USA Sevens look to build momentum in Glasgow
While a majority of the athletes at USA's Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, are preparing for the Olympics in London this summer, the USA Men’s Eagle Sevens team is focused on the final two of the 2011/2012 HSBC Sevens World Series in Scotland (May 5-6) and England (May 12-13).
The Eagle Sevens are presently in camp at the OTC having climbed to 10th in the overall standings after the Tokyo Sevens, and are looking to continue to build moment as the Series reaches its climax.
“We remain a step late in certain aspects on the field," said USA Sevens coach Alex Magleby.
"But to the players’ credit they continue to inch forward each session, and they have been doing that work since Tokyo.
"All set personal records in fitness and strength tests this week, a credit to those efforts and to the work of coach Dave Williams."
Magleby is committed to getting the on-field culture right with this team, instilling in the players a high work-rate and a positive and opportunistic mindset.
“We are trying to learn how to grind and to make quality decisions while in the midst of that labour. It’s a mindset and a set of behaviours we are aiming to chase down. Hopefully in the process we have a bit a fun creating and playing our brand of rugby,” Magleby added.
Stability in the form of full-time contracted athletes may help contribute to the culture. The recent signings of Andrew Durutalo and Nu’u Punimata brings the total number of signed players to 11, but only nine are available for Scotland and England as Blaine Scully and Garrett Bender are unavailable due to injury.
Mike Palefau, Nick Edwards, Justin Boyd, Duncan Kelm and Marcus Satavu have all been added to the extended squad and Magleby noted that progress with the team has been steady and the team leadership continues to mature.
“Shalom [Suniula], Zack [Test], and Colin [Hawley] have continued to grow as leaders and the group as a whole has really taken ownership of their experience."
The Eagles will face England and Australia - ranked fourth and sixth respectively - in the Series, as well as Kenya who are clipping at the heels of the USA in the world rankings, a mere point behind the Eagles, in their pool in Glasgow.
USA Sevens squad: Justin Boyd, Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Tai Enosa, Colin Hawley, Duncan Kelm, Rocco Mauer, Mike Palefau, Folau Niua, Nu’u Punimata, Marcus Satavu, Shalom Suniula, Zack Test, Peter Tiberio