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Team USA’s men’s and women’s teams for the HSBC World Series opener in Dubai are set, with several debutants set to make their first international 7s appearances. For both teams, the inexperience is driven by some post-Olympics changes, as well as injuries.
On the women’s side, Kristen Thomas is still recovering from the broken leg that prevented her from starring for the Eagles in Rio. On the men’s side, Carlin Isles is also just shy of a full return from a broken bone.
Leading the women in experience is Lauren Doyle, who along with Ryan Carlyle, Alev Kelter and Joanne Fa’avesi, are the lone holdovers from Rio. The men have seven Olympians in their 13-man traveling squad. Head coach Mike Friday will have to carve the team down to 12 before the weekend.
The women’s portion of the Dubai competition kicks off Thursday, with the Eagles set to play Russia at 4:28 a.m., South Africa at 7:24 a.m. and Australia at 10:43 a.m., all times Eastern. The men begin pool play Friday with Scotland at 12:44 a.m., Uganda at 3:44 a.m. and South Africa at 10:06 a.m.
Last season, the entire series was available to view in the United States via WorldRugby.org, except for USA Sevens, which aired on NBC and NBC Sports. However, it’s unclear if that will again be the case.
Women's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens
1. Cheta Emba
2. Ryan Carlyle
3. Kate Zackary
4. Alev Kelter
5. Nicole Heavirland
6. Lauren Doyle
7. Naya Tapper
8. Joanne Fa'avesi
9. Nicole Strasko
10. Kayla Canett
11. Kristine Sommer
12. Bulou Mataitoga
Men's Eagles Sevens | Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens / HSBC Cape Town Sevens