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We’ve seen players perform recently – at nationals, NASC, Pan-Ams and Sri Lanka, and here's where we see the players who in camp:



Players who have been in strong form or have so much potential that a little imperfection here or there won’t keep them off the team:

Player

Why

Mark Bokhoven

He’s a tall, tough, physical forward, who emerged as even more so when it became clear what the Pan-Am team needed of him.

Colin Hawley

He is enormously versatile and can play just about any position well. Very fit.

Folau Niua

Still working on some little things, but his reading of the game is very strong and he’s quick for a flyhalf.

Mile Pulu

His open field tackle was very solid and he was really outstanding on attack, especially his passing. Possibly the USA’s best 7s player at the moment.

Blaine Scully

Like Hawley, can play several positions. Emerging as a forward who can make an impact at the point of contact, although he needs to do more. If healthy, should be in the team.

Shalom Suniula

Team captain, excellent scrumhalf.

Zack Test

Is getting physically stronger and learning each day more what his true strengths are. Those came to the fore in the Bronze Medal game, which he helped win.

Alipate Tuilevuka

Wasn’t at Pan-Ams, but is looking very good for a USA spot. Enormously popular as a teammate. Highly respected. Quick enough to be a back but is bigger than just about anyone else on the team.

Maka Unufe

Needs some work on defense, but his pace and his awareness on attack are wonderful


That’s nine players. We’re looking for a squad of 12, and already we’ve picked nine.


Players who have an outside chance to make the squad, but need to keep working at it and will get there soon:
Greg Ambrogi

Garrett Bender
Duncan Kelm

I actually like all these players, and they could certainly make the team. I just look at their positions and think they’ve got a long way to leapfrog.



Players who have something to prove:

Player
Why

Justin Boyd

Used to be the speed guy on Eagles. Isn’t the speed guy so much anymore. But he’s smart, plays good defense, helped his team in Sri Lanka (and at NASC and at club nationals) win a title. Maybe less of a wing now but a center …

Miles Craigwell

In the transition between back to a forward he was left home during Pan-Ams. Played almost exclusively hooker in Sri Lanka. If he can do that, suddenly you’ve got a multi-position guy who hits very hard.

Andrew Durutalo

Actually not a big-time 7s guy but is big and strong and knows the game. Can he stay out of contact on offense? Right now he's not in camp as he is working with Waisale Serevi. But he's still in the mix.

Nick Edwards

Two years ago he emerged as the USA’s try-scorer. But will he fit into this team? He has a shot to overtake the less experienced Unufe.

Tai Enosa

Enosa is a terrific talent. He can play scrumhalf or flyhalf, and is fast enough to be a wing. His sidestep is wonderful. But … will he show enough and be strong enough on defense to join Niua and Suniula?

Matt Hawkins

Last year’s captain is still coming back from injury. There’s a lot of competition for a spot among the five forwards Al Caravelli expects to take … if he’s not super fit, someone else will be.

Rocco Mauer

Looked very good at Pan-Ams. It’s just that he’s got a lot of competition. Is it Mauer v. Boyd?

Mike Palefau

One of those guys you wish could just have been able to play from 2005 on. Very smart player who can play all through the backs. But is he fit enough? That could be the clincher. Like Edwards, what he brings is experience.

Nu’u Punimata

Depending who you ask, he might have had a very good Pan-Ams, or not. Here we think he could have done better, although he did certainly improve through the tournament. Needs to be a ferocious, physical defender.

Peter Tiberio

Competing with Mauer for a wing spot, and Enosa for a scrumhalf spot. Very savvy player and it may just come down to who has the better camp.

 

 
That kind of gives us this depth chart:

Props:
Mark Bokhoven
Blaine Scully
  Pate Tuilevuka
    Matt Hawkins
    Nu'u Punimata
       Andrew Durutalo
       Duncan Kelm

Hookers:
Zack Test
   Miles Craigwell


Utility
Colin Hawley
  Garrett Bender

 
Scrumhalf
Shalom Suniula
     Tai Enosa
     Peter Tiberio


Flyhalf
Folau Niua
     Tai Enosa

Center
Mile Pulu
   Mike Palefau
   Nick Edwards
      Greg Ambrogi

Wing
Maka Unufe
   Rocco Mauer
    Justin Boyd
    Nick Edwards
    
Peter Tiberio