Hughes' debut, Isles' return highlight Eagles' Wellington roster

Hughes' debut, Isles' return highlight Eagles' Wellington roster

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Coming off of a Shield Final victory at USA Sevens, Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Matt Hawkins has made his team selections for Wellington Sevens, slated for Feb. 7-8 in New Zealand.

Carlin Isles keeps the number-one shirt following a three-try performance in Las Vegas, where the Eagles finished 3-3 overall. Brett Thompson scored three tries in two matches against Spain, who the Eagles defeated by an aggregate score of 62-10 in pool play and the Shield Final.

Stephen Tomasin will remain home after picking up an injury at USA Sevens and will be replaced by Garrett Bender. Bender made his IRB HSBC Sevens World Series debut back in 2012 at the same tournament and was included in the USA Sevens squad that year, as well.

Bender playing for the USA Falcons at the 2014 Las Vegas Invitational

Madison Hughes is the other addition to the Eagles roster, replacing Nu’u Punimata. Hughes helped Dartmouth finish third at the 2013 College 7s National Championship in November with a relentless work ethic and clinical conversions.

Danny Barrett, who was taken off against Wales in the USA Sevens Bowl Quarterfinal with an apparent injury, remains with the squad, as do Pono Haitsuka and Ryan Matyas. Haitsuka scored three tries in Las Vegas, good for joint-third on the team with Isles behind Zack Test and Thompson, who each had four.

The Eagles are in Pool C with Argentina, Canada and Scotland. Los Pumas dealt the Eagles their first defeat of USA Sevens, 19-12, in pool play, but the Eagles will be looking for redemption after coming within 30 seconds of a win.

Argentina was knocked out of USA Sevens in the Plate Semifinal but still sits high in the Series standings in seventh. Canada and Scotland are 11th and 12th, respectively, while the Eagles sit in 14th with 12 points through four rounds.

Follow the Eagles in New Zealand with @USARugby on Twitter and watch the fifth round of the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series on the IRB Sevens website.

Men's Eagles Sevens | Wellington Sevens
1. Carlin Isles
2. Nick Edwards
3. Danny Barrett
4. Garrett Bender
5. Zack Test
6. Brett Thompson
7. Folau Niua
8. Andrew Durutalo
9. Pono Haitsuka
10. Shalom Suniula
11. Madison Hughes
12. Ryan Matyas

Men's Eagles Sevens Coaching Staff | Wellington Sevens
Matt Hawkins - Head Coach
Brian Green - Physio
Paul Goulding - Tech Analyst
Thomas Wagner - Manager

Men's Eagles Sevens | Wellington Sevens
v Argentina - Thursday, Feb. 6 - 7:21 P.M. ET
v Canada - Thursday, Feb. 6 - 9:48 P.M. ET
v Scotland - Friday, Feb. 7 - 12:56 A.M. ET

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Comments (4)

  • Guest - HawkinsHater

    As long as Hawkins is coach, this team will under-perform. Get a new coach.

  • Guest - Jon Spear

    Last year, Alex Goff wrote an interesting column comparing Canada's "High Performance" program with that of the US. I think Canada's superiority in the area of fitness was apparent last weekend in Las Vegas. The US was in position to win both of its Friday pool games (against Argentina and France), but faltered at the end. Unlike the US, Canada was able to come back strongly from behind and defeat some very good teams, placing 3rd in the competition.

    I don't think that the previous negative comment (by Hawkinshater) against the current coach is fair or helpful. I am not sure why Canada recently has had better results than the US, but it might be worth looking closely at Canada, reevaluating the internal structure of USAR, and changing how decisions are made.

  • Guest - Firlbog

    In reply to: Guest - Jon Spear

    Concur w Jon. Its about proper physical fitness and mental toughness , same type of mental breakdowns happened last year at Vegas.

  • Guest - gonzaemio

    i thought carlin isles was ditching rugby for the nfl?