Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Who Will Start For The Eagles Against Scotland?


The Eagles head into their match against Scotland this weekend with cautious optimism. The U.S. has one of their strongest teams in a long time and are on great form. Additionally they are taking on a young Scotland team. However, the caution comes from the fact that the U.S. still have yet to beat a Tier I country and despite Scotland being young they are still a team full of seasoned professionals. With that in mind we though we'd take a guess (probably wrong) at who head coach Gary Gold chooses to start this weekend.

Prop: Eric Fry, Paul Mullen

One of the consistent themes that Gold has stressed repeatedly is that he doesn't like to change around his teams too much. He likes to give them time to come together. As such we don't think he makes any change at prop unless there is an injury. Both Eric Fry and Paul Mullen did well last week. Maybe Mullen gets swapped out for a more experienced player like Chris Baumann but we don't think it will happen. That said, there could also be a surprise this week with Titi Lamositele coming into the starting line-up. If he doesn't start he should be on the bench.

Hooker: Joe Taufete'e

Strong last week. As long as he's healthy he starts. If not look for Dylan Fawsitt to start with James Hilterbrand once again coming off the bench.

Take the jump to read more.
Lock: Samu Manoa, Nick Civetta

We really liked the look of Samu Manoa and Nick Civetta together last week. Defensively they got after it and in the lineout there were outstanding. No reason to change things around here. Greg Peterson should be the option off the bench again with Ben Landry also providing an option.

Back-row: John Quill, Hanco Germishuys, Cam Dolan

Again, no changes here. They all did well and deserve another shot. We wouldn't be surprised if Vili Toluta'u was on the bench.

Scrumhalf: Shaun Davies

No changes.

Flyhalf: AJ MacGinty

See above.

Center: Paul Lasike, Bryce Campbell

We thought about making some changes here but this center pairing has a lot of potential and why wouldn't you want to throw them out there against a very good team. If Paul Lasike can up his level and take on Scotland it will be a big step in his progression.

Wing: Marcel Brache, Blaine Scully

Again, no changes.

Fullback: Will Hooley

We really liked Hooley at fullback last week. He did exactly what Gold was looking for in adding another playmaker. He also helped relieve pressure with his kicking game. A good performance against Scotland and Hooley may have permanently snatched this position.

Our (probably wrong) predictions:

Forwards: Fry, Taufete'e, Mullen, Manoa, Civetta, Quill, Germishuys, Dolan

Backs: Davies, MacGinty, Brache, Lasike, Campbell, Scully, Hooley

Bench: Hilterbrand, Lamositele, Baumann, Peterson, Landry, Augspurger, Magie, Audsley


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