OTC hosts Men’s Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp ahead of Halloween 7s

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Long-serving Eagle Kevin Swiryn is one of nine non-Resident athletes invited to the next Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp at the Olympic Training Center.

A total of 24 Olympic hopefuls will look to overcome the 'YAKA YARD' from Friday, Oct. 23, to Thursday, Oct. 29. Following the penultimate Camp ahead of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Head Coach Mike Friday and co. will select 24 players to compete in the Halloween 7s tournament as the USA Falcons and USA Hawks.

Because this particular camp will be used as a selection vehicle, the athletes in attendance will be expected to raise the intensity level from the brief summer hiatus.

"This Camp will be similar to the traditional HP Camps as we build towards a tournament," Friday said. "We have been working to date on our physical and technical areas, and this Camp will reintroduce a focus on the tactical parts of the game that we need to get our rhythm in attack and defense.

"However, we are still some six weeks away from leg one of the Series, so the boys will be undercooked and will probably enter the tournament on the back of a highly physical Camp. They may be tired, which is not how we prepare for a normal Series leg."

Swiryn, who will turn 31 before the end of the calendar year, has been touring the world and winning championships with Seattle Saracens since returning to rugby from international retirement in 2012, including the 2014 and 2015 USA Rugby Emirates Airline Club 7s National Championships. In the early months of Friday's tenure, Swiryn was invited to but was ultimately unable to attend Camps.

"He has always wanted to compete but for various genuine reasons it wasn't possible for him to do so last season," Friday said of the former Eagles Sevens captain. "He has communicated well and has always excelled when we have watched him - not only in his individual performances, but also how he has carried himself within the team and for the team."

Swiryn also brings Rugby World Cup experience to Camp, having been selected to the 2011 tournament in New Zealand. Danny Barrett, Folau Niua, Zack Test, and Brett Thompson are unavailable for Camp due to their participation in the 2015 event in England, where the Eagles exited prior to the knockout rounds.

USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby has worked diligently since his appointment earlier this year to improve the talent identification process for the national teams. As a result, the upcoming camp will feature eight non-Resident athletes under the age of 27, including All-Americans Alex Faison-Donahoe of Kutztown University; Seth Halliman of Central Washington University; and Peter Malcolm of Wheeling Jesuit University.

Mike Te'o will also return to Camp after a 10-week immersion with Taranaki Rugby in New Zealand, where he trained with the full ITM Cup side and earned plaudits as full back for the development team.

"We have worked hard on our talent identification these last six to 12 months, driven by Alex Magleby and the quality of players we have come into camp is a testament to that," Friday said. "The great thing is that players have been identified in many different ways, be it through the Olympic Development Academy as well as through the National Championships and the Elite City Sevens.

"We are looking to create more opportunities to allow the players to put themselves in a position to compete, but I am pleased with how all parts of our scouting networks are operating, and hopefully we can build upon this."

Falcons and Hawks selections for Halloween 7s - to be held at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, Fla. - will be announced next week.

  • Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp | Oct. 23-29
  • Nate Augspurger - Old Blue of New York / Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Perry Baker - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Garrett Bender - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Pat Blair - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Colton Cariaga - Life University
  • Nic Edwards - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Alex Faison-Donahoe - Kutztown University
  • Seth Halliman - Central Washington University
  • Will Holder - World-Class Athlete Program (Army)
  • Madison Hughes - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Martin Iosefo - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Carlin Isles - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Tua Laei - Brigham Young University / Rugby Utah
  • Ben Leatigaga - World-Class Athlete Program (Army)
  • Matai Leuta - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Peter Malcolm - Wheeling Jesuit University
  • Ben Pinkelman - Colorado State University
  • ConRoy Smith - Northern Virginia Rugby
  • Joey Sok - Columbus Rugby Club / Tiger Rugby
  • Kevin Swiryn - Seattle Saracens / ATAVUS Academy
  • Mattie Tago - World-Class Athlete Program (Army)
  • Mike Te'o - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Stephen Tomasin - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Maka Unufe - Men's Eagles Sevens
  • Unavailable | Rugby World Cup 2015
  • Danny Barrett
  • Folau Niua
  • Zack Test
  • Brett Thompson