I listened to that interview too; I doubt it actually means Mercer’s 3rd in line for the 8 shirt. When listing players in their respective positions, Mercer is probably 3rd at 8, but Wilson would be moved from 6 to 8 with Shields coming in at 6 before Mercer was given the 8 shirt. Similarly, Earl could be moved from 6 or 7, whatever Eddie sees him as, into 8 before Mercer. I thought about the apprentice argument but it’s not like Mercer’s an internatiomal veteran; he’s just as in need of international experience as Earl is. To me it seems as though Earl is legitimately classed above Mercer by EJ. For what reason, I don’t know.