USA Men’s Falcons conclude two-part Sudamerica Rugby Sevens

Developmental sevens team finishes fifth in Punta Del Este and ninth in Viña del Mar

VINA DEL MAR, CHL. - The USA Men's Falcons have concluded the two-part Sudamerica Rugby Sevens tournament with fifth and ninth-place finishes at each stop.

Beginning with the first leg at Punta del Este in Uruguay (Jan 5-6), the Falcons went 2-2-1 overall, opening with a 38-0 shutout win over Paraguay and 26-point draw with Germany before falling to Chile 5-27 in pool play. Into the Cup Quarterfinals, the USA fell to Argentina 31-7 before bouncing back for another shutout win against Uruguay (17-0) in the 5th Place Semifinal.

After severe lightning in the area put a hold on competition -- and in consideration for player welfare -- the Falcons and South Africa mutually agreed to forego the final game and flip a coin instead. Ultimately, it was the United States who won the toss and claimed fifth-place.

In the final leg at Viña del Mar in Chile (Jan 12-13), the Falcons went 3-2 overall with a 19-14 opening win over rival-Canada and two losses to Colombia (19-5) and Argentina (19-14) in pool play. The knockout rounds yielded much more favorable results, however, with a dominant 35-0 victory over Brazil and a 26-5 win over Paraguay which claimed 9th place.

Captained by senior Men's Eagles Sevens player Cody Melphy, the full tournament allowed a breadth of emerging players to find their footing within the rigors of international competition. With Sudamerica Sevens hosted over two consecutive weeks, athletes were able to use the mini-series as a measuring stick to evaluate their preparedness for the main HSBC Sevens Series circuit.

"Really proud of the effort and endeavor by everyone on the team," said Captain Melphy. "The boys did their homework before tour and over the two weeks we were able to put all the little puzzle pieces together as we ran our system. There was a lot of growth and experience gained for all players."

As described by Melphy, the full Falcons squad displayed shining moments of grit through both legs of the tournament, fighting through disappointing results to achieve every opportunity available.

Senior Men's Eagles Sevens player Joe Schroeder returned to competition for the first time since sustaining a season-ending injury at USA Sevens 2018 and scored four total tries in both weeks. Newcomer Travion Clark made waves of his own, crossing the tryline in almost every match as he clocked five tries alone at Viña del Mar. Falcons' Vice Captain Marcus Tupuola was on fire himself also claiming five tries with one during the first stop at Punta del Este and another four this weekend in Chile.

As the Men's Sevens program prepares for the next two rounds of the main HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series -- currently ranked No. 1 in the World as an Olympic qualifying year continues -- staff and players will rest assured that the breadth and depth of the full program is building as quickly as the momentum.

USA Men's Falcons Roster

Player Name Position Program
Ben Broselle Wing Men's Sevens Academy / UCLA
Travion Clark Wing Glendale Merlins
Naima Fuala'au Scrum Half Men's Sevens Residency
Maciu Koroi Prop Life University
Johnny Mahe Flyhalf Men's Sevens Academy
Cody Melphy Flyhalf Men's Sevens Residency
Eric Naposki-Abdalah Center UCLA
D'montae Noble Fly Half Kutztown University
Thomas Robles Prop Unattached
Joe Schroeder Prop Men's Sevens Residency
Faitala Talapusi Flyhalf Men's Sevens Residency
Marcus Tupuola Center Men's Sevens Residency
Harley Wheeler Hooker Life University
Austin White Center Life University

USA Men's Falcons Staff

Head Coach | JD Stephenson
Assistant Coach | Brendan Keane
Strength & Conditioning Coach/Performance Analyst | Justin Goonan
Physiotherapist | Alex Burke

USA Men's Falcons Results | Sudamerica Rugby Sevens 2019

Punta Del Este Sevens, Uruguay (Jan 5-6)

vs Paraguay | 38-0 (W)
Tries: Joe Schroeder, Austin White, D'montae Noble, Thomas Robles, Ben Broselle (2)
Cons: Cody Melphy (4)

vs Germany | 26-26 (D)
Tries: Harley Wheeler, Naima Fuala'au, Thomas Robles, Eric Naposki-Abdalah
Cons: Cody Melphy (2), Eric Naposki-Abdalah

vs Chile | 5-27 (L)
Tries: Marcus Tupuola

vs Argentina | 31-7 (L)
Tries: Ben Broselle
Cons: Naima Fuala'au

vs Uruguay | 17-0 (W)
Tries: Joe Schroeder, Harley Wheeler, Eric Naposki-Abdalah
Cons: Cody Melphy

Falcons finish in fifth-place after a coin toss with South Africa.

Viña del Mar Sevens, Chile (Jan 12-13)

vs Canada | 19-14 (W)
Tries: Marcus Tupuola (2), Travion Clark
Cons: Cody Melphy (2)

vs Colombia | 19-5 (L)
Tries: Cody Melphy

vs Argentina | 19-14 (L)
Tries: Marcus Tupuola, Travion Clark
Cons: Cody Melphy (2)

vs Brazil | 35-0 (W)
Tries: Joe Schroeder, Eric Naposki-Abdalah, Travion Clark (2)
Cons: Eric Naposki-Abdalah (4)

vs Paraguay | 26-5 (W)
Tries: Joe Schroeder, Austin White, Travion Clark, Marcus Tupuola
Cons: Cody Melphy (3)

Falcons finish in ninth-place.

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About the USA Falcons Program

USA Falcons are the developmental teams for the senior men's and women's sevens programs who compete in domestic and international tournaments outside the main HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. The teams serve as a support to the senior Women's and Men's Eagles Sevens by building depth in the player pools for both programs and exposing new waves of athletes to international competition. Falcons competitions also provide more playing time for current national team players; streamlining the transition of new players to the senior programs with interaction between various experience levels. The USA Falcons are equivalent in competition level to the USA Selects in 15s.