Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Who Will Start For The Eagles Against Chile?
The Eagles take on Chile in a couple of days in the first match of their ARC swing through South America. We take a look at who we think starts.
Prop: Chris Baumann, Tony Purpura, Ben Tarr, Ollie Kilifi, Demecus Beach
Head coach John Mitchell will have five options at prop once again. Chris Baumann and Tony Purpura have started two matches and then played half of another one. That's a lot of playing time so far. Chile have proven themselves as the weakest team and it could be a good opportunity for Mitchell to blood some new players. Along those lines it could be Ben Tarr and Ollie Kilifi get get a shot. Tarr has been in camp since the start while Kilifi joined last week. Demecus Beach is also with the team but given travel to South America and the limited training time that includes we think it's Tarr and Kilifi with Baumann and Purpura off the bench.
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Hooker: James Hilterbrand, Peter Malcolm, Hanco Germishuys
Peter Malcom has gotten the majority of the play early in the competition and he's done well. Why not let that continue and let him run wild against Chile. The thought could be that maybe he should be shown out against a tougher Argentina but we think Malcolm starts against Chile with Hilterbrand on the bench. Hanco Germishuys could be a surprise but we don't see it happening.
Lock: Siaosi Mahoni, Matt Jensen
There will be not Nate Brakeley and Nick Civetta partnership this week as both have returned to their clubs. That likely means that young Siaosi Mahoni gets the start. Players in camp have been raving about him and this will be his opportunity for extended minutes. We're also likely to see the return of Matt Jensen. We think he's been great and should excel against Chile. It's possible that one of Cam Dolan, Todd Clever, or David Tameilau slide down but we don't think so unless it's late in the match and one of Mahoni and Jensen is subbed out.
Back-row: Todd Clever, Tony Lamborn, Cam Dolan, David Tameilau, Hanco Germishuys
There are only five back-row players in camp this week but Mitchell is going to have plenty of options. Tony Lamborn, Todd Clever, Cam Dolan, and David Tameilau are all professional options. We think that Lamborn is fairly certain to start as are Dolan and Tameilau. That means Clever and Germishuys on the bench.
Scrumhalf: Shaun Davies, Nate Augspurger
Shaun Davies or Nate Augspurger? That is the question. Once again with the options on the wing being thin it could be another opportunity to slide Augspurger out to there again. If that's the case then Davies gets the start. If not, we think Augspurger starts over Davies.
Flyhalf: Will Magie, Ben Cima
Will Magie or Ben Cima? Magie has somewhat established himself as the number one option through three weeks but this is the perfect opportunity for Cima to get another start. With Chile being a team the Eagles should beat as easily as Brazil Cima can get a run out against good competition. That said, we wouldn't be surprised if Magie started.
Center: Bryce Campbell, JP Eloff, Calvin Whiting
Calvin Whiting comes into the camp this week. We think there are a lot of bright things ahead for him but having just come into camp we don't think he starts and instead it's Bryce Campbell and JP Eloff once again.
Wing: Spike Davis, Ryan Matyas, Luke Hume, Andrew Turner
This is the biggest question mark on the roster. Ryan Matyas started last week but he had to come off injured. If he can't go that leaves Spike Davis and Luke Hume (maybe Andrew Turner but we're not sure if he's still in camp). We think that Hume starts either way. This is the last time he's in camp and he wasn't on the roster against Canada. Alongside Hume we think Matyas gets the nod.
Fullback: Mike Te'o
The only other option we can think of that would displace Mike Te'o from his fullback spot is Will Magie sliding to fullback. That said, we think it's Te'o once again. Chile should give him plenty of practice handling kicks.
Forwards: Tarr, Malcolm, Kilifi, Mahoni, Jensen, Lamborn, Dolan, Tameilau
Backs: Augspurger, Cima, Matyas, Eloff, Campbell, Hume, Te'o
Bench: Hilterbrand, Purpura, Baumann, Clever, Germishuys, Davies, Magie, Whiting