USA Men’s Sevens Preview: HSBC USA Sevens 2019

Eagles Sevens look to continue hot streak and defend their 2018 USA Sevens title on home soil

LAS VEGAS, NV. - After winning four straight silver medals, the USA Men’s Eagles Sevens will defend their home title at the HSBC USA Sevens 2019 at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, Mar 1-3.

Tied at No. 1 and the only team who has medaled at every stop this season, the squad will look to continue its hot streak in the fifth round of an Olympic qualifying season. Tickets are available at with all matches broadcast LIVE on various ESPN Networks including ESPNews, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN+. 

Click here for full broadcast schedule 

This Series Last Stop (Sydney Sevens 2019)

The Eagles Sevens opened HSBC Sydney Sevens with a statement-making pool play sweep, claiming a 7-0 victory over France, 41-0 shutout of Kenya and 36-14 defeat of rival-Canada to make the Cup Quarterfinals.

There, Spain was no match for the USA’s quick and clever play as the squad scored try after try in another 38-10 win. Facing England in the Cup Semifinals, the Eagles Sevens remained patient while capitalizing on every English mistake to survive 14-7 and make their fourth-straight Cup Final.

This time, it was reigning World Cup Champions New Zealand who had the final say, overcoming the U.S. side 21-5 in an intense battle at Spotless Stadium.

The United States was undoubtedly overcome with heartbreak, despite maintaining a historic run of four straight podium finishes to remain tied at No. 1 in the world. While the sting of losing Gold is all too familiar this season, the squad is set on defending their status as reigning USA Sevens champions this weekend.

Who to Watch

Both Stephen Tomasin and Captain Madison Hughes made the HSBC Sydney Sevens Dream Team last tournament, marking five Eagles Sevens who have earned the honor in the last two stops. Hughes currently sits at No. 2 in most points scored this season and is also the highest point scoreer in Eagles Sevens history.

Kevon Williams has proven instrumental this season as well, scoring five tries last tournament -- including a hat trick against rival-Canada -- before sitting out of the Cup Final due to injury. Williams is back in full force and could surpass his 50 try mark with five more tries in Vegas.

Head Coach Mike Friday’s 13-player squad will give two players the opportunity to earn their national team debut in starter Marcus Tupuola and injury reserve Ben Broselle. Both Tupuola and Broselle came up through USA Rugby’s All-American program and have evolved their skills through developmental Falcons competitions.

Speedster Perry Baker remains out of competition as he continues injury recovery with the hope of returning by April.

The Competition

The Eagles Sevens will begin their USA Sevens title defense in Pool C, facing 13th ranked Kenya first on Day One. Kenya will be followed by ninth-ranked Argentina who fell to the USA in the Cup Final in Vegas last year. Pool Play will conclude on Day Two against 12th ranked France who fell to the Americans in a tight one score battle in Sydney. The knockout rounds begin as early as 7:30 PM ET on Day Two.

Hear it from Head Coach Mike Friday

On Marcus Tupuola making his debut …
“It’s exciting for Marcus who has done extremely well since he joined the program. He has adjusted to the training volumes amazingly and he is a ball of positive energy who is effervescent on the pitch and instinctive in attack. I am looking forward to seeing him take the next step.”

On defending the USA Sevens title after winning four straight silver medals...
“We are approaching this with the same mindset that we’ve had all season. We need to be humble and hungry to succeed as we are not even at the halfway stage of our mission to gain automatic Olympic qualification by finishing in the Top 4. We are always excited and honored to play in front of our home support of family and friends as they always play such an important part in this tournament. We will need to work hard every second of every game and feed off the passionate support of the USA rugby community in what will be another very tough physical group that will force us to be at our best.”

To Sum it Up

The United States has now reached the halfway point in their Olympic qualifying season and has held on to the No. 1 position for the past two World Series stops. Opening the tournament as the team to beat after winning four straight silver medals, the Eagles Sevens will have a vocal home crowd behind them this weekend. The USA is currently tied with World Cup Champions New Zealand for the top spot at 76 cumulative points, and 19 points ahead of fourth-place South Africa (57 points). The team who finishes in the top four at the conclusion of the season will automatically qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

Men's Eagles Sevens Roster 

PlayerPositionHSBC Tournaments
1. Carlin IslesWing45
2. Ben PinkelmanProp/Hooker27
3. Danny BarrettProp45
4. Matai LeutaProp30
5. Brett ThompsonProp27
6. Kevon WilliamsHalfback/Wing15
7. Folau NiuaHalfback63
8. Maceo BrownCenter4
9. Stephen TomasinHooker25
10. Madison Hughes (C)Halfback41
11. Marcus Tupuola Wing0
12. Martin IosefoCenter37
13. Ben Broselle Wing/Prop0

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony Roques
Assistant Coach | Phil Greening
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC USA Sevens Schedule

Pool B | Broadcast LIVE on various ESPN Networks
All times Eastern

vs Kenya | Fri, Mar 1 - 7:50 PM 
vs Argentina | Fri, Mar 1 - 10:51 PM
vs France | Sat, Mar 2 - 4:26 PM 

Knockout rounds for Pool B begin Sat, Mar 2 at 7:30 PM

Top 5 Placings

(following HSBC Sydney Sevens 2019)

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series StandingTied for 1st (76 points)
Most Points Scored by a team3rd (567)
Most Tries Scored by a team3rd (92)
Restarts by a team3rd (94)
Most Points Scored by a playerMadison Hughes, 2nd (132)
Most Tries Scored by a playerCarlin Isles, 2nd (18)
Restarts by a playerFolau Niua, 2nd (71)

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