Eagles Sevens declare hand for Vegas
USA men's Sevens head coach Alex Magleby has announced his Eagles Sevens squad to compete at this weekend's USA Sevens in Las Vegas, the fifth round of the HSBC Sevens World Series, with one change from last weekend in New Zealand.
The only change from Wellington, where US drew with eventual champions England but were knocked out in the Shield semi-finals, is the replacement of injured back Maka Unufe with Rocco Mauer.
Despite the disappointments of Wellington, Magleby is optimistic of a better showing on home soil.
“We just have to play a bit more intelligently and take advantage of the work that’s been done in certain situations,” he said.
“Unfortunately this is the second time in a row Maka has been injured on day one and we haven’t had him for day two,” Magleby said. “He is a special athlete and a lot of what we do revolves around him. The other guys stepped up [in Wellington].
“Rocco is a different type of wing. He’s pretty fast, in Hong Kong last year he did some really good things. We certainly have Carlin [Isles] and other guys that can fill the positions Maka would.”
Andrew Durutalo and Blaine Scully each return from the Wellington squad after coming back from injuries. Scully scored a try in the Eagles’ loss to Wales in the Shield Semifinal.
“Since they hadn’t been playing for so long, they were both looking for that first touch and wanted to be involved,” Magleby added. “That will come with time and getting back in the flow. I thought they did really well.”
Pool D groups the Eagles against Australia, Spain and defending Vegas champions, Samoa.
“We look at it as returning home and using the energy of our home crowd to do good things. That’s what our crowd deserves. They deserve to see the team that represents them play with a lot of passion and execute well.
“We look forward to delivering. We’re excited to be home.”
USA Men’s Eagles: Andrew Durutalo, Nick Edwards, Jack Halalilo, Matt Hawkins (Captain), Colin Hawley, Luke Hume, Carlin Isles, Rocco Mauer, Folau Niua, Blaine Scully, Shalom Suniula, Zach Test
Missing man: Watch Maka Unufe score against England in Wellington
8-10 February 2013
Venue: Sam Boyd Stadium
City: Las Vegas