Updated Eagles squad arrives in South America for Americas Rugby Championship finale

SÃO PAULO, Brazil - The Men's Eagles crossed the equator over the weekend off of the heels of a 64-0 shutout defeat of Chile in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

The U.S.'s second consecutive win - and second in three clashes with Chile - extends the unbeaten streak under new head coach John Mitchell to three matches following a draw with Argentina XV and a fourth consecutive victory against Canada. Heading into the fourth match at Arena Barueri, the Eagles top the Americas Rugby Championship table on 13 points.

In addition to leading the competition in points, Mitchell's squad is also tops in every other category. With more points and tries for and fewer points and tries against - the Eagles have conceded five tries in three matches - than the other five teams, the U.S. currently holds the advantage in any tie-breaker scenario.

See updated Americas Rugby Championship standings

Perhaps more impressive is the way the team has dealt with personnel turnover from week to week. By the time the Eagles complete the South American leg of their tour, the greater ARC pool of athletes will have grown from 37 to at least 43. Taking into account the departure of the four overseas professionals that played in Houston, a combined 10 players moved into the starting XV in Austin and Fort Lauderdale.

Originally scheduled to be with the team for just the first two weekends of the inaugural competition due to his contractual obligations with Newcastle Falcons, Eric Fry traveled to South America and will be available for the next two matches. The injury picked up by Chris Baumann necessitates Fry's inclusion, while Demecus Beach and Cameron Falcon will help pick up the front-row slack.

Todd Clever's presence was felt both on and off of the pitch throughout the first three weeks, from a hat trick and four total tries to helping integrate 19 new caps into the national team setup. Longtime All-American Hanco Germishuys is just one potential new cap filling the back-row void left by Clever, who has returned to his professional club in England, along with Aladdin Schirmer.

Additionally, New Zealand-native James King has answered the call to represent his mother's homeland, joining the team in São Paulo. At a pacey six-foot-six, King has represented Super Rugby's Blues and Melbourne Rebels, and can play in the second and back rows.

An unfortunate injury to Nic Edwards in his debut does not affect the squad numbers in South America as he and Pat Blair were scheduled to return to the sevens program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Mitchell still has Kingsley McGowan, who was not in the match-day 23 against Chile, on the wing, with Tim Stanfill back to fight for his first cap since the fall of 2014. Andrew Suniula has also been called to the squad, covering for center Lemoto Filikitonga, who was injured against Canada.

AIG Men's Junior All-American call-ups Deion Mikesell and Lorenzo Thomas enjoyed the weather and facilities available to the Eagles while in Fort Lauderdale, the first senior assembly for both 19-year-old Lindenwood University student-athletes, with Thomas scoring a try in his international debut. Both returned to St. Charles, Mo., situated in an area of the country still feeling the effects of winter. Sawgrass Grand Hotel was the team's perfect mid-tour home, offering spacious dining and meeting locations as well as a pristine training pitch on site.

"It's been good for the guys to get out of the hotel a little bit more," the head coach said while still in the Sunshine State. "In Florida we've had a little more individuality on our day off with the warmer weather. The ability to walk to the field from the hotel has been fantastic.

"The guys have been calling out to be themselves for a little bit. You can't always be mentally focused on rugby and be wearing the rugby kit all the time. You want people to be themselves as well as belong to a team."

The Eagles have had one of the simpler travel schedules of the ARC, with three consecutive home legs the longest stretch for any team. Following the 4,000-mile trip from Florida to São Paulo and 1,000-mile jaunt south to Montevideo, the inaugural ARC season will be complete.

Saturday's match between the U.S. and Brazil, the first all-time in the matchup, is scheduled for an 8 p.m. local-time kickoff. The broadcast on ESPN 3 (WatchESPN.com) will begin at 6 p.m. ET.

Men's Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship Coaching Staff

John Mitchell

Phil Greening - Assistant Coach

Marty Veale - Assistant Coach

Rob Hoadley - Assistant Coach

David Williams - Strength and Conditioning Coach

Paul Goulding - Video Analyst

Brian Finn - Physiotherapist

Alex Garibay - Physiotherapist

Dennis Greenhill - Physiotherapist

Bruce Miller - Doctor

Richard Quincy - Physiotherapist

James Ross - Doctor

Matthew Schmitz - Doctor

Ross Schumer - Doctor

Austin Taylor - Doctor

Rob Wassilak - Physiotherapist

Sean Lindersmith - Team Manager

Men's Eagles | Americas Rugby Championship 2016

v. Argentina - D 35-35

v. Canada - W 30-22

v. Chile - W 64-0

v. Brazil - Saturday, Feb. 27 @ 6 p.m. ET - Arena Barueri (São Paolo, Brazil)

v. Uruguay - Saturday, March 5 @ 4:10 p.m. ET - Charrua Stadium (Montevideo, Uruguay)