CHULA VISTA, Calif—The USA Eagles Sevens Head Coaches have released their squads for the 2013 Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow, Russia, June 28-30. This year’s Rugby World Cup Sevens marks the sixth of its kind and the second to comprise of both a men’s and women’s tournament.
After a strong finish in this year’s Series, the Men’s Eagles will have some momentum heading into a tough pool against Georgia, 12th-ranked Canada and Series Champions New Zealand. With six pools to the Series’ four, the Eagles must win Pool D or finish as one of the two best second-place teams to secure a spot in the Cup competition.
Coach Alex Magleby has selected a preliminary roster of familiar names, with Jack Halalilo, Maka Unufe and Mike Palefau returning after having missed one or more of the last few Series’ stops.
"This preliminary squad is well balanced with aerialists, kickers, and attack threats throughout—a good mixture of go-forward, movement, speed, and grinders," Magleby said. "I’m looking forward to seeing what we can produce over the next few weeks and to see if other athletes work their way in."
The Men’s Eagles will be in assembly at the Olympic Training Center for another week before heading to Seattle for six days on June 9.
"The fellas have been busy at the OTC picking up from where they left off after the Series. We have a lot of hard yards ahead over the next three weeks, but we have been pleased with the foundation set so far," said Magleby.
The Women’s Eagles are equally confident heading into the World Cup after finishing fourth in the inaugural Women’s Sevens World Series. Of the sixteen teams in the women’s tournament, they landed in Pool C with Brazil, Fiji and Spain.
Though none of the three teams finished within 20 points of the Eagles during the Series, head coach Ric Suggitt knows that improvement on the women’s circuit has been very rapid and each team will bring a new level of competition since they’ve seen them last.
“None of the teams will give us easy games. We’ve played them all before and we happened to end up on the right side of the scoreboard, but each team has improved and we will have to show up and work hard to get wins," said Suggitt.
For both the Men’s and Women’s Sevens Programs, competing in the World Cup is the result of over a year and a half of training and residency at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. Though only 24 athletes will travel to the World Cup, many more have trained consistently with the programs.
“All of the athletes who have worked hard for the last 18 months in preparation for this are an integral part of the team. They got us to the stage we are at,” said Suggitt.
The men will be competing in Moscow for the Melrose Cup, and the women for the Women’s Rugby World Cup trophy.
“The USA Eagles have made great progress this year. All eyes now turn to Moscow, the Rugby World Cup and performing at their very best. These are exciting times for the Eagles and we are all looking forward to following their progress," said CEO and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville.
Men’s Eagles Sevens | Rugby World Cup 2013
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards
3. Andrew Durutalo
4. Shalom Suniula
5. Zach Test
6. Matt Hawkins
7. Folau Niua
8. Jack Halalilo
9. Maka Unufe
10. Mike Palefau
11. Colin Hawley
12. Brett Thompson
Men’s Eagles Sevens | Staff
Alex Magleby (Head Coach)
Andy Katoa (Manager)
Brian Green (Athletic trainer)
Paul Goulding (Video Analyst)
Women’s Eagles Sevens | Rugby World Cup 2013
1. Jillion Potter
2. Kelly Griffin
3. Vanesha McGee
4. Deven Owsiany
5. Kimberly Rozier
6. Ryan Carlyle **Akalaini "Bui" Baravilala replaced due to injury
7. Victoria Folayan
8. Emilie Bydwell
9. Irene Gardner
10. Christine Ringgenberg
11. Nathalie Marchino
12. Kathryn "KJ" Johnson
Women’s Eagles Sevens | Staff
Ric Suggitt (Head Coach)
JoAnne Kos (Assistant Coach/Team Manager)
Nicole Titmas (Athletic Trainer)
Dr. Lisa Bartoli (Team Doctor)
USOC | Staff
John Crawley, USOC HP Director of Team Sports
Shawn Dolan, USOC Sports Dietician
Peter Haberl, USOC Senior Sport Psychologist