The USA Men’s Falcons have been named for the McDonald’s Coral Coast 7s that will be held on January 16-17 (based on Eastern time) in Sigatoka, Fiji at Lawaqa Park.
The tournament features 44 invitational teams in men’s, women’s and youth events. A total of 16 teams make up the men’s sector.
Senior USA Men’s Sevens assistant coach Phil Greening is the head coach of the Falcons at the Coral Coast Sevens. The Falcons will face Natadra, Tabadamu, and the Stallions in Pool C starting at 4:36 PM ET on Thursday, January 16. Matches are streamed LIVE on the tournament’s Facebook page at facebook.com/FijisCoralCoast7s.
The team is captained by Cody Melphy and the 12-player roster features three new faces in Gavan D’Amore Morrison, Aaron Gray and Malacchi Esdale who were all identified in 2019.
Morrison was a standout at the USA Club 7s National Championships where he played for Old Blue. He also plays with Rugby United New York. Gray was seen at the Collegiate Rugby Championships with Kutztown University and Esdale, who was initially discovered at the Las Vegas Invitational, continued to impress national team coaches as he played for the Houston SaberCats.
In addition to D’Amore-Morrison and Esdale, other Major League Rugby players include Mike Te’o, who played with the Eagles at the 2019 Rugby World Cup and plays for the San Diego Legion, and Malon Al-Jiboori, who played with the Colorado Raptors in 2019 and played with the Senior Eagles Sevens team in Paris in 2018. Te’o last played with the Eagles Sevens at London in 2017.
Tohi Angilau was the Captain of the U18s at World School Sevens, while Lauina Falatea is in residency with the USA Sevens. Anthony Welmers, Joe Schroeder, Maceo Brown, Faitala Talapusi, and Cody Melphy have all played for the Senior Men’s National Sevens Team.
The Falcons include a mixture of new and veterans and their participation in this high-performance event will continue to develop USA sevens talent.
USA Men’s Sevens Head Coach Mike Friday said: “We are excited for the opportunity this group has in attending the Coral Coast 7s in Fiji, the spiritual home of the game where it’s part of the country’s DNA and is their passion.”
“I have no doubt it will be a very intense test for the group and the competition expected will be at a very high standard. This is exactly what we need as a program where we will have to adapt throughout and be willing to go and go for each other in every game.”
For more information about McDonald’s Coral Coast 7s, please visit fijicoralcoastsevens.com. Score updates will be posted across USA Rugby’s Twitter, Instagram Story, and Facebook Story.
Pool C Coral Coast Sevens Men’s Squads
USA Men’s Falcons: 1 Anthony Welmers (Prop, USA Sevens) 2 Lauina Falatea (Prop, USA Sevens) 3 Gavan D’Amore Morrison (Prop, Old Blue, Rugby United NY) 4 Tohi Angilau (Center, USA Sevens) 5 Joe Schroeder (Prop, USA Sevens) 6 Malon Al-Jiboori (Prop, USA Sevens) 7 Cody Melphy (C) 8 Maceo Brown (Center, USA Sevens) 9 Mikey Te’o (Halfback, USA Sevens, San Diego Legion) 10 Faitala Talapusi (Halfback, USA Sevens) 11 Aaron Gray (Center/Wing, Kutztown University) 12 Malacchi Esdale (Center/Wing, Houston SaberCats)
USA MEN’S FALCONS STAFF
Head Coach Phil Greening
Assistant Coach / Team Manager Brendan Keane
Performance Analyst Dave Gardner
Athletic Trainer Danielle Iosefo
CORAL COAST SEVENS SCHEDULE
- vs Natadra Thurs, Jan 16 – 4:36 PM ET
- vs Tabadamu Thurs, Jan 16 – 8:41 PM ET
- vs Stallions Fri, Jan 17 – 11:56 AM ET
- Bowl Quarterfinals begin Friday, Jan 17 at 4 PM ET
- Cup Quarterfinals begin Friday, Jan 17 at 5:20 PM ET
Follow @USARugby on Twitter, Instagram Story and Facebook Story for score updates, matchups and timings. LIVE Stream available at facebook.com/fijiscoralcoast7s.
The top two teams in each pool progress to the Cup Quarterfinals where the bottom two teams will enter the Bowl Quarterfinals.
Teams who win their quarterfinals will advance to the Cup or Bowl semifinals and finals.
Those who lose their Cup Quarterfinals will play in the plate semifinal while those who lose their Bowl Quarterfinals will play in the 13th place semifinals and final.