, and Pat Blair. Both Germishuys and Blair have converts to hooker that haven't seen much time. Malcolm has been excellent at the ARC and arguably the biggest surprise. We think it's him.

Our Picks: Hilterbrand, Taufete'e, Malcolm


3 comments:

  1. Excellent post! I look forward to the rest of the series. I myself have spent a little time this week trying to construct a depth chart and the only position that I personally can't see a clear 2nd or 3rd is tight head. I know the names of the candidates but wasn't sure of the pecking order.

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  2. What about Val LeeLo. He's only about 20. Maybe he's more in line for 2023.

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