Wednesday, February 22, 2017

30 Tickets To Japan: Scrumhalf & Flyhalf

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Our 30 Tickets continues with a look at scrumhalf and flyhalf. 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.

Scrumhalf Pool: Nate Augspurger, Shaun Davies, Madison Hughes, Chris Saint, Shalom Suniula, Steve Tomasin, Tom Bliss, Nick Boyer

Scrumhalf is a position that the Eagles have been searching for since the retirement of Mike Petri. Even before that they were looking for a back-up to Petri. Right now Nate Augspurger and Shaun Davies have the inside track. Head coach John Mitchell has gone back and forth with those two over the last few months and if the World Cup started now they would both be on the roster. 

Take the jump to read more.
There is room for someone to make their way in but so far no one has stepped up. Tom Bliss was in the picture but if he's sitting out a year for concussion protocol he might not have enough time to make it back. Chris Saint has also been tried out and he did well in PRO Rugby. Still, he hasn't been able to break through. Shalom Suniula took a break after the World Cup but could play his way back in. Nick Boyer, the former Cal player, would be the dark horse to break through if he can excel with Glendale. 

Two other players to seriously consider are 7s players Steve Tomasin and Madison Hughes. Tomasin played scrumhalf for the Eagles recently and we thought he did alright. He's definitely worth for another callback in the summer. Hughes has been a player fans have wanted to see him at #9 for the Eagles for a long time. That could still happen but given his commitment to 7s there are questions whether he can get enough game time at the 15s level in order to succeed. 

Our Picks: Augspurger, Davies

Flyhalf Pool: AJ MacGinty, Will Magie, Ben Cima, James Bird

The flyhalf pool is fairly straightforward. AJ MacGinty is the number one option it's just a matter of who will back him up. Shalom Suniula did that at in 2015 and his versatility could prove to be valuable if he's ready to get back in the Eagles picture. Outside of that it looks like Will Magie, James Bird, and Ben Cima are the options at the moment. Mitchell could take a younger player like Cima just for experience. Cima has done well at the ARC and the APC and in two years time could really be an option. Will Magie has been fantastic at the ARC and right now we think that he is the number two option. He could be unseated by James Bird when he returns to health. The battle between Cima, Magie, and Bird for one spot is really going to be fun to watch. 

Our Picks: MacGinty, Magie


  1. I definitely want to see Hughes in the #9 for 15s. Seems as though he could be a very dynamic 9, like Greg Laidlaw. Cima is young, and has the time to possibly be involved in the next 4 World Cups. Hopefully, with some caps he can get into a professional setup overseas or at least with an MLR club next year. Bird is interesting, but I would put him behind Magie in the pecking order.

  2. My best XV right now that I would love to see-
    1) Titi
    2) Joe T.
    3) Baumann
    4) Brakely
    5) Civetta
    6) Dolan
    7) Lamborn
    8) Manoa
    9) Davies