Eagles Sevens Squad For Canada Sevens

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March 10, 2016

Eagles Sevens Squad For Canada Sevens

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Photo: World Rugby – Folau Niua

Doug Coil

The Men’s Eagles Sevens are in Vancouver, Canada for the sixth leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series – Canada Sevens. They enter this leg in fifth place in the standings and were drawn into Pool D with England, France, and New Zealand.

Head Coach Mike Friday has made four changes to the side that finished fourth at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas last weekend. Will Holder, Zack Test, and Maka Unufe have been replaced due to injuries, while Carlin Isles has been released from the travel squad to pursue his dreams of Olympic qualification as a U.S. national team sprinter. He will run in the 60-meter event at the U.S. Indoor Championships in Portland and hopes to later qualify in the 100-meters.

Mike Friday said that “we’ve given Carlin the permission to go and that was with a plan in place. Of course, our best plans kind of fell through with the injuries we’ve had, but I still didn’t think it was right for us to not give Carlin the opportunity to test himself on the track at this time. It’ll keep Carlin fresh and motivated, and we’ll wish him well and be supporting him from Vancouver and San Diego that he shocks a few people and turns a few heads this weekend.”

Replacements will come from the Eagles player pool. At the Americas Cup Division of the Las Vegas Invitational, the USA Falcons won this Elite division. Seth Halliman and Ben Leatigaga will make their Series debuts while Pat Blair and Thretton Palamo return to the Eagles Sevens squad.

Seth Halliman has played on three consecutive Falcons tour since last October, as weel as has been a AIG Men’s Collegiate and Boys High School All-American. He is also a member of the Central Washington University Rugby team.

Ben Leatigaga has also been a Falcon several times. He was part of the USA national team that won a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto. He is also part of the U.S. Army World-Class Athlete Program.

Friday added, “We’ll miss the likes of Maka, ‘Testy,’ and Will, but nonetheless it gives others opportunities to step up and test themselves on the world circuit, as well as those that are already in the 12 to welcome and support the new guys. It’s an exciting squad, an exciting balance, and a huge challenge – one I hope the boys are up for.”At the HSBC Canada Sevens, the Eagles kick off against France Saturday, March 12, at 10:58 a.m. PT.

Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Canada Sevens
1. Thretton Palamo 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Garrett Bender 5. Ben Leatigaga
6. Pat Blair 7. Folau Niua 8. Seth Halliman 9. Nate Augspurger 10. Madison Hughes (C)
11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo

Men’s Eagles Sevens | HSBC Canada Sevens
v. France – Saturday, March 12 @ 10:58 a.m. PT
v. England – Saturday, March 12 @ 2:34 p.m. PT
v. New Zealand – Saturday, March 12 @ 6:44 p.m. PT

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant