Rugby World Cup Sevens preparations begin for Men's Eagles Sevens
"It’s a one-off tournament, a replica of the Olympics. It’s a chance in a two-day tournament to become world champions, which is crazy."
CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens did not take Monday off for Memorial Day. Instead, they were put through the paces by head coach Alexander Magleby during the first day of the Eagles’ Rugby World Cup Sevens training camp at the Olympic Training Center, which will run for four weeks.
Joining the 16 players in Residency at the Olympic Training Center are several USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans before they join their camp ahead of the New Zealand Tour this summer. Garrett Brewer of Saint Mary’s, Zac Mizell of Arkansas State, and Tanner Barnes and Patrick Blair of Central Washington are in camp now and will be joined in Chula Vista by Madison Hughes of Dartmouth and Colton Cariaga of Life after the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship in Philadelphia from May 31 to June 2.
Also in camp is returning veteran Rocco Mauer along with Tigers Academy teammate Trevor Tanifum, as well Isimeli Daveta of Serevi Academy.
After a long IRB HSBC Sevens World Series, Magleby does not expect he will have to add any extra motivation during camp for what is the biggest sevens tournament to date, with the 2016 Rio Olympic Games on the horizon.
“Camps are always intense,” Magleby said. “It’s the World Cup, though. It’s a one-off tournament--a replica of the Olympics. It’s a chance in a three-day tournament to become world champions. More teams are competing for it, as well, not just the core teams from the Series. That’s the big value of the World Cup, and we’re really excited to compete in it and challenge to win it.”
Camp will be held at the Olympic Training Center until June 9, at which time the camp will move to Serevi Rugby in Seattle, Wash., until June 14 before returning to Chula Vista.
While the Eagles finished the Sevens World Series strong with three consecutive Plate Final appearances (and two Plate Final victories), the players understand the difficulty that awaits in Moscow. The Eagles were drawn in Pool D with Series champion New Zealand, border rival Canada and Georgia. With six pools to the Series’ four, the Eagles must win Pool D or finish as one of the two best second-place teams to secure a spot in the Cup competition.
“Not only do you have to win, but if you have that one loss, you have to have a huge point-differential relative to everybody else,” Magleby said. “For us, that means we have to do well in each game. The defense has to hold and not leak tries, and the attack has to score points.”
The Eagles open their Rugby World Cup Sevens schedule against Georgia June 28 before taking on Canada and New Zealand on June 29.
Men’s Eagles Sevens Camp Invitees | Rugby World Cup Sevens Training Camp
Nate Augspurger - Residency
Tanner Barnes – Central Washington
Patrick Blair – Central Washington
Garrett Brewer – Saint Mary’s
Colton Cariaga – Life
Isimeli Daveta – Serevi Academy
Andrew Durutalo - Residency
Nick Edwards - Residency
Tai Enosa - Residency
Jack Halalilo - Residency
Matt Hawkins - Residency
Colin Hawley - Residency
Madison Hughes – Dartmouth
Carlin Isles - Residency
Rocco Mauer – Tiger Academy
Zac Mizell – Arkansas State
Folau Niua - Residency
Shalom Suniula - Residency
Trevor Tanifum – Tiger Academy
Pila Taufa - Residency
Zach Test - Residency
Brett Thompson - Residency
Maka Unufe - Residency
Note: Mike Teo is training with the USA Rugby AIG Men's Junior All-Americans ahead of the IRB Junior Rugby World Cup. Blaine Scully and Luke Hume are still in Residency, but are currently with the Men's Eagles as they prepare for the international match against Ireland in Houston June 8.