Key duo fit for USA-Scotland Sevens showdown
Captain Matt Hawkins and speedster Carlin Isles have both recovered from injuries suffered in Tokyo to take their place in the USA Sevens squad to compete at the Emirates Airline Glasgow Sevens on 4-5 May.
The fitness of both players is a huge boost for coach Alex Magleby as his side attempts to out-perform Scotland in Glasgow and avoid having to re-qualify as an HSBC Sevens World Series core team at round nine in London.
While New Zealand head into the Glasgow tournament leading the Series by 32 points, at the other end of the table the promotion / relegation battle in London is looming large.
At the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham on 11-12 May the core teams ranked 13th, 14th and 15th after Glasgow will play off for three available core team places next season with Asian champions Hong Kong, Russia, Zimbabwe, Tonga and Georgia.
Currently Glasgow hosts Scotland are tied in joint-12th place with USA, ahead of Portugal and Spain, meaning that in the most likely scenario the two nations are battling to out-perform each other in Glasgow and safeguard their core team status for 2013/14.
If the two nations should finish the Glasgow event still tied on Series points, the team with the best overall points difference for the 2012/13 Series will be adjudged higher in the standings. Currently, Scotland's points difference is -97, while USA's is 88 worse on -185.
Given the scale of the challenge ahead, Magleby is delighted to include the key players.
“Matt was playing well in Hong Kong, and so we look forward to having his go-forward and experience back on the field in Scotland, as well as Carlin’s x-factor,” said Magleby, who has also been able to recall Blaine Scully, who took no part in either Hong Kong or Tokyo.
While Scotland faces New Zealand, England and Portugal in its home pool stages, the USA faces matches against Russia, Wales and France.
USA Sevens squad: Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Jack Halalilo, Matt Hawkins (capt), Colin Hawley, Luke Hume, Carlin Isles, Folau Niua, Blaine Scully, Shalom Suniula, Zach Test, Brett Thompson. Travelling reserve: Pila Taufa
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