Thursday, June 29, 2017

Who Will Start For The Eagles Against Canada?

The Eagles head into the must-win match against Canada on Saturday likely keeping most of the same line-up. There could be some changes if players like Chris Baumann and Tony Lamborn are healthy enough to go. The same is true of Joe Taufete'e although the fact he wasn't mentioned at all in last week's release can't be a good thing. With all that in mind we thought we'd take another stab at making what are sure to be horribly wrong predictions.

Prop: Paddy Ryan, Tony Purpura, Dino Waldren, Ben Tarr or Joe Taufete'e, Chris Baumman, Paddy Ryan, Tony Purpura.

Unless Joe Taufete'e and Chris Baumann are healthy we doubt there are going to be many changes in the prop group. Dino Waldren and Ben Tarr have bright futures ahead of them but as things stand Paddy Ryan and Tony Purpura would be the first choice props. Neither had an outstanding day against Canada in match one. If Taufete'e and Baumann are healthy enough to play we think they start bumping Ryan and Purpura to the bench.

Hooker: James Hilterbrand, Peter Malcolm

Given his experience and the fact that he started last weekend we think that James Hilterbrand is going to get the nod again this weekend. Peter Malcolm is playing some great rugby at the moment and provides good energy off the bench.

Take the jump to read more.

Lock: Ben Landry, Nick Civetta, Matt Jensen

Head coach John Mitchell threw us for a loop last week when he broke up the pairing of Nate Brakeley and Nick Civetta with Brakeley not even in the line-up in favor of Ben Landry. However, the locks were good last week against Canada and we think both Landry and Civetta start again. Jensen over Brakeley as a reserve is interesting but Mitchell seems to really like Jensen in that role.

Back-row: Todd Clever, Tony Lamborn, Cam Dolan, Andrew Durutalo, David Tameilau

There is no way that Todd Clever doesn't get the start and captain the side in his last match in an Eagles uniform. He may not be the most on form player but he starts. If Tony Lamborn is healthy enough to play we also think he starts. He's proven to be very consistent over the last year and has earned the trust of Mitchell. Cam Dolan had a solid game last week and we think he starts again this week. As for the bench Andrew Durutalo has established himself as a guy that can come in and make an impact. David Tameilau's versatility is also valuable. All of that unfortunately leaves John Quill out all together.

Scrumhalf: Nate Augspurger, Shaun Davies

For all of the debate surrounding scrumhalf Nate Augspurger has shown himself to be a trusted option by Mitchell. We could see Shaun Davies getting the surprise start with Augspurger on the wing but Mitchell hasn't elected to go that route so far and so we don't think he goes that way here.

Flyhalf: AJ MacGinty

Unless Mitchell decides to mess around with AJ MacGinty as a center again this is MacGinty's position.

Center: Marcel Brache, Bryce Campbell

We don't see a real reason to break up the center pairing of Marcel Brache and Bryce Campbell. Brache has one of his better matches in an Eagles jersey on Saturday with some solid running. Campbell is a solidly underrated player.

Wing: Ryan Matyas, Mike Te'o

Ryan Matyas was supposed to start last week before being scratched with an illness. We think he starts this week once again paired with Mike Te'o. It wouldn't shock us to see Te'o out at fullback and a player like Matai Leuta step into the wing role but we think it's Matyas and Te'o.

Fullback: Ben Cima, Will Magie

We could see the starting role go to Will Magie but we think Ben Cima gets another chance this week.

So here are our surely wrong predications.

1. Joe Taufete'e or Paddy Ryan
2. James Hilterbrand
3. Chris Baumann or Tony Purpura
4. Ben Landry
5. Nick Civetta
6. Todd Clever
7. Tony Lamborn
8. Cam Dolan
9. Nate Augspurger
10. AJ MacGinty
11. Ryan Matyas
12. Marcel Brache
13. Bryce Campbell
14. Mike Te'o
15. Ben Cima

16. Peter Malcolm
17. Paddy Ryan or Dino Waldren
18. Tony Purpura or Ben Tarr
19. Matt Jensen
20. Andrew Durutalo
21. David Tameilau
22. Shaun Davies
23. Will Magie

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for at least giving us some news that's worthy of reading! The rest of the media sucks on USA Eagles rugby. Cheers and Goooo Eagles!