Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

Eagles Selected to Face Chile

irish rugby tours

Eagles Selected to Face Chile

Nate Augspurger gets the captain's C for the Eagles. David Barpal photo.

USA Men's 15s Head Coach John Mitchell has made more changes in his team's lineup as the Americas Rugby Championship moves on to Round 4 and the Eagles take on Chile in Santiago.

Mitchell has been forced into some changes - Eagle Changes for Patagonian Challenge - as some players have had to return to their jobs or pro teams. Notably, the starting lock pairing of Nate Brakeley and Nick Civetta, who have been really good, are not there. So two youngsters get a shot, as Siaosi Mahoni, just turned 20, and Matt Jensen, still at BYU, start in the second row. Mahoni was in the HS All American program, and Jensen played for Herriman HS in Utah, so both have been in the system for a while.

Also shifting around, the front row. Chris Baumann has been a fixture and has enjoyed good form this February. James Hilterbrand replaces Peter Malcolm as Mitchell rotates his hookers. Former USA U20 prop Ben Tarr gets a start.

In the back row, John Quill goes back home, and Tony Lamborn takes over. Todd Clever and Cam Dolan return. Clever is the vice captain against Chile having been captain against Canada.

Of that win against Canada, Clever that while his team had an excellent start against the Canadians, "we knew, I knew, it wasn't going to be enough."

In a high-scoring game (the USA beat Canada 15-13 in 2015, and then 51-34 last week, playing at the same venue), the players got to see the upside and the risks of Mitchell's free-flowing approach.

"You've got to earn that right to go wide and some of the big boys need to put in big carries," Clever said. "We've shown that we can go wide to wide, and it was an exciting game to play in and for fans to watch."

The team continues to see lineup changes - something that has frustrated Clever in the past. But this time around there seems to be a little bit more unity of purpose.

"Mitch has a pretty good master plan of what he wants in the ARC," Clever explained. "Guys know when they're going to come on and what they need to do when they come on."

Shaun Davies returns at scrumhalf after a solid outing against Canada, but his halfback partner will be Ben Cima this time around while Will Magie - Video - Magie Reflects on Arrival, Canada Game  - is on the bench. The threequarters are virtually unchanged from last week except that Spike Davis comes in for Ryan Matyas at wing, and Nate Augspurger changes from vice captain to captain. The scrumhalf-turned wing from Minnesota was superb last week.

On the bench, Peter Malcolm, Anthony Purpura, and Magie are all regulars in the ARC. Olive Kilifi was with the squad last week and gets a chance to find some time at prop. As reported earlier, Hanco Germishuys joins th squad and he provides cover at flanker. David Tameilau also joins the bench, as does BYU center Calvin Whiting. Three bench players - Whiting, Magie, and Germishuys - have captained USA age-grade teams.

And finally, Andrew Turner might get a look in the backs. The 23-year-old wing played for London Scottish. While Turner is an overseas-based player trying to get his shot, but most of this team does not have that profile. While seven of the 23 players started their rugby education overseas, four were in the USA development system in the HS All Americans, USA U20s, or Collegiate All Americans. Of the 23 players, 13 played HS rugby in the USA, ten played college rugby in America (or still are), and 12 were in the age-grade national tam programs.

The Eagles kick off against the Condors Saturday at 1:40pm ET. The game is on The Rugby Channel (http://therugbychannel.tv/) behind the pay wall.

USA Lineup to Face Chile
1. Ben Tarr
2. James Hilterbrand
3. Chris Baumann
4. Matthew Jensen
5. Siaosi Mahoni
6. Todd Clever
7. Tony Lamborn
8. Cameron Dolan
9. Shaun Davies
10. Ben Cima
11. Nate Augspurger (C)
12. JP Eloff
13. Bryce Campbell
14. Aaron Davis
15. Mike Te'o

16. Peter Malcolm
17. Anthony Purpura
18. Olive Kilifi
19. Hanco Germishuys
20. David Tameilau
21. Will Magie
22. Calvin Whiting
23. Andrew Turner

Chile Lineup v USA
1. Vittorio Lastra
2. Manuel Gurruchaga
3. José Tomás Munita
4. Mario Mayol
5. Nikola Bursic
6. Arturo Seeman
7. Anton Petrowitsch
8. Manueal Dagnino
9. Sergio Bascuñán
10. Francisco González
11. Tomás Ianiszewski
12. Simón Pardakhty
13. Franco Velarde
14. Matías Contreras
15. Pedro Pablo Verschae

16. Rodrigo Moya
17. Sebastián Valech
18. Ernesto Ugarte
19. Nelson Calderón
20. Eduardo Orpis
21. Beltrán Vergara
22. Jorge Castillo
23. Mauricio Urrutia