Eagles Sevens March Camp At OTC

March 25, 2016

Eagles Sevens March Camp At OTC


Photo: Norma Salinas Photography

Doug Coil

The Men’s Eagles Sevens resume the next High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, California March 24-28. Mike Friday has 21 men in camp in preparation for the next two rounds of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

The next leg of the Series will be in Hong Kong April 8-10th and followed by Singapore April 16-17th. The Eagles are in Pool C in the Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens and will face Argentina, Australia and Portugal. The travel squad will be announced prior to the team’s departure April 2.

There is a new addition to camp that is widely known, as New England Patriot’s Nate Ebner, a former AIG Men’s Junior All-American, has been training at the United States Olympic Training Center since mid-March in an effort to attain the conditioning standards required for rugby sevens. When the dust settles in several months, he hopes to be part o the United States Men’s Rugby Sevens Olympic team.

The New England Patriots have provided a rugby window for Ebner between March and the conclusion of the Olympic Rugby Competition in early August. Ebner has spent four seasons in the National Football League and has a Super Bowl Championship to boot. He also has previous rugby experience, having been part of the MJAAs at the World Rugby U20 Championship.

The team that went to Vancouver missed several experienced players as Zack Test, Maka Unufe, Will Holder were nursing injuries. Carlin Isles, who is trying to be a dual Olympian this Summer,  was at the 2016 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships in Portland, Oregon where he finished fifth in the 60 meters with a time of 6.67. The winning time was 6.51.

At Vancouver the team advanced to the Plate Finals and lead Series leader Fiji in the Cup Quarterfinals prior to losing in extra time. Still, the Eagles now sit in fifth place in the standings.

Vancouver provided opportunities for players to assert themselves and show why they deserve playing time. Seth Halliman, from Central Washington University and Ben Leatigaga were two of these players. Seth has returned to school, but Ben will be in camp along  with fellow WCAP athlete Will Holder. Pat Blair and Thretton Palamo also sought to impress.

Ben Pinkelman was another athlete that has shown that he can play at this level. He has complimented forwards Danny Barrett and Garrett Bender in the forwards and has three tries in the four rounds that he has played.

In camp will also be Kingsley McGowan. Most recently he played for the Eagles 15s in the Americas Rugby Championship and recently signed a professional contract with PRO Rugby’s San Francisco team.

Martin Iosefo had a stellar performance at Vancouver in making the Dream team. Folau Niua and Madison Hughes displayed their play making skills and Perry Baker made the highlights. Danny Barrett and Garrett Bender showed their toughness, as well as their offensive prowess. Nate Augspurger provided a spark off the bench, especially with a highlight run of his own.

Be assured that the competition in camp will be fierce as the athletes attempt to show why they should be part of the traveling squad for the next two Series legs. There is depth developing for the USA Men’s Eagles Sevens. That is critical toward the team’s success as they attempt to peak for Rio. Only four months of training remain until the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games.

Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp March 24-28
Nate Augspurger – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Perry Baker – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Danny Barrett – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Garrett Bender – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Pat Blair – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Nate Ebner – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Will Holder – U.S. Army World-Class Athlete Program
Madison Hughes – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Martin Iosefo – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Carlin Isles – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Ben Leatigaga – U.S. Army World-Class Athlete Program
Kingsley McGowan – San Francisco (PRO)
Folau Niua – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Thretton Palamo – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Ben Pinkelman – Denver Barbarians
Joey Sok – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Shalom Suniula – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Zack Test – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Peter Tiberio – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Chris Turori – Men’s Eagles Sevens
Maka Unufe – Men’s Eagles Sevens

Nic Edwards, Matai Leuta, Kevin Swiryn, Brett Thompson, Stephen Tomasin

Men’s Eagles | Cathay Pacific / HSBC Hong Kong Sevens
v. Portugal – Friday, April 8 @ 6:54 a.m. ET
v. Argentina – Saturday, April 9 @ 12:48 a.m. ET
v. Australia – Saturday, April 9 @ 5:10 a.m. ET






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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant