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The club is loaded with internationals, and if they can combine those
players with some of their young, up-and-coming talent into a cohesive
whole, they will be enormously hard to beat.
Beach will expect national team players Mike Palefau, Andrew Durutalo, Pate Tuilevuka, Nu’u Punimata, and Miles Craigwell.
In addition, former Fijian internationals Emosi Vucago, Fili Botitu, and Will Rasileka should be available.
Isimeli Daveta, who missed almost the entire Super League season with a
broken collarbone, should be back. Daveta has not been capped by Fiji and,
in fact, should qualify for the USA by residency some time early in
And that’s not all. Such an embarrassment of riches would be enough for any two clubs, but OPSB also has 7s All American Tim Stanfill, former Central Washington stars Kellen Gordon and Mike Nelson, and present CWU player Patrick Blair.
Nolan Allen, and Shane Moore were on the 2010 national championship 7s team at OPSB, and that doesn’t even touch on the other college players who have come in to work with coaches Evan Haigh and Waisale Serevi.
At this rate, Old Puget Sound should be able to field two national championships-caliber squads, and they may well do that.
This weekend they enter the Best of the West 7s at Joint Base Lewis McChord just south of Seattle. A Seattle team is also entered that could feature some of these players, as well.
One of the questions facing Beach is how to stock their forwards. With so many impressive backs in the lineup, it’s likely we will see some movement. The most obvious player to move to the forwards is Craigwell, who started playing 7s in the summer of 2010 for NYAC. He has been a wing since then, and now is a wing in 15s, too.
But many believe in 7s Craigwell, who is a very physical player but doesn’t have the breakaway pace that is needed on the wing in international 7s, would do well to move to hooker or prop. If he does that, Beach could be looking at a group of forwards that include Craigwells, Tuilevuka (when healthy), Gordon, Blair, probably Rasileka, and Durutalo and Punimata.
If this outfit is managed correctly, they could be hard to stop.