Folau Niua to Miss Singapore Sevens for Recovery

Cody Melphy takes starting position, Tala Talapusi debuts as 13th man

KALLANG, SGP. - After further evaluation and the conclusion of high-performance camps, Men's Sevens' Head Coach Mike Friday and team medical personnel have removed Folau Niua from the Singapore Sevens roster to allow his body additional time for recovery. Coach Friday and the team were hopeful Niua would meet their desired levels of rehabilitation but ultimately decided it was best for the playmaker to seek additional recuperation before returning to the pitch. 

"We thought his body would recover in time but it hasn't to the levels we want so we have decided to leave him behind," said Head Coach Friday, describing the careful decision to make changes to the squad. 

With Niua out, Cody Melphy will move to a starting position, making way for Tala Talapusi to earn his international debut as the 13th man. Talapusi, who most recently played with Tiger Rugby during the 2018 Hong Kong Tens, earns his start after making an impression on Eagle coaches both during the aforementioned tournament and high-performance camps.

The 6th ranked Men's Sevens have arrived in Singapore and will spend the next week preparing for competition. Drawn in Pool B, the U.S. will face France, England and Kenya on Day One of the upcoming tournament, looking to crack the top 4 with a strong finish in the 8th stop of the 2017-18 Series.

Singapore Sevens runs from Apr. 28-29 (based on Eastern time)  broadcast LIVE on ESPN3. Updates will be available by following @USARugby on social media. 

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS ROSTER | 2018 HSBC Singapore Sevens

1. Carlin Isles
2. Ben Pinkelman (C)
3. Danny Barrett
4. Matai Leuta
5. Brett Thompson
6. Malon Al-Jiboori 
7. Cody Melphy
8. Chris Mattina
9. Stephen Tomasin
10. Kevon Williams
11. Perry Baker
12. Martin Iosefo
13. Tala Talapusi 

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS STAFF | 2018 HSBC Singapore Sevens

Head Coach - Mike Friday
Assistant Coach - Jon Hood
Team Manager/Assistant Coach - Phil Greening 
Physiotherapist - Brian Green

MEN'S EAGLES SEVENS SCHEDULE | 2018 HSBC Singapore Sevens

LIVE on ESPN+ with paid subscription
vs. France | Sat, Apr. 28 - 12:30 AM ET
vs. England | Sat, Apr. 28 - 3:56 AM ET 
vs. Kenya | Sat, Apr. 28 - 7:44 AM ET