After four straight second-place finishes in the HSBC Sevens World Series, the USA men’s sevens team returns to the place where they last won a tournament, Las Vegas.
The action starts on Friday, March 1 as the tournament (as always) lasts three days.
The Eagles are tied in with New Zealand for 1st in the World Series, but, those four-straight silver medals can stick in the craw a bit/
It’s also a bit of a talking point, witness Dallen Stanford column on Kurt Baker and how Baker mocked the Americans for not sealing the deal.
They sealed the deal in Las Vegas, and it’s also worth pointing out that the USA made the final in Hamilton and in Sydney despite being without World Rugby 7s Player Of The Year Perry Baker, who is recovering from a broken jaw.
With Baker out, the Eagles have had to look to others to carry the load, and Kevon Williams—five tries in Sydney—has taken that opportunity. Carlin Isles has been a force, too, but there’s reason to worry that the USA depth is an issue. Certainly the Eagles can be guilty of asking Isles to do too much.
To the fore, then, is Stephen Tomasin. Now a veteran with this team, Tomasin does the hard work and is fit, strong, and extremely versatile. He seems to pop up at crucial moments, and the USA will need his physical attacking style in Vegas.
USA head coach Mike Friday’s 13-player squad will give two players the opportunity to earn their national team debut in starter Marcus Tupuola and injury reserve Ben Broselle. Both Tupuola (Notre Dame College) and Broselle (UCLA) came up through USA Rugby’s All-American program and have evolved their skills through developmental Falcons competitions.