NAU PREVIEW: YOUNG WILDCATS WELCOME NAU IN OPENER 

 

Arizona Third XV vs NAU

Saturday September 16

Tucson, AZ

6:00 PM

 

 

 

 

Brody Wainwright earns the start at Flyhalf in the preseason opener for the Third XV.

September 14- The depth of Arizona's roster will be on full display this Saturday as Arizona Third XV kicks off their preseason against Northern Arizona University in Tucson. The Wildcats will look to build on the Second XV's 51-15 victory over New Mexico last weekend under the leadership of Patrick Coco and have named a youthful side to take on the Lumberjacks.

In the front row, Jack Keys and Reed Hirshman are joined by last week's standout Hooker Chris McBride, who was a force defensively against the Lobos. In the second row, Austin Strehlow makes his first start where he pairs with veteran Carter Harris. The back row trio of Daniel Hagan, Steven Rohde, and Bobby McLalan all make their first starts as well, giving the Wildcats a young, athletic back row. "Excited to see this group, guys like Carter and Chris will provide good leadership, and the young guys are working hard. Austin had a great week this week, and Daniel continues to get better every session at Flanker" said Head Coach Sean Duffy.

In the backline, Scrumhalf Tanner Davison and Flyhalf Brody Wainwright gives the Wildcats an all-Arizona halfback pairing. In the centers, the long-awaited return of Matt Sanders will be this weekend as the hard-running center from Southern California makes his first appearance after missing his entire Freshmen season to injury. Kyle Fulton earns the nod at outside center after a strong reserve appearance against New Mexico, while Luke Kampton, Jayme Thomas, and Kyle Mooney all make their first starts on the outside. "Very diverse backline and I think we're all excited to welcome back Matt from last year's injury. He has a good set of guys around him, won't need to press or panic because it's a good group that will work well together" said Duffy.

A nice mix of players are ready if called upon in the reserves, with many hoping to make their debuts for the Wildcats. Graham Russell provides cover in the front row along with Ingo Van Der Heiden and Sanjar Gybyrov, while Ryan Thompson and Anders Bergfalk are ready in the back row. Tristan Wallace, Carson Benya, and Nick Taylor are ready if called upon, giving the Wildcats a dynamic group of reserves. 

The match will be the first of the preseason for their Third XV, with the full program getting in to action this semester in preparation for the 2018 season. "A big part of what we want is to have a program that serves many different purposes, and to provide the most game opportunities in the country for players. Matches like these help these players grow and provide a great bit of feedback for the guys on their progress. NAU is a rising program and they'll be ready to go so I'm looking forward to a great contest" said Duffy. 

Kickoff will take place at Rincon Vista Sports Complex, the Wildcats training facility at 6 PM PST.

NAU Lineup (click for bio)

1- Jack Keys

2- Chris McBride

3- Reed Hirshman

4- Austin Strehlow

5- Carter Harris

6- Daniel Hagan

7- Steven Rohde

8- Bobby McLalan

9- Tanner Davidson

10- Brody Wainwright

11- Luke Kampton

12- Matt Sanders

13- Kyle Fulton

14- Kyle Mooney

15- Jayme Thomas

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16- Graham Russell

17- Ingo Van Der Heiden

18- Sanjar Gybyrov

19- Ryan Thompson

20- Anders Bergfalk

21- Tristan Wallace

22- Carson Benya

23- Nick Taylor

 

 

 

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