Cape Town - Former Springbok assistant, and now head coach of the USA, Gary Gold, has named Marcel Brache as captain for the Eagles' opening Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) clash against Chile in Santiago on Saturday.
The Americas Rugby Championship is a round-robin competition featuring six teams: Argentina XV,
Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA.
All matches contested in the
ARC count for World Rugby rankings points and Test caps with the exception being those
played against the Argentina XV side who compete as a secondary national team.
The ARC began in 2016
when Argentina XV claimed the
inaugural honours. The USA are the
reigning champions having won both the 2017 and 2018 tournaments.
Brache, now 31, was born in Los Angeles, but spent his early years in South Africa. He was educated at Rondebosch Boys in Cape Town and went on to play for the Ikeys in the Varsity Cup in 2010 and 2011.
Brache represented Western Province between 2011-2013 in the Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup and made one substitute appearance for the Stormers in Super Rugby in 2012.
Ahead of the 2014 Super Rugby season, Brache signed a two-year contract with the Western Force and would go on to play 36 matches for the Australian side.
Brache, who owns 12 Test caps for the Eagles, takes over as skipper from Blaine Scully who has been ruled out of the clash due to injury.
Gold said ahead of the match: "Our first challenge of the ARC will not
be easy, playing the Chilean side in their home territory. Chile plays a
very passionate and physical game and given this is the start of a long
tournament, we must play to our strengths to establish the momentum we
need to carry us through the competition. Of course, we want to win our
third ARC title, but that will be even more difficult as all teams have
come back with a renewed physicality. This is the start of our Rugby
World Cup year and we must ensure our guys are prepared to manage the
intensity in each game for the full 80 minutes."
The USA sits on the better side of a 4-1 overall record with the
Chileans and won their previous three matchups in the ARC with a bonus
point win. Last time the two faced off, the Eagles walked away with a
45-13 victory on home soil. Given Chile has certainly strengthened since
last facing the United States, and with the U.S. Men's National Team
looking to maintain their form, Saturday's matchup will set the tone for
the next six weeks.
Following the match against Chile, the USA will face Argentina XV in Rio
Negro on February 9 before all teams rest for a bye week.
break, the Eagles will play three matches in the USA against Brazil (February 23), Uruguay (March 2) and Canada (March 8).
The USA are currently ranked 12th in the World Rugby standings, while Chile are 29th.
15 Will Magie, 14 Gannon Moore, 13 Bryce Campbell, 12 Paul Lasike, 11 Marcel Brache (captain), 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Shaun Davies, 8 Cam Dolan, 7 Hanco Germishuys, 6 John Quill, 5 Nick Civetta, 4 Greg Peterson, 3 Dino Waldren, 2 Joe Taufete'e, 1 Titi Lamositele
Substitutes: 16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Chance Wenglewski, 18 Paul Mullen, 19 Nate Brakeley, 20 Tevita Tameilau, 21 Ruben de Haas, 22 Tadhg Leader, 23 Dylan Audsley