USA Rugby Men’s Eagles 7s & 2018 RWC7s
USA Rugby Head Coach Mike Friday announced today the Men’s Eagles 7s squad for the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s in San Francisco being held at AT&T Park on July 20-22. Twelve athletes and two traveling reserves will represent the team.
The United States enter the tournament as first-time hosts of the Rugby World Cup 7s. The team is seeded fifth and will play the winner between Wales and Zimbabwe in the Round of 16 on Friday, July 20 at 9:37 PM PT, LIVE on NBCSN. The team finished in sixth-place in the 2017-18 HSBC Sevens Series and won Gold at the USA Sevens. A limited number of tickets are available at rwcsevens.com/tickets.
Mike Friday said “It is a fantastic motivation and opportunity for the boys to be able to play a World Cup on home soil. If Vegas is anything to compare, having a passionate rugby crowd cheering the Dawgs on will only add to the motivation and pride they already have when they wear the shirt and represent their country.”
Friday has selected an experienced team for the Rugby World Cup 7s. Eight of the starting 12 are 2016 Rio Olympians with three having played in the Rugby World Cup 2015 (15s).
Captain Madison Hughes will lead the team, with speedsters Perry Baker, 2017 World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year and Carlin Isles, the overall top try scorer of the 2017-18 season, ready to test their opponent’s ability to contain them.
Danny Barrett and Matai Leuta will play in front of home area fans. Perry Baker, Matai Leuta, and Maka Unufe are healthy and ready to contest. Folau Niua has been an essential playmaker and Kevon Williams is becoming a scoring threat, as well.
Early in the season, Ben Pinkelman assumed the captain’s role in Hughes absence. He is a leader, along with Stephen Tomaisin and Martin Iosefo.
Nobody wishes for injuries to occur, however, should this happen, Chris Mattina and Pat Blair will be the 13th and 14th men as injury reserves.
Friday continued indicating that “I am really pleased with the starting 12. All the boys went all out to push one another in this build up and the camaraderie and the competitive edge was first class. It has bought the best out of those chosen and we have a good balance of pace, power, and physicality to add to the positional flexibility in the squad. If we are fizzing, confident and on point come match day, we will be contenders in this unforgiving format.”
The Eagles will play in front of a partisan home crowd and with a knock-out competition, the team will need to be at its best.
Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 will begin Friday, July 20 with a men’s champion crowned on Sunday, July 22. The Eagles will face the winner of Wales vs. Zimbabwe in their first match on Day One at 9:37 PM PT, LIVE on NBCSN. A limited number of tickets are still available with all games broadcast across various NBC Networks.
Men’s Eagles 7s 2018 RWC7s Squad
- Carlin Isles
- Ben Pinkelman
- Danny Barrett
- Matei Leuta
- Brett Thompson
- Kevon Williams
- Folau Niua
- Maka Unufe
- Stephen Tomasin
- Madison Hughes (C)
- Perry Baker
- Martin Iosefo
Traveling Reserves: Chris Mattina & Patrick Blair
Men’s Eagles 7s Staff
Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Chris Brown
Assistant Coach | Phil Greening
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Performance Analyst | Paul Goulding
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Coach | JD Stephenson
Team Manager | Scott Novack
MEN’S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE | RUGBY WORLD CUP SEVENS 2018
Round of 16: vs Wales or Zimbabwe, Fri, July 20 – 9:37 PM PT, LIVE on NBCSN