USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Cape Town Sevens Preview

Cape Town Sevens

The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens earned the silver medal at the HSBC World Sevens Series, Dubai Sevens last weekend. This weekend the team is in Cape Town, South Africa for the 2019 HSBC Cape Town Sevens. The USA will open in Pool B ranked second in the current standings.

Head Coach Mike Friday has not made any changes to the match-day 13 from last week’s competition at Dubai Sevens 2018.

Eagles Sevens’ Danny Barrett is someone to watch as he combines speed and power. Folau Niua is a playmaker, although he had three tries in Dubai.
Both Matai Leuta and Stephen Tomasin each scored two tries with Tomasin surpassing 50 career tries.

The team will be in Pool B along with 14th place Japan, 12th place Spain, and 8th place Argentina. Any match in the Sevens Series can produce upsets, but the USA will go into the Series poised to advance to the Cup quarterfinals.

The Eagles Sevens first face Japan at 5:05 AM ET followed by Spain at 8:26 AM ET and then Argentina at 12:12 PM ET. All matches will be LIVE on ESPN+.

Head Coach Mike Friday

On competition in pool play…
This group is a big challenge second week as both Japan and Spain continued to improve with every game they play and were within a score of winning games against the traditional rugby superpowers. We will need to be on point with our effort and accuracy and try to control possession in both of these games. The last game of the group will come against the hugely physical Argentina team where we are still to ‘right the wrong’ from that last game at Rugby World Cup Sevens as it still hurts every one of us.”

On challenges throughout the week…
“This is the second week where we have had to limit what we do as a squad on the pitch. The initial 17-hour travel and three meal change over to Dubai are huge for us, and to then play the two days physically drains everything out of the boys. So, to fly another 11 hours one day later has carried a significant impact on our energy levels and bodies throughout the week.

“Due to that, we waited to finalize the squad and concentrated fully on trying to be ready without dwelling on last weekend where we are hugely disappointed to have lost the Gold medal. We are determined as a group to continue moving forward and trying to force the USA into the Top 4 in the world. This weekend gives us another opportunity to do that and the spirit of the squad is one of collective determination in what will be a very challenging and highly competitive tournament.”

Men’s Eagles Sevens Starting Roster

All players are part of the Men’s Sevens residency program.

Men’s Eagles Sevens Roster: 1 Carlin Isles 2 Ben Pinkelman 3 Danny Barrett 4 Matai Leuta 5 Brett Thompson 6 Kevon Williams 7 Folau Niua 8 Maceo Brown* 9 Steve Tomasin 10 Madison Hughes (Captain) 11 Perry Baker 12 Martin Iosefo 13 Marcus Tupuola* (Injury Reserve)

*Could make first HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series appearance.

Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony “Rocky” Roques
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Matt Long
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC Cape Town Sevens Schedule

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+

vs. Japan | Sat, Dec. 8 – 5:05 AM ET
vs. Spain | Sat, Dec. 8 – 8:26 AM ET
vs. Argentina | Sat, Dec. 8 – 12:12 PM ET

*Knockout rounds begin Sun, Dec. 9 at 5:58 AM ET.

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant