Men’s Eagles Sevens & 2018 Singapore Sevens
The eighth stop of the 2017-18 HSBC World Sevens Series at Singapore Sevens will be held on April 28-29 (EDT) and will be broadcast on ESPN3. The USA earned the silver at last year’s 2017 tournament, and with only three Series opportunities remaining, hope to challenge for a 4th place in the standings. Currently, they are in 6th place, 4 points behind Australia. Argentina is in 4th.
The USA is in a difficult Pool D along with France, England, and Kenya. With Maka Unufe nursing an injury, Malon Al-Jiboori will join the starters with Cody Melphy, who debuted in Las Vegas, as the 13th man.
Folau Niua has been on fire with his pinpoint restarts and his leadership. Stephen Tomasin who rejoined the team in Hong Kong will take over the conversions. He is also a scoring threat along with speedsters Perry Baker and Carlin Isles. Mike Friday has increasingly found opportunities to see Baker and Isles on the pitch at the same time.
The team adds physicality with Ben Pinkelman, Danny Barrett, Mati Leuta and Malon Al-Jiboori. Brett Thompson is another tall player who plays in the forwards and adds speed to the equation.
Rounding out the side is Martin Iosefo, whose football and ball distribution stimulate the attack. Add another speedster in Kevon Williams and the guile of Chris Mattina in the backs and it makes for a strong team.
The USA will open the tournament for the second consecutive week against 10th place on (Sat, Apr. 28) at 12:30 AM ET. They will then face 8th place England, who claimed the Bronze at the Commonwealth Games and then against 7th place Kenya to close out pool play.
Mike Friday commented to USA Rugby that “We have a huge physical challenge to progress out of our group with Kenya who has made the last two finals, as well as France who has a big physical team further strengthened with Terry Bouhraoua — the ‘little magician’ — back for them. England will be a totally different proposition in Singapore after the bronze medal they won at the Commonwealth Games, and will be hugely determined to write the wrong of a disappointing Hong Kong.”
“We are more than capable of progressing if we play to our potential, respect the basics of the game and apply ourselves to each match.”
MEN’S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER – HSBC Singapore Sevens
1. Carlin Isles 2. Ben Pinkelman (C) 3. Danny Barrett 4. Matai Leuta 5. Brett Thompson 6. Malon Al-Jiboori 7. Folau Niua 8. Chris Mattina 9. Stephen Tomasin10. Kevon Williams 11. Perry Baker 12. Martin Iosefo13. Cody Melphy
MEN’S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF – HSBC Singapore Sevens
Head Coach – Mike Friday
Assistant Coach – Jon Hood
Team Manager/Assistant Coach – Phil Greening
Physiotherapist – Brian Green
MEN’S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE – HSBC Singapore Sevens
LIVE on ESPN3
vs. France Sat, Apr. 28 – 12:30 AM ET
vs. England Sat, Apr. 28 – 3:56 AM ET
vs. Kenya |Sat, Apr. 28 – 7:44 AM ET