You are here

Ian Muir photo

Maka Unufe returns to the lineup for Las Vegas, giving the Eagles much needed punch in the midfield. He's joined by Garrett Bender in his return. Unufe missed the Wellington and Sydney tournaments for family reasons, and Bender was injured. 

The other returner is Martin Iosefo, who was called into Australia after Kevin Swiryn tore his ACL in New Zealand, but Iosefo suffered his own injury and exited the tournament early. He's back to health, and his inclusion, along with that of Unufe, sees Thretton Palamo excluded. 

In the forwards, Bender helps fortify a depleted pack following the loss of Brett Thompson for the season, and Ben Pinkelman, who debuted in New Zealand, has been picked for his third-straight tournament. It's business as usual for most of the rest of the group. 

"Playing at home is a very special thing," head coach Mike Friday said. "You get to put the jersey on on your own land and represent in front of the people you're representing, and in front of the masses and all of their families that are not often able to watch as them as they travel around the world."

The Eagles have Wales, Canada and South Africa in their group. They'll meet the first two Friday night and the Blitzbokke Saturday afternoon.