GCU PREVIEW: TEXANS LEAD WILDCATS UP TO PHOENIX 

 

Arizona Second & Third XV at GCU

Saturday October 7

Phoenix, AZ

1:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Bobby Butchofsky captains the side in his first minutes of action since Fall 2015.

October 5- Arizona's Second and Third sides travel together for the first time this preseason, heading to Phoenix to take on Grand Canyon University on Saturday. The Wildcats have named the side, with Bobby Butchofsky captaining the team after 18 months out due to injury. On the Third XV, Alex Rayton is handed the leadership position giving the Wildcats an All-Texas captaincy team for this preseason weekend. Both Arizona Second XV (1-0) and Third XV (2-0) look to remain undefeated, with a number of younger players and some who have missed time due to injury handed the opportunity to impress the coaching staff.

In the front row, Cody Hunt and Hector Ramirez are joined by Chris McBride, while Chaz Huntsman, one of the standouts from last week's 44-22 victory over NAU in the Third XV returns to that role looking to build on a strong performance in Flagstaff. With a plethora of young Locks in the 2017 recruiting class, the big trio of Steven Benson, Zach Knobbe-Hewitt, and Billy Esposito all earn starting nods as they look to stand out against the Lopes. On the Third XV, Anders Bergfalk makes his first career appearance where he is joined by Ryan Thompson. That back rows for both sides boast a wealth of talent, with Doug Neary slotting in at openside next to Butchofsky and Esposito while Daniel Hagan, Riley Kerr, and Wildcat of the Week Alex Rayton start for the Third XV. "We really like the workrate of these Forwards, and I'm excited to see Bobby back in the fold after all the adversity he's overcome" said Head Coach Sean Duffy.

In the backs this weekend, a very similar lineup to the one that defeated New Mexico takes the field with Scrumhalf Koto Fujimura making his second appearance of the preseason and Robert Figley starting at Flyhalf. An All-Arizona combo of Tanner Davison and Brody Wainwright start in match two, with Davison fresh off a strong performance last weekend in his hometown. A hard running group of centers will make their presence felt this weekend starting with the Second XV, where Lucas Bartzis and Ricky Lindsay come back in to Fifteens fold after spending the last month with Arizona Sevens. On the Third XV, Luke Kampton slides in from the Wing to his natural position and joins Kyle Fulton. On the outside, Jon Rogers and Jake Rowley give the Wildcats an exciting duo on the Wings and veteran Adam Wilson starts at Fullback after missing much of last season due to injury. On the Third side, Kristian Sanchez starts alongside Carson Benya, with standout Jayme Thomas looking to continue his strong form at Fullback for the Wildcats. 

While the matches do not count in the standings, weekends like these are invaluable to providing players time against opposition as they prepare for the all important 2018 season. "We aren't focused too much on what the opposition is doing, we just want to put training items in to a match environment to allow our guys, particularly our young guys, the opportunity to put things in to a real situation" said Duffy. 

Second XV Lineup (click for bio)

1- Cody Hunt

2- Chris McBride

3- Hector Ramirez

4- Steven Benson

5- Zach Knobbe-Hewitt

6- Billy Esposito

7- Doug Neary

8- Bobby Butchofsky

9- Koto Fujimura

10- Robert Figley

11- Jon Rogers

12- Lucas Bartzis

13- Ricky Lindsay

14- Jake Rowley

15- Adam Wilson

--

16- Bobby McLalan

17- Chaz Huntsman

18- Reed Hirshman

19- Alex Rayton

20- Riley Kerr

21- Tanner Davison

22- Kyle Fulton

23- Jayme Thomas

Third XV Lineup

1- Chaz Huntsman

2- Bobby McLalan

3- Reed Hirshman

4- Anders Bergfalk

5- Ryan Thompson

6- Daniel Hagan

7- Alex Rayton

8- Riley Kerr

9- Tanner Davison

10- Brody Wainwright

11- Kristian Sanchez

12- Luke Kampton

13- Kyle Fulton

14- Carson Benya

15- Jayme Thomas

Pitch Address: 3300 W Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85017

 

 

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