Men’s Eagles 7s – HSBC Sevens Series at Dubai 7s
The Men’s Eagles 7s looked like that hadn’t missed a beat finishing second at the Silicon Valley Sevens. It was not the result that they wanted, but Mike Friday will have the team ready for the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series at the Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens Tournament, beginning Dec. 1.
The Eagles are in a difficult Pool at Dubai with Argentina, Samoa, and New Zealand in their Pool. The real prize this season will be after the HSBC Sevens Series ends in May 2018, the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco July 20-22.
During the 2016-17 Series, the team finished in 5th place, the highest finish for the team. Mistakes at key times made the difference of potentially finishing a couple of places higher. Minimizing errors will be the challenge of the new season and is one that the team is prepared to handle.
Madison Hughes will continue as the captain of the Men’s Eagles 7s. Perry Baker had a break outseason last year and is a 2017 World Rugby Player of the Year Nominee. Baker is in second place in tries scored with 133 on the all-time USA list. The team also welcomes back Carlin Isles, who returns from an injury sustained that prematurely ended his season. Folau Niua, the team’s playmaker, is playing in his 52nd tournament. He did not make the Dream Team last season, but he is a Dream team performer consistently for the Eagles 7s.
Ben Pinkelman captained the team at the Silicon Valley 7s. He and Danny Barrett will be a force among the forwards. There are other powerful options with Matei Leuta and Malon Al Jiboori capable along with Stephen Tomasin of playing in the forwards or in the backs. Joe Schroeder made other take notice at the Silicon Valley 7s and expect him to make a difference when he is on the pitch.
That leaves the combination of Martin Iosefo, who is also a playmaker and Maka Unufe, whose open field running can quickly lead to scoring tries. Ask Argentina at last year’s USA Sevens.
Men’s Eagles 7s: 1. Carlin Isles 2. Ben Pinkelman 3. Danny Barrett 4. Matai Leuta 5. Joe Schroeder 6. Malon Al Jiboori 7. Folau Niua 8. Maka Unufe 9. Stephen Tomasin 10. Madison Hughes (Captain) 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo 13. Naima Fualaau
Men’s Eagles 7s Staff: Head Coach – Mike Friday, Assistant Coach – Chris Brown, Physio – Brian Green, Team Analyst – Paul Goulding, Team Manager – Scott Novack
USA Men’s Eagles 7s Schedule – Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens
Friday, Dec. 1
vs. Argentina – 12 AM ET
vs. Samoa – 3 AM ET
vs New Zealand – 9:22 AM ET