Friday readies Eagles with Camp ahead of 2015-16 Series

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - The final Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp prior to the kickoff of the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series begins at the Olympic Training Center Sunday, Nov. 15, and will be held through Saturday, Nov. 21.

Eagles Head Coach Mike Friday, along with assistants Chris Brown and Phil Greening, will gauge the skill work, team work, and individual promise of 21 contracted and remote athletes for selection to the Dec. 4-5 Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. In fewer than nine months, these athletes will be in contention for selection to the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games, as well.

The Eagles named to the Rugby World Cup 2015 squad - Danny Barrett, Folau Niua, Zack Test, and Brett Thompson - return to Camp save for Barrett, who will miss time due to injury. Similarly, Residents Martin Iosefo, Ben Leatigaga, and Stephen Tomasin are unavailable for Camp.

Though the USA Falcons and USA Hawks both missed top honors at the inaugural Halloween Rugby 7s invitational tournament in St. Petersburg, Fla., resident and remote athletes alike were given the spotlight in the event's third-place match, which pitted the two developmental sides against each other. The Hawks, made up of 11 residents, emerged victors, but the remote athletes with the Falcons displayed the qualities for which Friday and Co. will be looking come selection time.

"I was really pleased with the Falcons," Friday said following the tournament. "I thought they all showed glimpses of why they have been picked to be a part of the setup. They are still learning what is required to become a player on the Series."

One of the Falcons, Kevin Swiryn, has captained the Eagles on the Series in recent years and has helped raise the standard of sevens rugby in the United States playing with Seattle Saracens, now back-to-back-to-back Club 7s National Champions. He, along with fellow capped Eagle and Saracen Peter Tiberio, are among the remote athletes at Camp.

A few athletes that wore Falcons gear at Halloween 7s, including D1A Rugby standouts Alex Faison-Donahoe and Peter Malcolm, are unavailable for the pre-Dubai Camp. Ben Pinkelman will be in attendance, as the Rams of Colorado State have finished their fall season in the West conference.

"I am very conscious about those boys who have college and study commitments, and work to get the balance with the players so that they can maintain their other ambitions and commitments," Friday said. "We will continue to be flexible and work with those players as long as they illustrate commitment and the correct behaviors towards the rugby environment.

"A big thing for our environment is to ensure that the boys not only maximize their potential as rugby players but also grow holistically as men."

In their last appearance on the Series, the Eagles turned heads with an undefeated, Cup-winning performance at Marriott London Sevens, beating three teams ranked in the top five and Canada at Twickenham Stadium. While Rio 2016 qualification and a bronze medal at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games followed, the Eagles are keeping their eyes on the future, and it begins in Dubai.

"Everyone at Camp has an opportunity to make the roster for Dubai," Friday said. "It's about what they are doing now that matters, not what they have done in the past. We run a highly competitive environment where complacency is not welcome.

"I am only interested in players who give everything to the squad."

Pools for the first leg of the 2015-16 Series will be announced by World Rugby in due course, while the Eagles squad for Dubai and the second leg in South Africa will be announced following the culmination of Camp.

Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp | Nov. 15-21

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

Will Holder - U.S. Army World-Class Athlete Program

Madison Hughes - Men's Eagles Sevens

Carlin Isles - Men's Eagles Sevens

Mataiyasi Leuta - Men's Eagles Sevens

Folau Niua - Men's Eagles Sevens

Ben Pinkelman - Colorado State University

ConRoy Smith - Northern Virginia Rugby Football Club

Punnarah Sok - Columbus Rugby Club

Kevin Swiryn - Seattle Saracens

Mattie Tago - U.S. Army World-Class Athlete Program

Mike Te'o - Men's Eagles Sevens

Zack Test - Men's Eagles Sevens

Brett Thompson - Men's Eagles Sevens

Peter Tiberio - Seattle Saracens

Maka Unufe - Men's Eagles Sevens

Men's Eagles Sevens High Performance Camp | Unavailable

Danny Barrett (injured)

Alex Faison-Donahoe

Seth Halliman

Martin Iosefo (injured)

Seamus Kelly

Tua Laei

Ben Leatigaga (injured)

Peter Malcolm

Stephen Tomasin (injured)