Thursday, June 15, 2017

Changes For Eagles To Face Georgia

Photo: All World Photo

Eagles head coach John Mitchell has chopped and changed his starting line-up as his team prepares to play Georgia on Saturday. Several veterans like Todd Clever have been put into the line-up but at the same time some relatively new players are going to get a chance to play. In particular the Eagles look dangerous in the backs with AJ MacGinty moving to inside center and Will Magie starting at flyhalf. If the Eagles can hold their own in the scrum they have the potential to score a lot of tries.

As mentioned Will Magie will get the chance at flyhalf. He's played well since getting his chance to play for the Eagles and his boot has been a major asset. He'll pair with Shaun Davies. The BYU alum was a second half substitute last weekend. He likes to play quick which might be exactly what the Eagles need. With Davies starting at scrumhalf that means Nate Augspurger will move out to the wing. On the opposite side will be Matai Leuta. He was a late injury call-up to camp but will get a chance to put his hand up for World Cup qualifying selection.

Take the jump to read more.
MacGinty has played in the centers before back against Uruguay in the first match of the Americas Rugby Championship. That worked fairly well and if it works well again against Georgia it could be what is played against Canada next week. Also in the centers is Bryce Campbell. Mike Te'o is the fullback.

The forwards will also have a few changes. Chris Baumann keeps his starting spot but he'll be joined by Tony Purpura who was the revelation of the ARC. James Hilterbrand comes in to start at hooker. On the bench the Eagles have Peter Malcolm, Ben Tarr, and Dino Waldren as options. Joe Taufete'e is getting a rest.

The favored lock pairing of Nate Brakeley and Nic Civetta has been broken up. Brakeley continues to start but Civetta will get a rest with Ben Landry starting. Matt Jensen will be the reserve although Cam Dolan and Todd Clever can slide down if needed.

In the back-row Todd Clever comes in to start and captain the team. Tony Lamborn keeps his starting place. Cam Dolan is fit and will start in place of David Tameilau at No. 8. Tameilau is not in the line-up while Andrew Durutalo is the back-row reserve.

The rest of the bench will be filled out by Ben Cima, Marcel Brache, and Ryan Matyas.

The match will be streamed live at 7:00 p.m. et/4:00 p.m. pt on The Rugby Channel.

Forwards: Tony Purpura, James Hilterbrand, Chris Baumann, Nate Brakeley, Ben Landry, Todd Clever (C), Tony Lamborn, Cam Dolan

Backs: Shaun Davies, Will Magie, Nate Augspurger, AJ MacGinty, Bryce Campbell, Matai Leuta, Mike Te'o

Bench: Peter Malcolm, Ben Tarr, Dino Waldren, Matt Jensen, Andrew Durutalo, Ben Cima, Marcel Brache, Ryan Matyas


  1. Maybe it's just me, but never been a Leuta fan. Not sure what he has done on 7s series to deserve his shot. I don't see how Unufe isn't given a chance at wing over him. Is it too early to give Wooching a chance?

  2. What Happened to John Quill? Not even a mention of him in several articles I've read on the new lineup. Just getting a mystery benching like Clever did last week?

    1. Mitchell decided to rest Quill and Civetta for the Canada games.

  3. Wooching has done nothing to deserve a call up to the Eagles. Maybe for the next ARC. He is barely back into rugby.

    Leuta may not have started in the 7s but he consistently travelled and clearly has the respect of Friday. Who seems to be the one recommending replacement wings for Mitchell. I've always wanted Unufe to break through in 15s but he has been given chances in camps and never seemed to make an impression. I'd guess his Lack of 15s experience hurts him. And with a lot less space, he may not impress as much.

    Leuta is a big guy but was a 15s back in fiji and in the Us before he got discovered in at that tryout. He has a well rounded skill set at wing. I'd guess there is a reason we see Iosefo and Leuta getting most of the time in terms of 7s guys in 15s. Bigger backs, still fast with a good step but still big