Santiago welcomes Eagles for Saturday's Americas Rugby Championship match

SANTIAGO, Chile – Nate Augspurger will captain the USA Men’s Eagles Saturday, Feb. 25, in their Americas Rugby Championship 2017 Week Four matchup with Chile at Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo.

All-time caps leader Todd Clever has been named vice captain of John Mitchell’s squad and is one of five Eagles in the match-day 23 that took part in the team’s 64-0 shutout of Chile in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., last year. The victory was the second for the Eagles in three matches against Chile, and the third-largest win for the national team in its history. Currently level at the top of the ARC standings with Argentina XV, the U.S. could improve to 4-0 when the action kicks off in Santiago Saturday at 1:40 p.m. ET. The live broadcast will be available to subscribers of The Rugby Channel, with a re-air available on ESPN3 Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8 p.m. ET.

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Slotted into the team at wing for the third consecutive week following five starts at scrum half in the past year, Augspurger has been an offensive weapon in the back line partnering full back Mike Te’o and centers Bryce Campbell and JP Eloff. That back-three combination has already combined for seven tries in three matches of the ARC, and will have try-scorer Aaron Davis partnering Augspurger along the touch lines.

Ben Cima returns to the starting XV following his debut at fly half against Uruguay in Week One. The 20-year-old All-American has already accumulated 17 points between the opening match of the tournament and substitute appearances against Brazil and Canada. Shaun Davies will field the No. 10 with quick passing from the tackle area in the Glendale Raptor’s fifth appearance for the Eagles.

Cam Dolan played the full 80 minutes in the Eagles’ fifth consecutive victory against border rival Canada after a try-scoring substitute appearance upon his arrival to camp in Austin, Texas. The back row will again feature the Cardiff Blues professional at No. 8 and Clever and Tony Lamborn at blind side and open side flanker, respectively.

Rugby World Cup 2015 veteran Chris Baumann will prop with Ben Tarr outside hooker James Hilterbrand, who captained the Eagles against Brazil in Texas. The three-pronged combination is new for the Eagles as Dino Waldren’s time with the assembly came to a close prior to the flight to South America. Tony Purpura, scorer of his first international try last weekend, and Peter Malcolm will provide front-row cover from the reserves, while Olive Kilifi could play in his first test since last year’s ARC having recovered from a lengthy 2016 injury.

Apart from the Eagles’ successes in open play, they have benefitted greatly from set-piece dominance in the lineout and scrum. Testing out the front row with different combinations has allowed Mitchell and staff to accumulate data for the nearing Rugby World Cup 2019 Qualifiers against Canada, but the effective set-piece and open play of Nate Brakeley and Nick Civetta will be missed. The two started the first three matches of the tournament together in the second row – with Newcastle Falcons extending Civetta’s stay with the team for the rivalry match – but have returned to their day jobs.

Originally scheduled for just the South American legs of the tour, Matt Jensen left Brigham Young University to join the Eagles in camp in San Antonio as injury cover. He replaced Brakeley in the second half of the Uruguay win and will wear the left-behind No. 4 jersey in Santiago. Lock partner Siaosi Mahoni made his Eagle debut against Canada and earns his first start in a U.S. jersey against Chile.

Jensen’s club mate, Calvin Whiting, and fellow All-American standout Hanco Germishuys will be available as reserves in their first weeks with the team. Whiting and Andrew Turner could earn international test debuts from the bench. David Tameilau was also named as a reserve to support either the second or back rows.

Chile has not won an ARC match since the first week of the 2016 competition, a three-point defeat of Brazil at home. Currently at the bottom of the 2017 table with zero standings points, Chile has been held to 28 points and three tries in three matches this month. The Eagles will look to build on the continuity from their ARC results while acclimating newer players to the assembly in the return fixture from last year’s shutout win.

Saturday’s match will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel to valid subscribers beginning at 1:40 p.m. ET. Match updates will be provided by USA Rugby’s Twitter account (@USARugby).

Men’s Eagles | v. 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

Men’s Eagles | Reserves

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 | 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. Manuel Dagnino

9. Sergio Bascuñán

10. Francisco González

11. Tomás Ianiszewski

12. Simón Pardakhty

13. Franco Velarde

14. Matías Contreras

15. Pedro Pablo Verschae

Chile | Reserves

16. Rodrigo Moya

17. Sebastián Valech

18. Ernesto Ugarte

19. Nelson Calderón

20. Eduardo Orpis

21. Beltrán Vergara

22. Jorge Castillo

23. Mauricio Urrutia

USA Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship

v. Uruguay – W 29-23
v. Brazil – W 51-3

v. Canada – W 51-34

v. Chile – Saturday, Feb. 25
v. Argentina XV – Saturday, March 4
View Americas Rugby Championship broadcast information >>