You are here
Eight high performance 7s sides (rosters listed below) will compete for a $10,000 purse this weekend at Halloween 7s in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The impressive field includes two USA Rugby teams, the Hawks and Falcons, Canada's Maple Leafs and an Argentine squad. Rounding out the competition are city- and regionally-based all-star squads from Denver, Ohio, Utah and New York.
The Hawks look a lot like the Eagles probably will when the HSBC World Series kicks off in December, the Maple Leafs are very close to Canada's National Team, and the same could be said about the Argentines. These teams would usually have to fly to the opposite end of the world to get a high-level warm-up tournament ahead of the Series, but this new event has filled the void closer to home.
"The Hawks is the residency squad that have been working extremely hard these last few months and are looking forward to playing some competitive rugby to blow away the cobwebs and for us to get an idea of where we are as a group," Team USA coach Mike Friday said in USA Rugby's squad announcement.
"The Falcons squad are less experienced but equally hungry to make a statement as a group and try to be a part of the Olympic squad that we are building," he added. "We are looking to increase the depth of the pool without compromising quality and these boys are looking to make that step up."
Saturday will see two pools play a round-robin schedule, with the pool winners and runners-up advancing to the Cup semifinals Sunday. The bottom four teams will play in the Bowl competition. The American all-star teams, filled with promising talent trying to catch Friday's eye, will be up against it on day one. Denver and Utah are pitted with the Falcons and Argentina. Ohio and New York are paired with the Maple Leafs and the Hawks.
The de facto Canadian and American National Teams will do battle in the opening day's finale, which should decide that pool. The other group is a little more wide open, with Argentina looming as the heavy favorite. The Falcons are bolstered by former Eagle 7s captain Kevin Swiryn, who is looking to make a comeback for the Rio Games, and Andrew Durutalo. The massive forward is fresh off a World Cup run and trying to get back into 7s shape ahead of the World Series. But the Falcons are also a patchwork team, where Denver and Utah have played together, mostly, before.
The event has been pulled together by American Rugby 7s, a new group looking to get in the professional rugby conversation.
The tournament will be streamed live from Al Lang Stadium Saturday, beginning at 2:55 p.m. ET. The stream picks back up at 1:55 p.m. Sunday in time for the Cup semifinals.
|Max de Achaval|
|Mike St. Clair|
|Robbie Ah Sue|