The USA Men’s Sevens travel to Sydney for their fifth stop on the 2023 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series. Heading into the tournament ranked as the second top team in the series, the squad will look to repeat and improve on their bronze medal finish in Hamilton on the road to Paris 2024.
Fresh off a bronze medal in Hamilton, the USA hope to earn their third straight series medal for the first time since 2019 and keep their top four placement to earn early qualification to the 2024 Olympics intact. Head Coach Mike Friday’s traveling squad remains the same as Hamilton as the USA carry the positive momentum of a thriller finish in New Zealand to achieve the same in Sydney. All matches at Sydney Sevens will be LIVE on Peacock.
The USA start Pool B with a matchup against Spain, who they defeated 15-14 in Hong Kong last fall. Spain have struggled through pool play this year so far, but have always played the USA close and will be focused on getting past the USA defensive stronghold that helped defeat Los Leones in Hong Kong. Next, the Eagles meet Samoa, who’ve had a strong showing this year, including a tournament gold at Cape Town Sevens. The USA defeated Samoa 14-12 at Dubai Sevens in December and will look to repeat that result as Samoa remain in the mix for a top four finish this year. Playing physical against Samoa and keeping them out of quarterfinal contention will be a positive play in the long-run.
The USA’s last pool match in Sydney meets Ireland for the fourth time this season. Results have alternated between the two teams, with the last matchup ending in a draw in Hamilton last week thanks to a critical end-of-game conversion from veteran Stephen Tomasin. Both teams have a lot to gain and a lot to lose with this game, so expect a heart-pumping 15 minutes.
Comments from Head Coach Mike Friday heading into Sydney Sevens:
“We are in an extremely tough group with three other highly competitive teams, making this an unpredictable set of games where any team can beat any team. All four teams are physical and resilient which will ensure that the games will be both close and tense.
We are under no illusion that we will need to be on top of our game from moment 1 and will not be able to be anything other than accurate with ball in hand both in terms of our shape but also the execution of the simple basics of the game. Our lack of pass and catch accuracy and micro skills in the contact hurt us last week and we have to be on point or we open up opportunities for us to be punished by these opponents. We are acutely aware that these habits are critical alongside our collective effort and commitment to work hard for each other, in the heat of Sydney.
We are excited for the opportunity and ready for the challenge of this pool.”
USA Men’s Sevens Roster | HSBC Sydney Sevens
|Jersey Number & Name||Position||HSBC Tournaments|
|1. Aaron Cummings||Forward||7|
|2. Ben Broselle||Forward/Wing||15|
|3. David Still||Forward/Wing||12|
|4. Maceo Brown||Center/Forward||21|
|5. Joe Schroeder||Forward||26|
|6. Kevon Williams (C)||Halfback/Wing||40|
|7. Naima Fuala’au||Halfback||18|
|8. Malacchi Esdale||Center/Wing||11|
|9. Stephen Tomasin||Utility||47|
|10. Faitala Talapusi||Halfback||12|
|11. Perry Baker||Wing/Center||60|
|14. Marcus Tupuola||Halfback/Center||18|
|15. Gavan D'Amore||Forward||13|
|16. Adam Channel||Forward||7|
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 Sydney Schedule
Thursday, Jan. 26
vs Spain | 10:44 p.m. ET
Friday, Jan. 27
vs Samoa | 5:22 p.m. ET
vs Ireland | 11:05 p.m. ET
Saturday, Jan. 28
Knockouts begin 3:37 a.m. ET.
LIVE on Peacock