February 19, 2016
Eagles Meet Chile in Americas Rugby Championship Match
Logos: Americas Rugby Championship
The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles play their final home match of the Americas Rugby Championship on Saturday, February 20th at Lockhart Stadium at 6 pm ET in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It will be broadcast live on ESPN 3 (WatchESPN.com). Tickets are still available at Lockhart Stadium.
Men’s Eagles Head Coach John Mitchell will have some news caps for this match. Todd Clever, off a hat trick performance against Canada, will captain the side. This is the last ARC match for Todd and Eric Fry, who has been a force at prop, as they return to England for the remainder of the Newcastle Falcons season.
The United States team travels to South America for the remaining two weeks against Brazil and Uruguay. The Eagles enter this match tied for first place with Argentina XV in the competition. After their initial draw against Argentina they won last week against Canada. In both matches they earned bonus points.
John Mitchell indicated that “we’re [in a place to win] this competition, but it’s not necessarily something we’re focused on. We respect the opposition and they bring different challenges each week. Obviously we look at them thoroughly, but we focus more on ourselves than the opposition in the competition.”
Against Canada, 14 Eagles received their first caps. The initial match against Argentina was not considered to be a test match.
For this match Tom Bliss will make his first first appearance with the national team at scrumhalf. Niku Kruger will be a reserve. At flyhalf, JP Eloff will team with Bliss. Mike Te’o moves to full back. Nick Edwards will also be a new cap on the wing. Both he and Pat Blair will return to the Men’s Eagles Sevens program in Chula Vista after the match.
Lorenzo Thomas impressed the coaching staff in the Men’s Junior All-Americans World Rugby U20 trophy qualifier last week and will be paired with Chad London in the centers. Chad had a dynamic performance last week against Canada. Luke Hume, who had a key performance last week also returns at Wing.
There also could be three debuts in the reserves in Demecus Beach, Pat Blair, and Ryan Matyas.John Mitchell added “it’s important to grow the depth. We’re establishing greater competition down the tracks, and there was already competition in this side. There’ll be even greater competition come June and November.””It’s quite unusual coming into an environment and people turning up and leaving as a result of the planning. It’s been a bit challenging, but it’s also been quite refreshing. There’s new energy each week in bringing people up to speed.”Saturday’s match against Chile and the two matches against Brazil and Uruguay feature teams that are ranked lower than the United States, who currently is ranked in 16th place. All three teams will be looking to give the Eagles a battle and having been rapidly improving. For the USA, new head coach John Mitchell would like to see who his potential future players pool is through player performances at the ARC.
In discussing ARC and Chile’s team, Mitchell added “where we finish will be a byproduct of what we bring in our performance, and it will be a byproduct of our preparation. We’re mindful of that. Chile’s quite a different team to Canada and Argentina. They love to play with a lot of freedom and play from 100 meters out, and they could turn up in any area of space on attack.”
The Eagles will need to minimize any penalties in this match as Matías Nordenflycht is one of the most accurate kickers in the game.
Chile have made six changes – evenly split between backs and forwards – from the starting line-up that took on Argentina XV in round two.
The United States and Argentina XV lead the standings after round 2 with 8 points, Canada and Uruguay are next with 5 points, Chile has 4 and Brazil has 2.
Men’s Eagles | v. Chile
1. Eric Fry 2. Joseph Taufete’e 3. Chris Baumann 4. Ben Landry 5. Brodie Orth 6. Nate Brakeley 7. Todd Clever (C) 8. David Tameilau 9. Tom Bliss 10. JP Eloff 11. Nic Edwards 12. Chad London 13. Lorenzo Thomas 14. Luke Hume 15. Mike Te’o 16. Mike Sosene-Feagai 17. Olive Kilifi 18. Demecus Beach 19. Alec Gletzer 20. Patrick Blair 21. Niku Kruger 22. Ryan Matyas 23. Jake Anderson Coaches: John Mitchell – Head Coach, Phil Greening – Assistant Coach, Marty Veale – Assistant Coach, Rob Hoadley – Assistant Coach, David Williams – Strength and Conditioning Coach, Paul Goulding – Video Analyst, Sean Lindersmith – Team Manager
Chile Squad: 1 Claudio Zamorano 2 Tomás Dussaillaint 3 Luis Sepúlveda 4 Felipe Bassaletti 5 Raimundo Piwonka 6 Ignacio Silva 7 Javier Richard 8 Benjamín Soto (cap) 9 Beltrán Vergara 10 Cristian Onetto 11 Humberto Chacaltana 12 Francisco de la Fuente 13 Matías Nordenflycht 14 Matías Contreras 15 Pablo Casas 16 Rodrigo Moya 17 Iñaki Gurruchaga 18 José Tomás Munita 19 Cristobal Niedmann 20 Nikola Bursic 21 Matthieu Manas 22 José Ignacio Larenas 23 Leonardo Montoya.
Men’s Eagles: Americas Rugby Championship 2016
v. Argentina – D 35-35
v. Canada – W 30-22
v. Chile – Saturday, Feb. 20 @ 6:10 p.m. ET – Lockhart Stadium (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
v. Brazil – Saturday, Feb. 27 @ 3:10 p.m. ET – Arena Barueri (São Paolo, Brazil)
v. Uruguay – Saturday, March 5 @ 4:10 p.m. ET – Charrua Stadium (Montevideo, Uruguay)