January 18, 2016
Eagles 7s Travel Squad Selected For Wellington & Sydney
Mike Friday, Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach, has selected a travel squad of 13 players for the HSBC Wellington Sevens and HSBC Sydney 7s. These tournaments are the third and fourth legs of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
While a core of the players will be part of the squad, Ben Pinkelman joins the squad and could earn his first cap. He has been on the radar with impressive performances in tournaments leading up to the Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp last week.
Danny Barrett also returns to the team after having played 15s at the Rugby World Cup. Thretton Palamo joined the residency program at the Olympic Training Center after a call up for the HSBC Cape Town Sevens. He is a punishing force who adds another weapon to an already powerful squad.
The USA enter the HSBC Wellington Sevens in third place, six points behind Fiji and South Africa and tied with Argentina in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. This is their highest ranking ever in the Series. In the first two legs, they finished third in Dubai and made it to the Plate Finals in Cape Town.
The Eagles will be in Pool C at the HSBC Wellington Sevens. This Pool includes fifth ranked England, sixth ranked France and Samoa, who can be a force.
In the first two legs, they were able to beat New Zealand for the first time and then did it twice more. Will Holder seemed to smell in-goal with a couple of tries. The also won against South Africa.
Teams are too talented in the Series to overlook any opponent, especially in this Pool of Death.
In a USA Rugby press release today, Mike Friday said, “I would have taken third place going into Christmas if offered to me at the start of the season, as we knew we would be undercooked going into the first two legs. But with where we were and how things were unfolding, to say I am disappointed that we are not on at least 38 points at this stage is an understatement.”
“We are in the ‘Group of Death’ in Wellington so we need to prepare ourselves to the best of our ability and not expect things to happen, but take control and make them happen.”
The 12-man squad for HSBC Wellington Sevens will be selected prior to the tournament’s kickoff Saturday, Jan. 30. Matches will be played Friday, Jan. 29, and Saturday, Jan. 30, U.S. time. Live updates will provided by USA Rugby’s Twitter account.
Men’s Eagles Sevens | Travel Squad
*Brett Thompson replaced Maka Unufe – Jan 22
Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Wellington Sevens
v. Samoa – Friday, Jan. 29 – 5:52 p.m. ET
v. England – Friday, Jan. 29 – 8:54 p.m. ET
v. France – Friday, Jan. 29 – 11:54 p.m. ET
Eagles 7s High Performance Camp Prior to Wellington & Sydney