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Three-a-days virtually every day had the players working hard. And three
sessions a day were not easy. Magleby ran the players hard, coming away
fairly pleased with the fitness numbers and with the players’
And they needed to concentrate. A lot of work has had to be done for the players in setting up accommodations and working on contracts and various US Olympic Committee paperwork.
Magleby told RUGBYMag.com he was impressed with the players’ ability to deal with all of that, and then put it aside during training sessions.
The coach also said that the team has made some good strides in the way
they play, with a marked improvement in their ability to retain possession,
especially on restarts. Zack Test has long been considered a solid
practitioner of winning ball in the air, but he’s not the only one. Colin
Hawley is doing well in that regard, and Maka Unufe has the potential to be
enormously effective with time.
Time. Magleby has plenty of time to create an improved 7s program, if you think about his goal being the 2016 Olympics. But he also has less than a month to get the team ready for qualification for the 2013 World Cup.
Looking long-term, Magleby is in talks with several people to expand
development programs around the country. That’s where he wants young
hopefuls to get good competition and develop. However, he is also
discussing with young players on whether they want to make the move to San
With OMBAC, Old Aztecs, and Belmont Shore all in Southern California, Magleby is hoping to entice players who are just graduating from college to pick San Diego as a base of operations. That way, he reasons, they can get a job, work with the local coaches, and also train each day with the USA team. That is a goal that could reap huge benefits for the program in the future. But what about right now?
Right now, Magleby has to find players. He has a long list of possible players, but it’s unlikely that many could be considered ready for the IRB Sevens World Series. With injuries slamming the team at the end of this latest training, there are places available for other players to work their way onto the Eagles for the Qualifiers and the World Series coming afterward.
Folau Niua is still working his way back from injury, and remember that Blaine Scully, who seemed destined for a regular spot on the team in March, is still coming back from a rupture Achilles tendon. Peter Tiberio is just about back from a broken arm, but has picked up another issue, while Zack Test, Colin Hawley, Andrew Durutalo, and Nu'u Punimata have all encountered injuries of varying severity.
Certainly Magleby will be watching the club finals and the All-Star Championships very closely. He will be holding out some USA players from the NASC to make sure they are healthy for the NACR 7s (the Qorld Cup Qualifiers) in Ottawa in late August. But he will also be watching, closely, looking for players for tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.