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The United States Men's 7s National Team is currently in its second high performance camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The camp began Wednesday and will conclude Tuesday. One more HP camp is scheduled ahead of selections for the World Series-opening Gold Coast 7s in October.
15s head coach Mike Tolkin, U20s head man Billy Millard and 7s development director Alex Magleby have joined 7s coach Mike Friday and his staff at the OTC. 15 resident players and 16 non-residents are in attendance, with two off-site residency spots potentially on offer in Chula Vista.
There are many changes from Friday's first high performance camps, with several new players making the trip and others involved last time not in the fold. Capped 7s Eagles Mike Palefau, Kevin Swiryn and Colin Hawley, along with St. Mary's and 7s All American standout Kingsley McGowan, were unavailable.
Those who entered the last HP camp in July without a contract, but earned one, are Perry Baker, Tai Enosa and Pila Taufa. Pat Blair was under contract during the last camp, isn't now, and is in camp again. John Cullen, Rocco Mauer, Derek Lipscomb and Sean Rafferty are the only returning participants who don't hold a contract, indicating the coaching staff liked what they saw and want to see more.
Some of those getting their first chance to play for Friday up close and personal are Miles Craigwell, Shalom Suniula and Peter Tiberio. All three Seattle Saracens are capped Eagles. Madison Hughes and Folau Niua, also Eagle vets, are in a Friday camp for the first time. Ben Pinkelman and Aladdin Schirmer, both age-grade National Team members, are also debuting for Friday.
Cullen impressed Friday, assistant coach Chris Brown and Magleby at the last camp, and he appears to have an inside track on one of the remaining off-site residency contracts. So does Niua, who left the OTC to sign with the Guinness Pro 12's Glasgow Warriors. He just finished up playing in the Carlton 7s in Sri Lanka.
Tiberio, Mauer, Craigwell and Suniula are prime candidates to potentially make a touring side via further HP camps throughout the season, even if they don't take contracts at the OTC. Suniula, and perhaps even Niua, will have his minutes watched closely, as he's become a bigger role player within the 15s setup.
|Perry Baker||OTC - Off site resident||6-1||180|
|Danny Barrett||OTC - Off site resident||6-3||220|
|Garrett Bender||OTC - Off site resident||6-4||220|
|Pat Blair||Seattle Saracens||6-1||220|
|Miles Craigwell||Seattle Saracens||6-2||215|
|John Cullen||Seattle Saracens||6-5||250|
|Andrew Durutalo||OTC - Off site resident||6-2||245|
|Nick Edwarads||OTC - Off site resident||6-2||220|
|Tai Enosa||OTC - Off site resident||5-9||190|
|Will Holder||OTC - WCAP||6-2||210|
|Carlin Isles||OTC - Off site resident||5-8||165|
|Ben Leatigaga||OTC - WCAP||6-0||210|
|Derek Lipscomb||Old Blue||6-2||225|
|Andrew Locke||OTC - WCAP||6-0||180|
|Nese Malifa||OTC - Off site resident||5-10||190|
|Rocco Mauer||Seattle Saracens||6-1||197|
|Ben Pinkelman||Colorado State||6-4||205|
|Nu'u Punimata||OTC - WCAP||6-0||210|
|Sean Rafferty||Long Island||6-1||225|
|Aladdin Schirmer||Central Washington||6-2||220|
|Shalom Suniula||Seattle Saracens||5-8||193|
|Pila Taufa||OTC - Off site resident||6-3||205|
|Mike Te'o||OTC - Off site resident||5-8||205|
|Zack Test||OTC - Off site resident||6-3||195|
|Peter Tiberio||Seattle Saracens||6-2||200|
|Stephen Tomasin||OTC - Local||5-10||200|
|Chris Turori||OTC - Local||6-4||225|
|Maka Unufe||OTC - Off site resident||6-2||200|
|Michael Ziegler||OTC - Off site resident||6-4||230|