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After a serendipitous 1988 Plate victory in the Hong Kong 7s, the Eagles were keen to perform well again at the 1989 event, and the Sydney 7s, the following week. To ensure that veteran and new players received optimum instruction, USA's 7s coach, Emil Signes, conducted a special camp in February 1989 at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Thirty-six invitees attended, comprised of twenty-two rookies and fourteen veterans in an event run successfully by the Arizona Rugby Union under the aegis of event Director Mike Sondgrass. Twenty-four coaches, and trainers, in addition to logistic and medical staff, supported the thirty-six trialists.
The first day was given over to physical testing and ball handling drills. Sunday began matches with different player combinations to maximize selection opportunities. After deliberation, the Committee selected two squads, as follows:
Hong Kong Event
Gary Lambert, White Plains
Mike Siano, Phil/Whitemarsh
Tony Ridnell, Puget Sound Beach
Tom Billups, Quad City Irish
Andy Dujakovich, Kansas City
Chris O'Brien, Old Blues
Steve LaPorta, Denver Barbos
Mark Wiliams, Aspen
Barry Williams, Los Angeles
Dave Poquette, Denver Barbos
Jim Wilkinson, Duck Brothers
Russel Ortiz, Southern California
Will Brewington, Maryland Old Boys
Tom Smith, Sana Monica
Charlie Wilkinson, Duck Brothers
Kevin Higgins, OMBAC
Gary Hein, Old Blues
Rory Lewis Washington
A pleasant surprise for the players was the presentation to each of an answering machine from AT&T, a sponsor of the Hong Kong 7s team.
All agreed this training session offered excellent experience, necessary to mold Eagles 7s players into two competitive sides for international competition.