GCU PREVIEW: WILDCATS TO WELCOME LOPES TO D1A

 

 #13 Arizona vs Grand Canyon

Friday January 12

Grand Canyon University

GCU Stadium

6:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Kyle Rogers starts his final season in Tucson as captain of a promising side that will take on the Lopes in Phoenix.

January 11- Arizona finally kicks off their season tomorrow, traveling to Phoenix to take on D1A newcomer Grand Canyon University. The 13th-ranked Wildcats have named a veteran side for the clash, with Kyle Rogers and Sean Coleman leading a group of mostly returners from last year's run to the Final Four.

Up front for the Wildcats the experienced tight five returns and looks to continue their growth, lead by Vice Captain Sean Coleman at Lock. In the backrow, two players make their debut in Sinclair Clinton and Fabian Lumsden both starting alongside returner Zach Heisterkamp. In the backline, the all-conference Rogers brothers pairing and speedster Dante Weeks loom as key players for the Wildcats, with many of the backs fresh off vital roles in the program's first PAC Sevens Championship in November. The depth of the squad is on full display in the reserves, where vastly experienced Forwards Cody Hunt and Tyler Hansen are joined by Jonah Eldridge in the backs along with a number of players ready to make an impact if called upon.

 

For Head Coach Sean Duffy, the close of minicamp and the start of the season is a welcome change for the team that is ready to go. "We had a fantastic camp, the best we've had since I've been here" said Duffy. "We were privileged to have (former US Eagles Head Coach) Mike Tolkin here and that combined with our veterans really pushed the tempo. Coaching them is easy, selecting them is hard. Right where it should be." Arizona takes on GCU for the third straight season, having won both contest including last year's 50-12 victory on Sitton Field. GCU, a Christian university in Phoenix earned promotion to D1A this Summer after a strong run in D1AA.

Arizona Second XV also kicks off their season tomorrow, taking on Grand Canyon University Second XV immediately following the first match. The Wildcats went undefeated in the preseason under the leadership of Assistant Coach Pat Coco, and looks to continue that form and start what will be a rigorous schedule for them. "It is absolutely vital that we invest time and energy in to our reserve grade sides and as such we've put together the hardest schedule we can" said Duffy "from US teams to Argentinian sides on our tour, they will play a schedule tougher than many D1A programs and that's the best way to evaluate them."

Following Friday's contest, Arizona Second XV hosts Stanford at home for the first home game of the Spring while the First XV has two weeks off until PAC play opens against UCLA on the road.

First XV vs GCU

1- Steven Branham

2- Zach Biggs

3- Karl Steffany

4- Sean Coleman (VC)

5- Bronson Teles

6- Sinclair Clinton

7- Zach Heisterkamp

8- Fabian Lumsden

9- Matt Rogers

10- Anton Grigoriou

11- Dante Weeks

12- Luke Thayer

13- Ben Joseph

14- Ryan Hudson

15- Kyle Rogers (C)

--

16- Chris McBride

17- Chaz Huntsman

18- Cody Hunt

19- Billy Esposito

20- Tyler Hansen

21- Jonah Eldridge

22- Tom Molloy

23- Jon Rogers

Second XV vs GCU Second XV

1- Chaz Huntsman

2- Chris McBride

3- Cody Hunt

4- Billy Esposito

5- Carter Harris

6- Alex Rayton

7- Riley Kerr

8- Tyler Hansen (VC)

9- Jonah Eldridge

10- Garrett Walker

11- Jack San Pietro

12- Tom Molloy

13- Luke Bartzis

14- Lou MacLaughlin (C)

15- Jon Rogers

--

16- Reed Hirshman

17- Hector Ramirez

18- Austin Strehlow

19- Bobby Butchofsky

20- Steven Rohde

21- Tanner Davison

22- Robert Figley

23- Seb Field

 

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