The HSBC World Sevens Series Sydney Sevens will be held on January 31-Feb. 1, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. This is a combined Women’s and Men’s event that has modified determination of place finishes as the Quarterfinal round has been eliminated. The latter has created an uproar in the rugby community.
Head Coach Mike Friday has made two changes to the roster for Sydney. Ben Broselle will fly home after being pulled out of Hamilton due to Head Injury Assessment (HIA) protocol; Marcus Tupuola will take his place. Cody Melphy will jump in for Madison Hughes who was pulled out as a precaution with Ben Pinkelman taking over as Captain.
The United States will open against Scotland on Friday, Jan 31 at 7:57 PM ET in the same revised format from Hamilton:
- No Cup Quarterfinals will be held and teams who finish first in their respective pools will advance directly to the Cup Semifinals.
- The two highest-ranked teams remaining will play for Fifth Place while the two highest-ranked teams after them will face one another for 7th Place. This sequence continues for the 9th place, 11th place, 13th place and 15th place rounds, respectively.
Scotland are ranked 13th after finishing 11th last weekend. Their best finish so far has been Cape Town when they came away eighth. Japan will be up next, having last faced the U.S. in Cape Town. The Japanese are currently 15th. Group play concludes with fifth-place Australia who won bronze in Hamilton.
HEAD COACH MIKE FRIDAY
“It has been very up and down on our side after the first three legs. We are all fully aware we have yet to hit our straps as a group but the endeavor and effort to get better is very much alive and burning even if it hasn’t translated yet. We know that right now, we are not showing our maximum level of accuracy and composure on the pitch.
“We are very determined to work through this dip in cohesion — especially in our attack — which can have ruthless effects on our results. This has caused disappointment and frustration for the players, perhaps even leading to the boys, at times, trying too hard to solve problems individually rather than collectively.
“Regardless, we will persevere in building confidence and belief with an awareness that managing our emotions in the moment, as well as our clarity in communication and collective trust, are what gets the job done.
“In this format, it is, unfortunately, a lottery once again for all. With that, our primary focus is the challenge of Scotland in Game One as that is all that matters. Only after that can we turn our attention to Japan and hosts Australia.”
Squad & Staff
USA Men’s Eagles 7s: 1 Carlin Isles (wing, 54) 2 Ben Pinnkelman (prop/hooker, 34) 3 Danny Barrett (prop, 51) 4 Matei Leuta (prop, 39) 5 Marcus Tupuola (wing, 5) 6 Kevon Williams (halfback/wing, 24) 7 Naima Fua’laau (halfback, 40 8 Maka Unufe (center, 40) 9 Stephen Tomasin (hooker, 34) 10 Cody Melphy (Halfback, 3)11 Perry Baker (wing, 44) 12 Martin Iosefo (center, 43)
Head Coach Mike Friday, Assistant Coach Anthony Roques, Strength & Conditioning John Hood, Athletic Trainer Brian Green, Team Manager Scott Novack
SYDNEY SCHEDULE | POOL C
vs Scotland | Friday, Jan 31 -7:57 PM ET
vs Japan | Sat, Feb 1 – 1:24 AM ET
vs Australia | Sat, Feb 1 – 7:29 PM ET
Knockout rounds begin at 12:20 AM ET on Sun, Feb 2
Following the tournament stops in Hamilton and in Sydney, the USA Men’s Sevens will return to home soil for the fifth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in Los Angeles, California from February 29 to March 1, 2020.
The USA Sevens was previously held in Las Vegas but has moved to Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles. The Eagles Sevens aim to win their third straight gold in front of a home crowd. Tickets and event information for HSBC LA Sevens 2020 are available now at lasevensrugby.com.