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“They’re awesome,” said USA 7s coach Al Caravelli of the USOC high performance staff. “Because this is new to me, they’re saying we want good levels of vitamin D because that shows fatigue and vitamin B shows the red blood cells. They’re really good at explaining everything.

“They want to help the guys get better, and also since they don’t have anything on rugby, they want to build a database, so they can say who is the prototypical, best rugby athlete.”

Caravelli has also negotiated time for players to scout housing. When they first get there, the guys will be put up on the OTC campus. Caravelli said USA Rugby has agreed to pay the security deposits for the players’ accommodations.

USA Rugby has not yet announced the list of contracted players, but we at can eliminate some 7s Eagles and speculate on others.

Two who we’ve independently confirmed have accepted contracts are Maka Unufe and Garrett Bender.

Players who aren’t likely to receive or accept contracts include Mike Palefau, Paul Emerick, Mile Pulu, Greg Ambrogi and Nick Edwards. Edwards doesn’t qualify for the United States (as an Olympian), Palefau is rooted in Utah with his family and a budding business, Ambrogi also has a business and Pulu and Emerick are both injured.

The first round of contracts will only last through the 2011/2012 IRB 7s World Series. Caravelli will then give the team several weeks off before staging a camp for players with the potential to be contracted for the next season. He wants to have the team picked, contracted and assembled by the end of July.

The week before the Eagles travel to New Zealand, Asia and Great Britain for the final three legs of the World Series, the contracted players will be joined by a taxi squad, made up of a handful of uncontracted players trying to make the team for the upcoming tournaments.