USA Men’s Sevens Preview: HSBC Canada Sevens 2019

No. 1 Eagles Sevens look to remain atop the World Series standings after winning Gold at their home stop for the second-consecutive year

LAS VEGAS, NV. - The No. 1 Men’s Eagles Sevens, now reigning 2-time champions of their home stop in Las Vegas, will enter the sixth round of an Olympic qualifying season at HSBC Canada Sevens Mar 9-10.

Buzzing from their Gold medal finish, after claiming four consecutive silvers to open the season, the United States will remain focused on Top 4 Olympic qualification, despite the loss of key players to injury. All matches will be streamed live on watch.espnplus.com.


This Series Last Stop (USA Sevens 2019)

Last weekend was another monumental success for the Men’s Eagles Sevens who finally achieved a Gold Medal finish -- at their home stop no less -- after reaching four consecutive Cup Finals and taking home Silver.

It didn’t begin as a picture-perfect victory, however, as the United States went 2-1 in pool play after a 26-10 win over Kenya, alarming 24-26 loss to Argentina and redeeming 19-10 victory over France. All three matches were too close for comfort, forcing the Eagles Sevens to take stock of every meticulous details in order to qualify for the Cup Quarterfinals.

A 29-10 victory over South Africa put USA back on the map, where a Semifinal rematch with World Cup Champions New Zealand -- who defeated the Americans in the Sydney Sevens Cup Final -- was a battle that rocked the entire stadium. After the All Blacks Sevens scored the first two tries, the United States dominated the remaining battle and came away with a 24-19 victory to secure a Cup Final berth.

Facing Samoa in their fifth-consecutive Gold Medal match, the Men’s Eagles Sevens were completely unstoppable, cruising to a 27-0 win and claiming their second straight USA Sevens title.

The victory was sweeter than any other medal earned this season as it came off the back-end of overcoming insurmountable odds to qualify for five Cup Final appearances. And while the squad has taken its due time to celebrate and relish in the win, the larger factor of qualifying for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 and remaining No. 1 in the world still lies ahead.


Who to Watch

Eagles Sevens Danny Barrett will be forced to miss Canada Sevens after sustaining a minor thumb fracture in Vegas. Joe Schroeder will suit up in his stead after helping lead the Men’s Falcons to their own title victory at the Las Vegas Invitational last weekend. Schroeder returns to the World Series after sustaining a season-ending injury last year in Vegas.

Overall, four players made the HSBC Dream Team at HSBC USA Sevens including Martin Iosefo, Carlin Isles, Stephen Tomasin and Ben Pinkelman. Iosefo was in good form, making countless strong runs as he has all season to put the entire squad in a position to score tries.

Isles was remarkably consistent as well, claiming the match-winning try in the USA’s semifinal round with New Zealand and cementing his position as the current World Series 2019 leader in tries scored (26). Similarly, Captain Madison Hughes has remained an instrumental figure as the World Series 2019 leader in points scored with 166 (tries & conversions).

After debuting last weekend, newcomer Marcus Tupuola will make his second Series appearance while Ben Broselle will have another opportunity to support the group as an injury reserve.


The Competition

The No. 1 Men’s Eagles Sevens will open HSBC Canada Sevens on Mar 9 against Wales who currently sit in 14th place. Wales and USA last met at Emirates Airline Dubai Sevens where the Americans notched a 33-12 win. Invitational team Chile (16th place) will be next up and last faced the United States in 2017 where the Americans prevailed on both occasions. Pool play will conclude with a battle against fifth-place South Africa who fell to the USA last weekend in the Quarterfinals.


Hear it from Head Coach Mike Friday

On the team spirit after winning a Gold medal...
“We’re back in San Diego recovering and resetting for Vancouver. The boys are comfortable and In good spirits, getting to sleep in their own beds for most of the week before leaving Thursday for another huge challenge. We all know that we once again must be prepared to work so hard. We are hungry as a group to keep moving forward -- improving individually and as a team -- with no illusion as to how tough a task it will be this weekend.”

On the competition in pool play…
“Very tough pool against a physical Chile team who got better and better as they got comfortable with the pace in Las Vegas. They turned heads with their game against South Africa in getting a draw in the pool stages. Wales will be hurting from last weekend and are a talented group of players who are very capable of competing. South Africa are the ultimate competitors and will be looking for retribution this weekend so we expect another hugely physical, fast and frantic game.”


To Sum it Up

The Men’s Eagles Sevens have continued to shatter expectations in the fight to secure a Top 4 finish and Olympic qualification. Last weekend’s Gold medal victory served as a reflection of all the hard work and dedication by individual players and staff to rectify four straight Cup Final losses. The next five rounds of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series will become even more challenging as the United States have well-booked their position as the team to beat. Currently five rankings points ahead of New Zealand for No. 1 and 30 points ahead of the No. 4 spot, it is imperative that the squad continues its consistent form to end their historic season on a purposeful note.


Men's Eagles Sevens Roster

PlayerPositionHSBC Tournaments
1. Carlin IslesWing46
2. Ben PinkelmanProp/Hooker28
3. Joe SchroederProp5
4. Matai LeutaProp31
5. Brett ThompsonProp28
6. Kevon WilliamsHalfback/Wing16
7. Folau NiuaHalfback64
8. Maceo BrownCenter5
9. Stephen TomasinHooker26
10. Madison Hughes (C)Halfback42
11. Marcus TupuolaWing1
12. Martin IosefoCenter38
13. Ben BroselleWing/Prop1

Men's Eagles Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday
Assistant Coach | Anthony Roques
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood
Athletic Trainer | Brian Green
Team Manager | Scott Novack

HSBC USA Sevens Schedule

Pool A | Broadcast LIVE on ESPN +

vs Wales | Sat, Mar 9 - 2:45 PM ET
vs Chile | Sat, Mar 9 - 6:14 PM ET
vs South Africa | Sat, Mar 9 - 9:46 PM ET

*Knockout rounds for Pool A begin as early as Mar 10 at 12:30 PM ET. 

Top 5 Placings 

(following HSBC USA Sevens 2019

CategoryPosition
HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Standing1st (98 points)
Most Points Scored by a team3rd (716)
Most Tries Scored by a team3rd (117)
Restarts by a team3rd (119)
Most Points Scored by a playerMadison Hughes, 1st (166)
Carlin Isles, 5th (130)
Most Tries Scored by a playerCarlin Isles, 1st (26)
Stephen Tomasin, 4th (18)
Restarts by a playerFolau Niua, 2nd (94)

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