USA Rugby names 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Sevens team

UPDATE | July 17 Anthony Welmers replaces Christian Dyer due to injury.

CHULA VISTA, CA. - Following a rigorous training and selection camp, USA Rugby today named 12 players to the 2019 U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Sevens team. The Games will take place in Lima, Peru from July 26 to August 11.

The PanAm Games come after a remarkably successful season where the USA men qualified for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, reached a No. 2 World Ranking and won seven tournament medals.

Competition in Lima will be used as a tool to ready a collection of up-and-coming players for the demands of senior international competition as the Olympic year approaches.

Led by head coach JD Stephenson, the roster features six players who have yet to make their national team debut but have regularly appeared in development tournaments. That group includes Life University’s Harley Wheeler, Kutztown University’s D’Montae Noble and Vail Rugby’s Travion Clark to name a few.

Senior USA Men’s Sevens players Cody Melphy and Joe Schroeder will serve as captain and vice captain, respectively, with four additional senior players earning spots as well.

The range of experience in the Pan Am Games roster will be a benefit to newer players looking to embed themselves in the makeup of the Men’s Sevens program and ultimately earn a spot in the 2019-20 USA Sevens Residency Program.

“Our Pan Ams squad is excited to continue on the overwhelming success of the sevens program as a whole,” said Stephenson. “Automatic qualification for both our men’s and women’s programs is a tough act to follow, but the group selected is hungry for an opportunity to impress against some of the world’s best. The selection committee has picked a squad that represents our Tokyo 2020 hopefuls, but also those who could be pivotal in our success working towards 2024.”

At the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, the United States men won bronze, defeating Uruguay 40-12 after their unbeaten campaign was ended in the semifinals with a loss to Canada. The USA men also won bronze in 2011 when Rugby Sevens debuted in the quadrennial event.

Founded in 1951, the Pan American Games are a multi-sport event hosted every four years in the year preceding the Olympic Games, featuring countries from the North, South and Central America as well as the Caribbean.

The 2019 PanAm will kick off on July 26 with the Opening Ceremony. Both women’s and men’s rugby sevens competition will be played from July 26-28. A final schedule and broadcast details will be confirmed closer to date.

2019 U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Sevens Roster**

*UPDATE 7/17 - Anthony Welmers replaces Christian Dyer (injury)

Ben BroselleHooker/CenterUSA Sevens Residency Program
Maceo BrownCenterUSA Sevens Residency Program
Travion Clark*WingVail Rugby
Christian Dyer*Prop/HookerUniversity of California-Berkeley
Naima Fuala'auScrum HalfUSA Sevens Residency Program
Jake Lachina*PropArmy West Point
Cody MelphyFly HalfUSA Sevens Residency Program
D'Montae Noble*Scrum HalfKutztown University
Joe SchroederPropUSA Sevens Residency Program
Lorenzo Thomas*PropLindenwood University
Marcus TupuolaCenter/WingUSA Sevens Residency Program
Anthony WelmersPropUSA Sevens Residency Program
Harley Wheeler*HookerLife University

Non-Traveling Reserves: Will Holder, Kevon Williams

*Uncapped in HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
**All Pan American Games roster nominations are pending final approval of the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee.

2019 U.S. Pan American Games Men’s Sevens Staff

Head Coach | JD Stephenson
Team Leader | David Fee
Assistant Coach | Anthony Roques
Head of Performance | Jon Hood
Performance Analyst | Brendan Keane
Athletic Trainer | Danielle Allen

Pan American Games Schedule

Pool A | Broadcast on various ESPN Networks

vs Guyana | Fri, July 26 - 12:55 PM ET
vs Chile | Sat, July 27 - 1:15 PM ET
vs Brazil | Sat, July 27 - 5:05 PM ET

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