Men’s Falcons win championship at Las Vegas Invitational

LAS VEGAS, NV. - The USA Men's Falcons have defeated URU 7s Wanderers to win the Championship Title of the Men's Elite Sevens Division in the Las Vegas Invitational 2019. 

"Very excited, it's an awesome achievement that the guys have put in. I'm extremely impressed and hopefully this is just the start of the journey for these guys in terms of them [going] from Falcons into Eagles and showing the world what they can do," said Head Coach JD Stephenson. "In any facet, if they are able to keep our senior squad competitive and keep our daily training environment competitive, they're doing their job. But I truly feel there are some guys in that mix who can push for [Tokyo] 2020 and at the very least will be involved in 2024." 

The developmental USA side took an early 14-5 lead just before the URU 7s Wanderers launched a comeback with two back-to-back tries. 

One came when the Falcons attempted a kick to touch but the opposing side recovered and ran away with it on the right flank. The next came on the first attack of the second half where the URU 7s exposed defensive gaps to make their way inside the 22 and dot down just left of the posts, 14-17. 

Down by three, the Falcons rhythm fell further behind when a lineout missed its mark and a penalty was awarded to URU 7s. But, as the opposing side committed its own penalty, USA Falcons' Travion Clark broke the gain line from the scrum and scored mid posts, 21-17. 

With seconds remaining, Clark broke open on the outside again, sure to score another, but the ball bobbled into touch and the referee blew full time. 

Despite the final loss of a try, the Falcons had defeated URU 7s to become the new Men's Elite Sevens Division Champions. 

The Las Vegas Invitational was an excellent opportunity for the Men's Sevens program to continuously test and build its depth as an Olympic year approaches. Developmental Falcons assemblies not only provide new players with the opportunity to display their skills but also capped players the chance to integrate with up-and-coming stars and help bridge the gap to senior play. 

The USA Men's Falcons will now fill the stands at Sam Boyd Stadium and cheer for the senior Men's Eagles Sevens who continue their title defense in the HSBC USA Sevens 2019.

Men's Falcons Roster 

PlayerPositionClub / Program
Patrick BlairHookerUSA Men's Sevens Residency Program
Travion ClarkWingGlendale Merlins
Lauina FalateaPropUSA Men's Sevens Academy Program
Naima FualaauScrumhalfUSA Men's Sevens Residency Program
Maciu KoroiPropLife University
Cody Melphy (C)CenterUSA Men's Sevens Residency Program
D'Montae NobleFlyhalfKutztown Rugby
Thomas RoblesPropunattached
Joe SchroederPropUSA Men's Sevens Residency Program
Inoke WaqavesiScrumhalfUSA Men's Sevens Academy Program
Anthony WelmersPropUSA Men's Sevens Residency Program
Harley WheelerHookerLife University
Austin WhiteCenterLife University

USA Men’s Falcons Staff

Head Coach | JD Stephenson
Assistant Coach | Brendan Keane
Assistant Coach | Colton Cariaga
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Justin Goonan
Strength & Conditioning Intern | Hunter Moran
Project SOAR Shadow Coach | Greg Schor-Haskin
Project SOAR Shadow Coach | Steve Brennan

USA Men’s Falcons Results 

vs Misfits | 28-5 (W)
vs Lomaiviti | 38-5 (W)
vs STARS | 31-19 (W)

Cup Quarterfinals
vs Fiji Blonde | 26-21 (W)

Cup Semifinals
vs Misfits | 40-7 (W)

Cup Final
vs URU 7s Wanderers | 21-17 (W)

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About the USA Falcons

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.

About the Las Vegas Invitational

The Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) is the largest rugby tournament in North America that takes place annually alongside the HSBC USA Sevens international rugby tournament held in Las Vegas. The LVI is considered the premier amateur rugby event in the United States, featuring athletes and match-ups across a wide-range of rugby divisions and age groups. The tournament features club teams, select sides and National teams from around the world with more than 275 competing teams in 2018. The 2019 LVI will see an expansion of teams in multiple competitive divisions for men, women and youth.

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