IRB Sevens moves on to Australia and HKG

For Immediate Release
March 12, 2010

USA Rugby Sevens Team Look to Raise the Bar in Australia, Hong Kong

SAN DIEGO – Following its week-long assembly at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, U.S. Men’s Coach Al Caravelli has selected the team to represent the United States at the next two IRB Sevens World Series events in Adelaide, Australia and Hong Kong.

Caravelli brought in 19 players initially and after a week of training and fitness testing, has selected the U.S. Team that will travel to Australia tomorrow.

“I’m extremely pleased that we have nine of the players who were in Las Vegas on this tour, and that Mark Bokhoven joins the squad back from injury,” Caravelli said. “That gives us 10 players who have played in the series thus far this season. That is huge for us. That experience is invaluable and doesn’t come our way too often.”

In the last two series stops, the U.S. side secured the Shield in Wellington and the Bowl in Las Vegas, and are definitely looking to improve on those results for the next two tournaments.

“The preparation has been outstanding this week in all aspects of the game. The players are chomping at the bit to play England next Friday night,” Caravelli added.

New to the team will be Tommy Saunders, who proved to be the fittest player at camp.

“We have never had a football player without rugby experience crush the beep test the way he did,” Caravelli said. “He is still learning the game, but he makes up for his lack of experience with his athleticism.”

The other new player to the squad is Zach Pangelinan, who played in four IRB Sevens tournaments last season, but until now had yet to make this season’s tour squad. Caravelli credits his versatility as a playmaker and solid defender in the midfield for his selection.

“He has also come back with renewed energy and seriousness. You can tell he has matured and that he wants to represent the USA more than ever,” Caravelli added.

“I am thrilled with the level of focus every athlete brought to every field training, weight room and video sessions,” he finished. “They were switched on 100 percent every aspect of the way. It was a pleasure to see their professional attitude and how each of them continued to push each other. This has to be our best camp in those regards. The players really took to heart the phrase of ‘raising the bar!’ They did it everyday and continue to really push each other to higher levels.”

Departing tomorrow, the U.S. Men’s Team will train in Adelaide for just two days prior to the IRB Sevens World Series in Australia, with scrimmages against South Africa and France scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. Following the Australia event, the team will travel to Hong Kong for the sixth stop on the IRB Sevens series.

The U.S. Men’s Sevens Team will be led once again by captain Kevin Swiryn and vice captain Matt Hawkins.

For more information on the U.S. Men’s Rugby Sevens Team, please visit www.usarugby.org/goto/mens_sevens. For more information on the IRB Sevens World Series, please visit www.irbsevens.com.

U.S. Sevens Team

Barnard, Marco (Kutztown University)
Bokhoven, Mark (Gentlemen of Aspen)
Edwards, Nick (NYAC)
Emerick, Paul (Parma)
Hawkins, Matt (Belmont Shore) Vice Captian
Malifa, Valenese (Belmont Shore)
Pangelinan, Zach (OMBAC)
Peters, Leonard (Gentlemen of Aspen)
Saunders, Tommy (KC Blues)
Suniula, Shalom (Pearl City)
Swiryn, Kevin (Old Puget Sound Beach) Captain
Test, Zach (Loughborough)

Staff
Caravelli, Al Head Coach
Durfee, AJ Doctor
Fautley, Drew Video Coach / Manager
Hayashida, Maury Physio
Williams, David Strength & Skills Coach

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