USA fired up after 'adopt-a-country' visit

USA fired up after 'adopt-a-country' visit

Ahead of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, the fourth leg on the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series, the host nation visited Fitzgerald Elementary School as part of the 'Adopt-a-country' programme.

All 16 teams are participating in the programme run by USA Sevens organisers and Clark Country Elementary School, but Al Caravelli's USA were one of the first teams to visit their local Las Vegas school.

Over the last few weeks and months, each of the 16 schools have learnt about the people and the culture from their adopted country, as well as the rules and history of Rugby Sevens, and coach Al Caravelli was amazed by the reception his side received.

"It really blew us away, I am really at a little bit at a loss for words it was so fantastic," said Caravelli, who introduced each of his 12-man squad and staff individually to the school.

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"We personally think we are lucky with how enthusiastic the children were and I would love to talk to my peers and other coaches in the other teams because it is pretty overwhelming here in the USA to be able to get something like this."

The 2011 USA Sevens, which takes place on 12-13 February, is also being aired on live national television for the first time with NBC and Universal Sports broadcasting eight hours of live coverage.

Fired up

With a possible added pressure of also being the host nation and wanting to show their country the Game in a positive light Caravelli admits that his side could draw inspiration from their visit. 

"What we want to draw from these kids is their energy. They started chanting 'USA, USA' and that just really fires you up.

"Look at what New Zealand did last week with their crowd, if we can get ours behind us like that then that is definitely worth a couple of tries."

The launch of Rookie Rugby Sevens (two years after Rookie Rugby was launched) in light of the IOC's decision to admit Rugby Sevens into the Olympic Games in 2016, will also help with the growth of Sevens in USA according to the head coach.

"The enthusiasm of the children and how well received we were was fantastic," added Caravelli.

"A lot of them are involved in the Rookie Rugby programme and that is what it is going to take to really grow rugby in our country. We will always have cross over athletes available, but what we want to do is add rugby to the sporting programme at a young age."

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The hosts, who won the Bowl in 2010 face South Africa, Samoa and Japan in Pool D on the opening day at the Sam Boyd Stadium and Paul Emerick, who echoed his coach's sentiments after the visit, is looking forward to playing at home.

"America likes to see winners and like to see champions so we are going to do our best, win some games and put in some performances playing on home turf," said Emerick.

"But we have to be on our game but we are building on our last couple of wins in Wellington and hope to use that momentum. We need to get some points whether it is making the Cup quarter finals or winning the Bowl."

Media watch: Pool D team profiles >>

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