Eagles squad capable of going one better

by Sam Phillips

The NSW Country Eagles have named a squad capable of going one better, ahead of their NRC opener on Sunday.

The core that took the team to the grand final last year, where they fell to Perth Spirit, is still there, with some exciting additions from both the Australian U20s and Shute Shield.

Prop Harry Johnson-Holmes is one of those exciting Australian U20s additions, with Lachlan Swinton also having played a part in the World Rugby U20s Championship run.

Having signed with the Warathahs, Tom Staniforth will be looking for a big NRC campaign, with Warringah Rats and former Australian Schoolboys star Maclean Jones another notable addition.Paddy Ryan and the Eagles fell one match short in 2017. Photo: Getty ImagesMitch Short will be looking to turn a Western Force debut into regular NRC minutes, while Kyle Godwin, Andrew Kellaway, Alex Newsome and Reece Robinson will form the core of a backline that carved teams up in 2016.

On the Wallabies front, Tom Robertson, Ned Hanigan, Bernard Foley, Sekope Kepu and Kurtley Beale have been named.

That may be more negative than positive, though, as all five are regulars in Michael Cheika's best 23.


Eagles squad for the NRC

Samuel Needs

Harry Johnson-Holmes

Paddy Ryan

Cameron Betham

Matt Gibbon

Connal McInerney

Brandon Paenga-Amosa

Tolu Latu

Ryan McCauley

Lachlan Swinton

Tim Buchanan

Tom Staniforth

Rohan O'Regan

Nick Kellaway

Pat McCutcheon

Maclean Jones

Rowan Perry

Sam Ward

Jake Gordon

Mitch Short

Archie King

Tayler Adams

Jock Armstrong

Kyle Godwin

Tom Hill

Seb Wileman

Alex Newsome

Tyson Davis

Lachie Anderson

Andrew Kellaway

Alex Gibbon

Christian Kagiassis

Henry Clunies-Ross

Reece Robinson

Aligned Wallabies

Tom Robertson

Ned Hanigan

Kurtley Beale

Sekope Kepu

Bernard Foley