March 9, 2017
Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad Unchanged for Canada Sevens
Photo: Martin Seras Lima
After earning the bronze medal at the HSBC USA Sevens last weekend, Mike Friday’s Men’s Eagles Sevens squad remains unchanged for the HSBC Canada Sevens, the sixth leg of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The series will be on March 11-12 in BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. The tournament can be watched live in the United States via World Rugby’s Sevens Series website.
The USA is poised to play both a physical and a speed game and the wider pitch from last week’s USA Sevens, will provide more space.
At the USA Sevens, Danny Barrett made the Dream team and is now the leading try scorer this season for the Eagles Sevens. Perry Baker is close behind and is always a threat whenever he has the ball in hand. Maka Unufe showed that he has returned to form and has an ability to weave his magic and score tries.
Martin Iosefo distributes the ball well and manages to find gaps and also feed other players. Folau Niua is a leader on the pitch and how he is performing is often an indicator how the team will fare in the match.
Captain Madison Hughes has been one of the leading tacklers in the Series and is an accurate kicker. Give him some space and he can accelerate rapidly. His leadership is evident in matches.
Joining Danny Barrett in the forwards is the king of the poach in Andrew Durutalo. He also scored the winning try against New Zealand last week in the bronze medal match.
Stephen Tomasin is a versatile player who may be a forward or can provide some relief in the backs. He also can spell Madison Hughes as a kicker. Ben Pinkelman returned to the team last week after being fully recovered from an injury. He can start or provide fresh legs off the bench and often finds the try zone.
Matai Leuta is a good utility player who can play in both the forwards and backs. He is a punishing runner, especially as teams begin to tire. Pat Blair is also an experienced player to have as a reserve.
Last week Walt Elder debut on the team was limited. This week he should have additional opportunities. Should the team have an injury, All-American Malon Al-Jiboori will provide cover as the 13th player on the roster.
The Eagles will be in Pool C along with Australia, France, and Japan. Pool play commences with Japan at 12:52 p.m. ET against Japan. The tournament can be viewed live in the United States via World Rugby’s live stream on the Sevens Series website.
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC USA Sevens
1. Pat Blair 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Matai Leuta 5. Walt Elder 6. Andrew Durutalo 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (C) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo
Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Canada Sevens
v. Japan – Saturday, March 11 @ 12:52 p.m. ET
v. France – Saturday, March 11 @ 4:28 p.m. ET
v. Australia – Saturday, March 11 @ 8:08 p.m. ET