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LAS VEGAS, NV. - The USA Men’s Falcons have named their 13-player roster for the Las Vegas Invitational taking place this week Feb 28 - Mar 2 alongside the senior HSBC USA Sevens tournament.
Captained by senior Eagles Sevens player Cody Melphy, the developmental USA side will feature three D1A athletes in Life University’s Maciu Koroi (injury reserve), Austin White and Harley Wheeler. Two 2018 Youth Olympians are included as well in Inoke Waqavesi and Lauina Falatea who both represent the USA Men’s Sevens Academy Program.
Falcons’ regulars Travion Clark, D’Montae Noble and Thomas Robles were also selected, along with four more senior Eagles Sevens players in Pat Blair, Naima Fualaau, Anthony Welmers and Joe Schroeder.
USA Sevens Academy Player Ulu Niutupuivaha will also compete in the LVI tournament with the Denver Barbarians.
Drawn in Pool C of the Men’s Elite Sevens Division, the Falcons face the Misfits, Lomaiviti and STARS on Day One (Feb 28). Knockout rounds will begin on Day Two with the Cup Final held on Day Three. The division’s winning team will receive a $20,000 cash prize.
The Las Vegas Invitational will serve as a valuable development opportunity for both athletes and staff with the Falcons bringing two additional coaches and a Strength & Conditioning intern to shadow and support the group through competition. Both coaches were selected from Project SOAR, USA Rugby’s high performance coach development program.
“We have a well rounded and balanced side that is ready to compete in a very competitive competition. Although some of the boys did not get selected for Vegas, they are hungry to put the best foot forward and push for selection for the next stop in Vancouver,” said Head Coach JD Stephenson.
“This is a valuable and hands-on experience for our Project SOAR coaches to be a part of, and something we’d like to include in all of our assemblies. We must continue to develop our next level of coaches and provide opportunities for them to develop and grow.”
All Falcons games will take place at Silver Bowl Park including those contested by the USA Women’s Falcons as part of the Women’s Elite Sevens division.
USA Falcons / Las Vegas Invitational
1) Pat Blair / 7s Residency
2) Travion Clark / Glendale Merlins
3) Lauina Falatea / 7s Academy
4) Naima Fualaau / 7s Residency
5) Maciu Koroi / Life
6) Cody Melphy / 7s Residency
7) D'Montae Noble / Kutztown
8) Thomas Robles / Unattached
9) Joe Schroeder / 7s Residency
10) Inoke Waqavesi / 7s Academy
11) Anthony Welmers / 7s Residency
12) Harley Wheeler / Life
13) Austin White / Life