Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad for Cape Town

December 5, 2016

Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad for Cape Town


The USA Men’s Rugby Sevens team plays this weekend, Dec. 10-11, in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, the second leg of the 2016-17 HBSC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Men’s Sevens team comes off winning the Challenge Trophy Final against Samoa in the Dubai Sevens.

Madison Hughes will be taking a hiatus from the team, as he has recently played for the Men’s Eagles XV team and has played in 20 consecutive Series tournaments since being named captain ahead of the 2014-15 season, and led the circuit in points scored in 2015-16. Named to the Team USA squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games, Hughes also started in each of the team’s five games at Deodoro Stadium.

Hughes, along with Head Coach Mike Friday, left the squad in the United Arab Emirates over the weekend following the U.S.’s 4-2 Challenge Trophy win at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby sevens. Davenport University graduate Anthony Wellmers will move into the team for the Dec. 10-11 tournament in South Africa to make his national team debut.

Mike Friday said that “We have had to do the right thing by Madison considering the year of rugby he has had. He has played every Sevens Series tournament the last 12 months and a lot of minutes in those tournaments.”

“We felt it was important that Madison was in Dubai for the start of the season to lead the team, but the plan was always that he would not be exposed to more significant travel time and additional playing time as the risk of injury is too high.”

According to USA Rugby “Hughes will start a three-week recovery period upon his return Stateside and will have a further five-week conditioning block leading into the Sydney and Wellington doubleheader beginning in late January. Perry Baker, ranked among the top-three performing athletes in Dubai last weekend, has been named captain under acting head coach Chris Brown for this weekend’s tournament in Cape Town.”

After a 1-2 start in Pool play at Dubai, including holding South Africa, the Gold Medal winner to its closest result, they then won three consecutive matches to win the Challenge Trophy. They will face South Africa again in pool play along with Australia and Russia.

The USA begins the Cape Town sevens with eight points in the Series standings and Chris Brown will have the team prepared to hopefully improve upon last week’s performance. The action starts Saturday, Dec. 10, as the Eagles take on Australia at 5:27 a.m. ET. Jersey numbers will be confirmed prior to kickoff.

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Cape Town Sevens
Perry Baker (captain), Danny Barrett, Andrew Durutalo, Alec Gletzer, Martin Iosefo, Matai Leuta, Folau Niua, Don Pati, Stephen Tomasin, Maka Unufe, Anthony Welmers, Kevon Williams

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Cape Town Sevens
v. Australia – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 5:27 a.m. ET
v. South Africa – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 9:10 a.m. ET
v. Russia – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 12:34 p.m. ET

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant