Fresh off a fourth place finish in Dubai with a 3-0 finish in pool play, the USA Men’s Sevens head to Cape Town this week for their third stop on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The young group has their sights set on improving their results from Dubai with an opportunity to climb into the top four spots worthy of qualification for the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics. The Eagles are currently only two points outside of those covered top spots. The USA return to Cape Town having just competed in South Africa in September for the Rugby World Cup Sevens and will face off against Uganda, Great Britain, and 2022 Series Champions Australia. All matches from Cape Town will be live on Peacock.
The USA first kick off against Uganda in Pool D, a country joining the Sevens Series for their first season. The team finished last in their first tournament in Dubai and will be looking for that first-ever win on the circuit, a lethal motivation. Next on the schedule is a matchup against Great Britain. Comprised of England, Wales, and Scotland, this is the first Seven Series season the three rugby nations are playing under one flag, similar to Olympic completion. The USA played Great Britain multiple times during the Quest for Gold Tournament in Los Angeles ahead of the 2020 Olympics. Lastly, the USA pair up with Australia. The USA triumphed against the 2022 Series Champions in the Dubai 7s quarterfinals last week, so an exciting rematch is expected.
Head Coach Mike Friday’s comments going into Cape Town sevens:
"We’re excited for another opportunity to get out there and build on what we did last weekend. We get another opportunity this weekend, and that’s the way we’re looking at this, another opportunity to be better than last weekend without taking for granted how much hard work and effort we need to start with before we consider our rugby ability and how we execute. We have to match every team we play’s work ethic and desire first and foremost and then we need to play with accuracy. We’re excited for that opportunity. Cape Town is a fantastic city, so we’re looking forward to getting out there out Friday.
There were some valuable learnings for us from Dubai. Purely and simply, while at times we played some fantastic sevens and defended well, we still didn’t deliver the consistency in our attacking game and pass and catch at critical moments. That’s the big challenge for us, to ensure that we attack with purpose and accuracy every time. In order to maximize the potential we have, we have to execute the basics of the game really well, and that comes to pass and catch. Defensively, we need to be better in our decision making and identification around the breakdown.
There are no easy games, and anybody is capable of beating anybody on any given day. We fully respect what we’ve got in our group. Uganda is very physical, very unorthodox, and are capable of surprises. We’ll have to be hugely disciplined and accurate in that opening game, control the ball and be prepared for a physical battle. Great Britain has great rugby, very tricky players who are capable of upsetting and disorienting defenses and are very capable of keeping possession. We need to make sure we look after the ball and more importantly in defense be disciplined and physical when the opportunity arises. Australia is an all-around fantastic rugby team, great physicality, speed, and footwork. It’s a huge challenge for us, but one that we’re up for and as we proved in Dubai we certainly have the physicality, speed, and the pace."
USA Men’s Sevens Roster | HSBC Cape Town Sevens
|Jersey Number & Name||Position||HSBC Tournaments|
|1. Aaron Cummings||Forward||5|
|2. Ben Broselle||Forward/Wing||13|
|3. David Still||Forward/Wing||10|
|5. Joe Schroeder||Forward||24|
|6. Kevon Williams (C)||Halfback/Wing||38|
|7. Naima Fuala’au||Halfback||16|
|8. Malacchi Esdale||Center/Wing||9|
|9. Stephen Tomasin||Utility||45|
|10. Faitala Talapusi||Halfback||10|
|11. Perry Baker||Wing/Center||58|
|12. Lucas Lacamp||Center/Halfback||8|
|14. Marcus Tupuola||Center/Halfback||16|
|15. Gavan D'Amore||Forward||11|
|24. Lance Williams||Forward||1|
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 Cape Town Schedule
Friday, Dec 9 vs Uganda | 9:12 a.m. ET
Saturday, Dec 10 vs Great Britain | 3:35 a.m. ET vs Australia | 9:16 a.m. ET
Knockout stages start Saturday, December 10, at 12:37 p.m. ET
Live on Peacock