Captain Kevon Williams and a few veterans will return to the pitch as the USA Men’s Sevens traveling roster is confirmed for the upcoming HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series stops in Dubai and Cape Town.
Picking up from an impressive showing of debutants in Hong Kong, senior talent will rejoin the player pool as the USA sit just outside the Olympic qualification standings and look to climb into the top four during these next two crucial tournaments. Major League Rugby and Premier Rugby Sevens stand-out, Lance Williams will also join the group, chasing his HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series debut. Dubai Sevens kicks off Friday, December 2 at 1:06 AM ET (Thursday night for MT and PT) in a border battle clash with Canada. All matches will be streaming LIVE on Peacock.
Dubai Sevens Preview
The USA Men’s Sevens started the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series just over a month ago in Hong Kong, where a young roster of four debutantes impressed by reaching the quarterfinal and taking home 12 points to start the season. With Captain Kevon Williams returning to the group alongside a few fellow veterans, the strengthened squad will look to pick up positive momentum and hopefully carry the team into the coveted top four positions, keeping pace in Olympic qualification. Back for the first time since a training injury this summer, Williams is joined by Joe Schroeder, Stephen Tomasin and Naima Fuala’au as returning members. 2022 breakout star, Lucas Lacamp will also join the group on break from school duties and make his first appearance of the season.
Continuing to bring new talent onto the world stage, rookie Lance Williams will have the opportunity for his series debut as he joins the traveling squad. Williams rose to the occasion competing with Denver 7s at RugbyTown 7s in 2021, before shining at the inaugural Premier Rugby Sevens Championship in Memphis later that year. The University of Hawaii Football product has over 50 caps with the Utah Warriors of MLR, where he was awarded Second Team All-MLR honors in 2019. Traveling with the team to Dubai and Cape Town, Williams will compete for one of 13 eligible spots on each tournament roster.
First kicking off against Canada on Saturday morning Dubai time, the USA will enter Pool D with Samoa and Japan as well. Japan is the only team this USA side has seen so far this year, with a pool play victory last month in Hong Kong. This Eagles squad will otherwise have the pool finale matchup with Samoa circled, as they look to redeem a harsh loss in the Rugby World Cup Sevens opener and improve on a top four team.
Returning to the pitch for the first time since May, Captain Kevon Williams noted:
“I’m excited to be back in the mix, I’ve had a great team of people helping me get back to being game ready for this next tour. The squad is in a decent place. Like every tournament, we are trying to find the right groove for this specific moment. There will be a lot of familiar faces that didn’t get to open the season in Hong Kong, foaming at the mouth and ready to get back on the pitch. The goal of the season continues to be head down and work; hopefully when we pick our heads up at the end of the series, we will be in that top four.”
Head Coach Mike Friday’s comments on quick return to the world circuit:
“We are excited to have a healthier squad to select from, and a number of experienced players who are absolutely bursting to get back out there and represent again. They have all been working hard to put themselves in a position for selection and we are pleased with where the squad is after the quick turnaround from Hong Kong. As a squad, we will need to be far more ruthless in attack, where at times we allowed ourselves to not be effective. I am expecting the squad to ensure that our kick off game, on both sides of the ball, is significantly better as we seek to reestablish ourselves as one of the world’s best in this area. This group is fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead, and I am hoping the experienced guys take the responsibility of being 100% ready to perform from day one in Dubai.
“Lance has been on our radar, having excelled over the summer, both domestically and for Rhinos Academy in the recent World 10’s. Lance is certainly a handful. A gentle man off the pitch, who becomes an abrasive and physically explosive player on it. He’ll certainly attract multiple defenders and cause problems in close quarters. We must thank the Utah Warriors for allowing Lance to travel and compete for these upcoming legs. It is an exciting time for Lance as he competes for a chance at his world series debut.”
USA Men’s Sevens Roster | Emirates Airlines / HSBC Dubai Sevens
|Jersey Number & Name||Position||HSBC Tournaments|
|1. Aaron Cummings||Forward||4|
|2. Ben Broselle||Forward/Wing||12|
|3. David Still||Forward/Wing||9|
|5. Joe Schroeder||Forward||23|
|6. Kevon Williams (C)||Halfback/Wing||37|
|7. Naima Fuala’au||Halfback||15|
|8. Malacchi Esdale||Center/Wing||8|
|9. Stephen Tomasin||Utility||44|
|10. Faitala Talapusi||Halfback||9|
|11. Perry Baker||Wing/Center||57|
|12. Lucas Lacamp||Center/Halfback||7|
|14. Marcus Tupuola||Center/Halfback||15|
|15. Gavan D'Amore||Forward||10|
|24. Lance Williams||Forward||Yet to debut|
USA Men’s Sevens Traveling Staff
Head Coach | Mike Friday
Performance Analyst | Dave Gardner
Strength & Conditioning | Josh Schnell
Athletic Trainer | Bobby Gragston
Team Manager | Scott Novack
USA Men’s Sevens Dubai Schedule
Friday, Dec 2
vs Canada | 1:06 AM ET
vs Japan | 4:05 AM ET
vs Samoa | 9:06 AM ET
Live on Peacock
Knockout stages start Saturday, December 3 at 12:00 AM ET (Midnight)