The USA Men’s Eagles Sevens team enter the HSBC New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton in first place in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The third stop will take place on January 25-27 (based on Eastern Time) and will be broadcast LIVE on ESPN+, with the USA will facing Tonga, Samoa, and England in pool play.
The Eagles Sevens claimed their second-consecutive silver medal for the first time ever after the Dubai and Cape Town Sevens and are ranked No. 1 in the World Series standings, one point ahead of No. 2 New Zealand and eight points ahead of No. 4 England.
Head Coach Mike Friday has named a full squad of 13-players with a starting 12 to be named closer to date. Ben Pinkelman made a crucial pass to Danny Barrett in the Cup Semifinal at the Cape Town Sevens, as Barrett finished with a highlight video try that was shown as part of ESPN’s SC Top 10.
Anthony Welmers is part of the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP) and last appeared at Singapore Sevens 2017. He competed on several developmental Falcons tours since then and has overcome injuries while working tirelessly to advance his core skills as part of the Men’s Sevens Residency Program.
Pat Blair is also part of the AWCAP program and plays with the San Diego Legion. He last appeared at the Canada Sevens 2017 and also serving as an injury reserve for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018.
The USA opens the New Zealand Sevens against invitational team Tonga on Friday, January 25. Tonga and the United States last met at the developmental Silicon Valley Sevens in November of 2017 with the USA winning 29-7.
The Eagles Sevens then face Samoa, currently ranked 10th in the World Series standings, for the first time since the USA Sevens 2018. They then close Pagainstay on Day One against 4th-place England.
Men’s Eagles Sevens Traveling Squad (+Appearances)
- Perry Baker, Wing, 38
- Danny Barrett, Prop, 43
- Pat Blair, Hooker, 11
- Maceo Brown, Center, 2
- Madison Hughes (C), Halfback, 39
- Martin Iosefo, Center, 35
- Carlin Isles, Wing, 43
- Folau Niua, Halfback, 61
- Ben Pinkelman, Prop/Hooker, 25
- Brett Thompson, Prop, 22
- Stephen Tomasin, Hooker, 23
- Anthony Welmers, Prop, 3
- Kevon Williams, Halfback/Wing, 13
Men’s Eagles Sevens Staff
Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | JD Stephenson
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack
HSBC New Zealand Sevens Schedule
Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN+
vs Tonga Fri, Jan 25 – 5:06 PM ET
vs Samoa Fri, Jan 25 – 8:54 PM ET
vs England Sat, Jan 26 – 1:06 AM ET
Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Jan 26 at 4:22 AM ET.