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The USA Falcons, a developmental 7s side run by USA Rugby, will compete in a pair of CONSUR tournaments in South America next month. The Falcons will play in Mar del Plata, Argentina Jan. 10 and Vina del Mar, Chile Jan. 17.
Nese Malifa will coach the side. The 29-year-old started with the 7s and 15s Eagles in 2007, and he was contracted with the 7s team just last season. He, along with twin brother Ata, also an Eagle, has suffered from a litany of injuries over the years. Nese is now focusing on coaching, a transition he’s made under the observation of the Men’s National Team staff.
“We don’t have a huge number of coaches in this country that could potentially coach 7s at the next level, but he could be one,” said USA Rugby director of 7s Alex Magleby. “He’s got a long way to go, but he has some of the boxes checked.”
The tour roster has not yet been announced, but it’s likely to include a mixture of players from the Olympic Development Academies, recent high performance camps and those embedded at the Olympic Training Center who aren’t getting much playing time on the World Series.
The United States actually falls under the North American Caribbean Rugby Association’s auspices, but USA Rugby doesn’t regularly send a team to NACRA events. Guyana beat Mexico in the final of the NACRA 7s championship earlier this month. The CONSUR tournaments, competed by the likes of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and other South American nations, should provide a stiffer test for the Falcons.