It is time again for the HSBC World Sevens Series in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2-4. The Men’s Eagles Sevens completed in the Bronze Final during the past three years and currently are in 7th place in the Series. This year, the team hopes to be in the Cup Final and win for a second time, since their only win at the London Sevens.
Tickets are available now by visiting usasevens.com with matches also broadcast LIVE on ESPN3.
A month ago, the Eagles Sevens went 1-1-1 in Pool play and ended the Hamilton Sevens with the Challenge Trophy. In Pool play, the Eagles won 28-14 against Canada, then lost to Samoa 14-10 on a late try. They concluded pool play with a 19-19 draw against Kenya.
On day two, they earned three consecutive wins over Spain 29-12, Papua New Guinea 42-12, and over Argentina 31-12 to win the Challenge Trophy.
A highlight of the Hamilton Sevens was World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year Perry Baker scoring his 144th try to pass Zack Test and become USA’s all-time leading try scorer in only three years with the squad.
It will also be a Series that the team lost captain Madison Hughes and Stephen Tomasin to injury. Ben Pinkelman assumed the captaincy in the interim and will lead by example. The team utilizes a physicality and speed and has developed into a Series contender.
This week there will be a new addition to Cody Melphy debuting with the team. He captained the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans to a bowl win in his first senior appearance.
Malon Al-Jiboori returns to the team after earning his first Eagles XV cap during the Americas Rugby Championship. He has signed to play rugby professionally with the San Diego Legion.
Ben Pinkelman will be joined up front with Danny Barrett with Matai Leuta, Joe Schroeder, and Malon Al-Jiboori seeing time there. Maka Unufe has moved to scrumhalf linking with Folau Niua, Martin Iosefo and to Perry Baker. Chris Mattina can either link with the scrumhalf or play that position also. Finally, Carlin Isles blazing speed even seems faster when he enters a match as a reserve.
Each year at Las Vegas the crowds have been growing. Last year the tournament added a Women’s stop to the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series, but the stop did not continue this year. Instead, there will be an exhibition series between the USA Women and Australia.
Eagles Sevens: 1 Carlin Isles 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Matai Leuta 5 Joe Schroeder 6 Chris Mattina 7 Folau Niua 8 Maka Unufe 9 Cody Melphy 10 Malon Al-Jiboori 11 Perry Baker 12 Martin Iosefo 13 Kevon Williams
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
Head Coach – Mike Friday
Assistant Coach – Chris Brown
Physiotherapist – Brian Green
Team Manager – Scott Novack
Men’s Eagles Sevens Schedule – Pool C Las Vegas 7s Tournament
LIVE on ESPN3
vs. Samoa Fri, Mar. 2 – 7:28 PM ET
vs. Australia Fri, Mar. 2 – 10:51 PM ET
vs. Spain Sat, Mar. 3 – 4:04 PM ET