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The first-place Eagles return to action Jan. 25 in Hamilton, New Zealand, and head coach Mike Friday has named a 13-man squad to make the trip. He’ll finalize a 12-man roster, designating one as injury replacement, before the start of the tournament.

The team is largely unchanged, with Matai Leuta being the only man missing from consecutive silver-medal performances to start the season. He was unavailable for family reasons. In line to spell him are veterans Pat Blair and Anthony Welmers. They’ve been drafted in to compete for that final forward spot.

In Hamilton, the Eagles are drawn against England, Tonga and Samoa in Pool B, which crosses over against Pool C in the knockouts. That group features South Africa, Scotland, France and Kenya. The Eagles are yet to face Tonga or Samoa this season, and their lone result against England was a 19-12 win in the Cape Town quarterfinals.

Team USA / Hamilton
Perry Baker /  38 tournaments
Danny Barrett /  43 tournaments
Pat Blair /  11 tournaments
Maceo Brown /  2 tournaments
Madison Hughes /  39 tournaments
Martin Iosefo / 35 tournaments
Carlin Isles /  43 tournaments
Folau Niua /  61 tournaments
Ben Pinkelman /  22 tournaments
Stephen Tomasin /  23 tournaments
Anthony Welmers /  3 tournaments
Kevon Williams /  13 tournaments