Pan-Am Games on the Horizon for Men's Sevens Team
Players from the Men's Sevens pool put in an enormous amount of fitness and skill work in a compressed five day camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. last week in preparation for the @Link("[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((647294541))", "External", "URI", "2011 Pan-Am Games", " lo_id="647294541||647290967" lo_value="[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Links\\Content\\647294541" lo_namepath="[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((647294541))" lo_type="External" lo_datatype="URI"") on October 29-30. The Games will mark the first time that the Men's Sevens team will officially represent Team USA and the United States Olympic Committee since rugby sevens inclusion in the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics was announced in late 2009.
The five-day camp was focused on fitness and skill development, but mostly fitness. Three-a-days and comprehensive recovery sessions enabled players to sharpen their endurance and improve their fitness over the course of the camp. USA Men's Sevens veterans Mark Bokhoven, Zack Test, and Mike Palefau were in excellent form and leading by example during training sessions.
Two football converts that have taken to the rugby pitch well, Miles Craigwell and Nu'u Punimata, were in action and showed that they have been working on their rugby while not with the national team.
Some new faces in the men's sevens fold were in attendance as well. Folau Niua (San Francisco Golden Gate) impressed with his fitness and skill level. His fantastic ability with the boot will also be an asset that has not likely escaped USA Head Coach Al Caravelli's attention.
Duncan Kelm, an All-American and San Diego State standout, proved that he has been putting in the neccessary effort off the field with his fitness, regularly leading the pack in fitness drills.
Looking to the Pan Am Games, Caravelli will select a squad of 15 players to travel to Guadalajara next month. A handful of Eagles returning from their Rugby World Cup campaign in New Zealand this week will be available including Colin Hawley, a regular on the HSBC Sevens World Series, and the very talented Blaine Scully. Roland Suniula, who strarted in three of the four USA games in the RWC will also be available.
Click @Link("[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((647388339))", "External", "URI", "here", " lo_id="647388339||647290967" lo_value="[Application]\\Structure\\Content\\Links\\Content\\23181D59-1321-B577-9CEA-E559FA226244\\21D94194-12B8-CF0F-3EC2-84C07EC3C032\\647388339" lo_namepath="[#This.#NamePath]::~~Link~~((647388339))" lo_type="External" lo_datatype="URI"") for photos of the camp.