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The pools are set for the top division of the Las Vegas Invitational – Men’s Elite. As usual, several countries are represented in the field, with Germany, Mexico and the Cayman Islands sending their national teams. France, Canada and the United States have their developmental sides in the mix.
Invitational and all-star teams make up another portion of the competition. The Serevi Selects are back to try and defend their 2014 title, Lionheart – a Canadian group that fell to Serevi in the semifinals – returns, the Selects – and American invitational team that pulls from all over the country – is back for its second year, the Stars and Atlantis – other American select sides – are in, and teams from Utah, Florida, Arizona and the Northeast Olympic Development Academy are coming.
There are a few military teams, and three American clubs are taking their chances with the big boys – Atlanta Old White, the Austin Blacks and Kansas City Blues. The Blues finished third at Club 7s Nationals in 2014 and have a talented roster. Old White and Austin are going to have to up their game to compete.
With three semifinalists and six quarterfinalists returning from last year, the favorites are clear. Serevi beat the Falcons, 10-7, in the final, and both won convincingly in the semifinals, so they have to be expected to make deep runs again.
The dark horse might be the Selects. Last year the fledgling group entered four teams across three divisions. This time, with a year of learning under their belt, the selects are entering six teams. They have also brought in Tiger Rugby coach Paul Holmes to assist in the efforts, which should provide more talent to the pool. They’re also asking players to arrive earlier for a pre-tournament camp of sorts.
|Pool A||Pool B||Pool C|
|USA Falcons||Maple Leafs||Ronin 7s|
|Elite Selects 1||All-Armed Forces||Northeast ODA|
|Laie Lions||Mana Utah Select||Arizona ODA|
|Cayman Islands||Florida Select||Kansas City Blues|
|Pool D||Pool E||Pool F|
|Atlantis||Serevi Selects||France Development|
|7th Airborne||Atlanta Old White||Austin Blacks|