Team Announcement: LA Giltinis v Toronto Arrows

7 months ago

The LA Giltinis have promoted Corey Thomas, Marco Fepulea’i and Andrew Tuala to their starting pack to find a superior performance in Canada on Friday night.

Head coach Stephen Hoiles has juggled his starters and finishers rather than make major team changes following the disappointing 21-11 loss to the Houston SaberCats last weekend.

Most of all, Hoiles wants to see a sharp lift in precision and the Giltinis imposing their game style on opponents with very different strengths to Houston.

The Toronto Arrows back plenty of ball movement in their attacking plans and pressure in defence with good line speed.

“We didn’t show enough respect to the style Houston play because we just didn’t adapt our game or play to our own strengths,” Hoiles said.

“We had a pretty blunt review this week and I feel we’ve made some good changes in attitude."

“We know Toronto are going to throw something different at us because they spread the ball wide, apply a lot of defensive pressure and back their fitness and speed."

“They are also smart enough to base plays on the deficiencies they saw from us against Houston."

“This is a test of character to bounce back and that’s not just the team but the coaching staff too.”

Prop Fepulea’i replaces the injured Charlie Abel (bicep), hooker Tuala comes in for Sean McNulty and the backrow gets a shuffle.

Corey Thomas adds height and lineout acumen to the backrow as the new No.8. USA Eagle Hanco Germishuys shifts to openside flanker and Christian Poidevin is bumped to the bench.

Scottish No.8 Adam Ashe (below) was an integral part of last year’s Championship season. He will make his comeback from the bench after surgeries to his shoulder and bicep.

In the backs, experienced dual code Australian Will Chambers swaps places with USA Eagle Ryan James on the wing.

Chambers, 33, played the final 30 minutes against Houston to get his first feel of Major League Rugby.

“Will is a very experienced player from rugby league in Australia and he’s always shown how quickly he adapts to rugby. He runs hard, he’ll get involved and we want to get him up to speed in MLR,” Hoiles said.

The Arrows have taken the first MLR game to Langford on Vancouver Island this Friday night. The Giltinis will not be surprised by the one-sided support in the chilly seven-degree temperatures forecast.

There is sure to be a bit of extra feeling in this match with Canadian internationals Ben LeSage, Djustice Sears-Duru and Thomas up against the strong contingent of Canadian Test players at the Arrows, including 43-Test flanker Lucas Rumball.

LA GILTINIS (v Toronto Arrows)

1 Djustice Sears-Duru, 2 Andrew Tuala, 3 Marco Fepulea’i , 4 Dave Dennis (capt), 5 Nathan Den Hoedt, 6 Angus Cottrell, 7 Hanco Germishuys, 8 Corey Thomas, 9 Harrison Goddard, 10, Luke Burton, 11 Will Chambers, 12 Billy Meakes, 13 Ben LeSage, 14 John Ryberg, 15 Jordan Trainor

Replacements: 16 Sean McNulty, 17 Luke White, 18 Les Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Adam Ashe, 20 Christian Poidevin, 21 Tas Smith, 22 Ryan James, 23 Cristian Rodriguez

IN: Adam Ashe

OUT: Charlie Abel

The Giltinis face the Toronto Arrows in Langford, Canada on Friday night. The match will be broadcast live at 7pm PST on Bally Sports SoCal and Bally Sports West in Los Angeles.

The match can also be viewed live on The Rugby Network internationally.

Be part of the fun and excitement of Opening Day at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Sunday, February 27 when your Giltinis face the New England Free Jacks.

Join the MLR Champions in 2022. Become a LA Giltinis Member, starting from $50!

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