Two from Recruitment Camp hoping to make Wellington Sevens squad at Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The latest Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp began Sunday, Jan. 18, at the United States Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Center.

Ahmad Harajly and Mataiyasi Leuta made cases for themselves at the Jan. 10 National Team Recruitment Camp in Chula Vista and earned spots at this week’s camp for consideration for the squad headed to New Zealand next month. Sixteen athletes in residency, as well as three members of the World-Class Athlete Program, will be drilled and tested by the Men’s Eagles Sevens coaching staff.

“We’re looking forward to seeing Matai and Ahmad in camp this week and how they do with the residency athletes,” USA Rugby National Sevens Director Alex Magleby said. “It’s a big step up, but a deserved one, as both worked their way into the framework with quality performances at the National Team Recruitment Camp last weekend.”

Representatives of Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Football Club and California State University, Monterey Bay, respectively, Harajly and Leuta will get another opportunity to impress the coaching staff this week with Head Coach Mike Friday on site.

Residents Pat Blair, Pila Taufa, Mike Te’o, Stephen Tomasin, and Chris Turori returned from the USA Falcons’ development tour of South America Tuesday to join the Camp. Colton Cariaga, Zack Pangelinan, Glen Thommes, and Jack Tracy were also members of the Nese Malifa-coached team that competed in Sevens de Mar del Plata in Argentina and Sevens de Viña del Mar in Chile as part of the 2015 CONSUR South American Sevens Tour who returned to Camp.

Martin Iosefo and Aladdin Schirmer made their World Rugby HSBC Sevens World Series debuts with the Eagles at Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens and Cell C Nelson Mandela Bay Sevens in December. The two debutants helped the Eagles move to ninth in the 2014-15 Series standings following the trip to Africa and were the only two changes made to the squad that traveled to Australia for Gold Coast Sevens.

Next on the docket for the Eagles is Wellington Sevens, the fourth stop of the circuit, before a return to the United States for USA Sevens in Las Vegas.

“It’s a beautiful setup,” Brown said of Wellington Sevens. “Two years ago, [Friday and I] lost the Final with the Kenyan squad. It will be nice to go there and put on a good performance and hopefully the results will take care of themselves and we’ll be in a good place come Day Two.

“The boys will be in good spirits for USA Sevens. We’ve got a job to do in Wellington first and then hopefully we can kick on to Las Vegas and make the fans proud and show them what we’ve been doing for the past six months.”

Friday’s team has been placed in Pool A with Series-leading South Africa, France, and Japan in New Zealand. Japan will offer the first test at Westpac Stadium Thursday, Feb. 5, at 6:21 p.m. ET.

First NameLast NameClub / SchoolHP TeamHeightWeight (lbs.)
PerryBaker1823Residency / Tiger6'1"180
DannyBarrettSan Francisco Golden GateResidency 6'3"220
GarrettBenderAt LargeResidency6'4"220
PatBlairSeattle SaracensResidency / Serevi6'1"220
NateBrakeleyNew York Athletic ClubNortheast NDA6'5"242
ColtonCariagaLife UniversityLife NDA5'10"180
AndrewDurutalo Residency6'2"245
NicEdwardsAt LargeResidency6'2"200
WalterElderKansas City BluesPhiladelphia EC / Atlantis6'3"215
AhmadHarajlyDetroit Tradesmen RFC 6'4"220
WillHolderArmyWorld-Class Athlete Program - Army6'2"210
MadisonHughesDartmouth CollegeResidency / AIG Men's Collegiate All-Americans5'8"170
MartinIosefoUniversity of MontanaAIG Men's Collegiate All-Americans / Tiger6'1"215
CarlinIslesAt LargeResidency5'8"165
Ben LeatigagaArmyWorld-Class Athlete Program - Army6'0"210
MataiyasiLeutaCalifornia State University, Monterey Bay 6'3"235
FolauNiuaAt LargeResidency6'1"197
ZackPangelinanOld Mission Beach Athletic ClubTiger5'8"190
AladdinSchirmerCentral Washington UniversityAIG Men's Collegiate All-Americans6'2"220
PilaTaufaAt LargeResidency6'3"205
MikeTe'oBelmont ShoreResidency / Tiger5'8"205
ZackTestAt LargeResidency6'3"195
GlenThommesSchuylkill RiverAIG Men's Collegiate All-Americans / Atlantis6'3"215
StephenTomasinSan Diego StateResidency5'10"200
JackTracyBelmont ShoreTiger6'2"205
ChrisTuroriOld Mission Beach Athletic ClubResidency6'4"225
MakaUnufeAt LargeResidency6'2"200

Unavailable for selection:
Derek Lipscomb
Kingsley McGowan
Nu'u Punimata (injured)
Shalom Suniula

"We’ve got a job to do in Wellington first and then hopefully we can kick on to Las Vegas and make the fans proud and show them what we’ve been doing for the past six months."