Hawkins names Gold Coast Sevens roster

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – Matt Hawkins has selected his first Men’s Eagles Sevens squad as head coach for the upcoming Fiji Centenary Tournament in Suva and Gold Coast Sevens, the first leg of the 2013-14 IRB HSBC Sevens World Series in Australia.

Five players from the 2012 Gold Coast Sevens – Tai Enosa, Hawkins, Carlin Isles, Zack Test and Brett Thompson – return to the Eagles for the October 12-13 tournament. Blaine Scully is currently plying his trade with Leicester of the Aviva Premiership and a few other players formerly in Residency are no longer with the team.

“We’ve always had a bunch of guys leave and go on to bigger and better things,” Hawkins said. “There are plenty of moving parts and that’s just what the sevens world is. I think the guys we have here have grown a lot over the past year and some of the new guys joining us have brought a fresh energy, which is really great.”

Miles Craigwell, who won the USA Rugby Men’s Senior Club Sevens Championship with Seattle-OPSB and was named the Crispin Club Sevens Most Valuable Player, has been training with the Eagles Sevens and will join the team in the Pacific.

Pat Blair, Ryan Matyas and Stephen Tomasin have moved to Chula Vista and are in Residency at the Olympic Training Center. The three recently helped the USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans win the Serevi Rugbytown Sevens tournament at Infinity Park at Glendale last month.

“I’ve watched those guys over the past two or three years,” Hawkins said. “They’re not really new players to me, but they’re certainly new players to our system. They’ve come in and fit really well and they’re thriving in the conditions at the OTC. We’re excited to see what they can do on that next stage.”

Returners from the 2013 IRB Rugby World Cup in Moscow, Russia, include Nick Edwards, Jack Halalilo, Folau Niua and Zack Test, who was selected to three IRB Dream Teams during the 2012-13 Series and named the Player of the Tournament at London Sevens.

The Eagles fell in the Shield Final at last year’s Gold Coast Sevens after finishing a tough group stage with three losses to Canada, South Africa and New Zealand, the Series champions. This year, the Eagles have been placed in Pool A with New Zealand, Kenya and Tonga.

Hawkins’ Eagles will kick off Gold Coast Sevens against New Zealand Friday, October 11, at 8:30 P.M. ET. Follow updates on Twitter with @USARugby.

Men's Eagles Sevens | Gold Coast Sevens
Pat Blair - Central Washington University
Miles Craigwell
Nick Edwards
Tai Enosa
Jack Halalilo
Matt Hawkins
Carlin Isles
Ryan Matyas - University of Arizona
Folau Niua
Zack Test
Brett Thompson
Stephen Tomasin - San Diego State University

Men's Eagles Sevens | Gold Coast Sevens
v. New Zealand - Friday, October 11 - 8:30 P.M. ET
v. Kenya - Friday, October 11 - 11:58 P.M. ET
v. Tonga - Saturday, October 12 - 3:02 A.M. ET