Men's Eagle Sevens Gear Up for Australia, Dubai, and South Africa
BOULDER, Colo. -- After winning a bronze medal at the 2011 Pan American Games in October, the USA Men's Eagle Sevens Team is gearing up for the 2011-2012 HSBC Sevens World Series that kicks off on Friday November 25, 2011 in Gold Coast, Australia.
Team USA began training on Friday November 11 and will depart for Australia on Saturday November 19. Twenty-one players will enter camp, and the final 12-man traveling team will be determined on November 17.
Some new faces in camp including club sevens standouts Greg Ambrogi and Garrett Bender will be in attendance and three freshly-capped Eagles Maka Unufe, Folau Niua, and Rocco Mauer will use their Pan Am experience to bolster their chances for World Series inclusion.
Series regulars and Belmont Shore teammates, Matt Hawkins and Tai Enosa, are back in the fold after missing out on the Pan Ams.
In Gold Coast, their Pool B opponents South Africa, Australia, and Japan will be waiting for them. However, the USA squad enjoyed a rare luxury for an emerging rugby nation: a tournament and camp before the start of the Series thanks to the Pan-Am Games.
In the 2010-2011 season, the USA started strong in the opening tournament, nabbing six of their 12 point season total in the Dubai opener by reaching the Plate semifinal. Series points are awarded to a team if they reach certain stages of the tournament.
With a little extra preparation time, the Eagles will look to recreate some of that early-season magic and have a strong showing in Gold Coast.
The 2011-2012 season itself looks different than last year, with an added stop in Tokyo in late March and the Australian and South African legs of the Series finding new homes in Gold Coast and Port Elizabeth respectively.
USA MEN'S EAGLE SEVENS CAMP | NOVEMBER 11-19
Greg Ambrogi (Schyulkill River)
Garrett Bender (YoungBloodz)
Mark Bokhoven (Denver Barbarians; Ames, Iowa)
Justin Boyd (Belmont Shore)
Miles Craigwell (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Andrew Durutalo (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Nick Edwards (Sydney University)
Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore)
Matthew Hawkins (Belmont Shore)
Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)
Duncan Kelm (Belmont Shore)
Rocco Mauer (Chicago Lions)
Folau Niua (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Mike Palefau (Utah Warriors)
Nu'u Punimata (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Milemoti Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Blaine Scully (At Large)
Shalom Suniula (Belmont Shore)
Zack Test (At Large)
Peter Tiberio (Chicago Lions)
Alipate Tuilevuka (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Maka Unufe (Utah Warriors)