Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Who Will Start For The Eagles Against Georgia?

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The Eagles take on their second opponent of the summer as they face Georgia next weekend. Considering we were off last week we thought we'd weigh in again on who we think will start.

Prop: Paddy Ryan, Joe Taufete'e, Ben Tarr, Chris Baumann

It's highly likely the Eagles make some changes at prop. The second half was much better than the first at the scrum. Paddy Ryan was pretty serviceable in limited action and time together with the team. We think he gets the starting nod along with Chris Baumann. He may have had a quiet game against Ireland but Baumann has a solid record. The only think that may change that is what John Mitchell decides to do at hooker. If he goes with Peter Malcolm or James Hilterbrand there then we can easily see Joe Taufete'e get the start. At the moment we think it's Ryan and Taufete'e who start.

Hooker: James Hilterbrand, Peter Malcolm

As mentioned Taufete'e could be a very logical option here and we think he might start. However, both James Hilterbrand and Peter Malcolm are very solid options and with the props needing more depth it's easy to see Taufete'e move to prop. Hilterbrand was hobbling after the Ireland match and despite the overall struggles in the Eagles scrum Malcolm acquitted himself well. We think that Hilterbrand starts with Malcolm getting significant minutes.

Take the jump to read more.

Lock: Nate Brakeley, Nic Civetta, Matt Jensen

This is an area we think the Eagles don't make any changes. Nate Brakeley and Nic Civetta have been a terrific partnership for Mitchell and there is no reason to change things up this week. It's possible that if Cam Dolan is healthy it could shift some things around in the back-row that force changes in the locks but we don't think that happens given the chemistry between Brakeley and Civetta.

Back-row: Andrew Durutalo, Tony Lamborn, David Tameilau, Cam Dolan, John Quill

A couple of things could change in the back-row. Andrew Durutalo came in and made an impact in the second half against Ireland. However, both John Quill and Tony Lamborn had great days. We also thought that David Tameilau was one better players for the Eagles even though he missed a few defensive assignments. We think that Tameilau starts at the World Cup because he brings so much to the team. If there is a chance we have Durutalo coming in for Quill. Cam Dolan should be on the bench as he returns to health.

Scrumhalf: Shaun Davies

Nate Augspurger had his chance against Ireland and did well in many aspects of the game but when Shaun Davies came on the Eagles offense seemed to have more get-up to it. That quick ball that Davies provides is important because the U.S. have some very lethal backs only if they get the ball in time.

Flyhalf: AJ MacGinty

MacGinty is starting at flyhalf. He's easily one of the best players the Eagles have on the pitch and he's not going anywhere. Will Magie had some nice moments when he came on with a couple of great passes but he might be better at inside center.

Center: Marcel Brache, Bryce Campbell

We think the Eagles could make some changes here. Marcel Brache took a knock and could miss out. However, if he's available he's a good fit we just think he might move to the wing or outside center in place of Ryan Matyas. Will Magie makes sense at inside center because of his playmaking abilities but at the same time he's book and intelligence might be better suited to fullback. In the end we actually think Bryce Campbell slides back into the starting spot along side Marcel Brache. Campbell at outside center and Brache at inside center.

Wing: Nate Augspurger, Martin Iosefo, Mike Te'o

With Augspurger not starting at scrumhalf he gets the nod at wing. He's proved himself too valuable to not put in the starting line-up and wing makes the most sense. The question is who partners with him. We think that player is Martin Iosefo. He made some good breaks against Ireland but needs time to adjust to the 15s game. We could also see Matyas sliding in here or Mike Te'o keeping his starting spot but we're going with Augspurger and Iosefo.

Fullback: Will Magie, Ben Cima

It's easy to see Ben Cima returning to the starting role here. However, his kicking game was a little off and will need to be better. We think that Magie gets the start this week. Te'o could also start as Georgia are expected to kick less than Ireland who actually didn't get that much.

So here's who we think starts:

Forwards: Paddy Ryan, James Hilterbrand, Joe Taufte'e, Nate Brakely, Nic Civetta, Andrew Durutalo, Tony Lamborn, David Tameilau

Backs: Shaun Davies, AJ MacGinty, Nate Augspurger, Marcel Brache, Bryce Campbell, Martin Iosefo, Will Magie

Bench: Peter Malcolm, Ben Tarr, Chris Baumann, Matt Jensen, Cam Dolan, John Quill, Mike Te'o, Ben Cima