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Injured and Unavailable Back for Eagle 7s Men in Dubai

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Injured and Unavailable Back for Eagle 7s Men in Dubai

Stephen Tomasin returns to the lineup. David Carpal photo.

The USA Men's 7s team goes to Dubai this week with a number of injured players back in the lineup.

Captain Kevon Williams returns, as does prop Joe Schroeder, and Stephen Tomasin.

Tomasin wasn't injured per se, just a little banged up and due some rest and stay home when the USA went to Hong Kong. The thinking at the time, probably correct, was that Tomasin, as the most experienced player in Hong Kong aside from Perry Baker, would have taken too much responsibility upon himself, so to prevent that he was kept at home.

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And Lucas Lacamp is back after taking care of academic requirements at UCLA, although he was injured slightly at the LA Sevens.

But those who did finish 6th in Hong Kong despite having only a couple of significantly experienced players, see some performers back. Aaron Cummings had a good showing in Hong Kong, especially on defense. David Still and Malachi Esdale aren't quite as quick as Perry Baker at his prime, but they are stronger and more powerful. 

This is a stronger team with Schroeder and Tomasin, and with Williams the playmakers, including Naima Fuala'au and Faitala Talapusi, have some help, too.

“I’m excited to be back in the mix," said Williams. "I’ve had a great team of people helping me get back to being game ready for this next tour. The squad is in a decent place. Like every tournament, we are trying to find the right groove for this specific moment. There will be a lot of familiar faces that didn’t get to open the season in Hong Kong, foaming at the mouth and ready to get back on the pitch. The goal of the season continues to be head down and work; hopefully when we pick our heads up at the end of the series, we will be in that top four.”

Top four in the standings would mean automatic qualification to the 2024 Olympics. 

Completely new to the team is Lance Williams, the former Utah Warrior who played school rugby in Samoa and Hawaii and Utah before taking a football scholarship at the University of Hawaii. He played some pro football before joining the Warriors in MLR.

“Lance has been on our radar, having excelled over the summer, both domestically and for Rhinos Academy in the recent World 10s," said USA Head Coach Mike Friday. "Lance is certainly a handful. A gentle man off the pitch, who becomes an abrasive and physically explosive player on it. He’ll certainly attract multiple defenders and cause problems in close quarters. We must thank the Utah Warriors for allowing Lance to travel and compete for these upcoming legs. It is an exciting time for Lance as he competes for a chance at his World Series debut.”

The USA's list of pool games are all difficult. They take on Samoa, which is having an excellent run of results of late, Canada, and Japan. All could cause trouble is the Eagles are lackadaisical on defense or indisciplined.

The USA opened up vs Canada Friday at 1:06AM Eastern Time on Peacock. Then they face Japan at 4:05AM and Samoa at 9:06AM. 

Ideal for the USA team would be to take care of Canada and Japan and secure a spot in the quarterfinals before they face Samoa.

USA Men’s Sevens Team to Dubai
No. Name College Position World Series Apps
1 Aaron Cummings Davenport Forward 4
2 Ben Broselle UCLA Forward/Wing 12
3 David Still Saginaw Valley State* Forward/Wing 9
5 Joe Schroeder Trine* Forward 23
6 Kevon Williams NMHU Captain-Halfback/Wing 37
7 Naima Fuala’au Life West Halfback 15
8 Malacchi Esdale Central Florida Center/Wing 8
9 Stephen Tomasin San Diego State Utility 44
10 Faitala Talapusi Life West Halfback 9
11 Perry Baker Fairmont State* Wing/Center 57
12 Lucas Lacamp UCLA Center/Halfback 7
14 Marcus Tupuola Notre Dame College Center/Halfback 15
15 Gavan D'Amore AIC Forward 10
24 Lance Williams Hawaii* Forward Yet to debut

* Did not play rugby in college