Friday, October 21, 2011

Pan American Games 2011 - USA Preview

Official logo of the 2011 Pan American Games

The USA Eagles Rugby Sevens team is into is final stages of preperation before the Pan American Games and the international Sevens season in general. A squad of eigthteen players are seven days into an eleven day training camp at the Olympic Training Centre in Chula Vista, California with the squad to be cut on Monday. The high performance training facilities combined with the USA´s permanent place in the IRB Rugby Sevens World Circuit puts the USA in a strong position and, indeed, in with a strong chance of winning Gold. The task is simple - win the pool and a medal is guaranteed as the world finish would then be the Silver Medal. But it is not going to be an easy task as the USA is to face Brazil, Chile and Canada in pool matches. The winner of the pool will have an easier path to the final, while the runner-up is likely to face favorites, Argentina, in the Semi Finals.

The squad includes the stand out back for the USA at Rugby World Cup 2011, Paul Emerick and three others from the Eagles´successful campaign which featured a win vs Russia and strong performances vs both Ireland and Italy. Emerick, who is under an injury cloud, is expected to be the role model for the remainder of the squad but will have plenty of assistance from Colin Hawley, Blaine Scully and Roland Suniula who also all got plenty of game time in New Zealand. The other squad players of note are the speedster, Zack Test and Miles Craigwell. The pair offer plenty of flair in attack and will be important if the USA is to realize the dream of winning Gold. One month after the Guadalajara tournament, the USA are to play in expanded IRB Sevens Series which starts with the Gold Coast Sevens in Australia and has a short turn-around with the Dubai and South African legs taking place shortly thereafter.

Pre-Pan American Games Training Squad

Mark Bokhoven (Denver Barbarians)
Justin Boyd (Belmont Shore)
Miles Craigwell (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Andrew Durutalo (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Paul Emerick (Life University)
Colin Hawley (Olympic Club)
Duncan Kelm (Belmont Shore)
Rocco Mauer (Chicago Lions)
Folau Niua (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Don Pati (University of Utah)
Nu'u Punimata (Old Puget Sound Beach)
Milemoti Pulu (San Francisco Golden Gate)
Blaine Scully (Unattached)
Roland Suniula (Boston)
Shalom Suniula (Belmont Shore)
Zack Test (Unattached)
Peter Tiberio (University of Arizona)
Maka Unufe (Utah Warriors)

USA vs China, 2011 Hong Kong Sevens

USA vs Japan, 2011 Hong Kong Sevens

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