Wednesday, July 30, 2014

21 Players On Eagles 7s Contracts


We've been able to confirm that five new players join the Eagles 7s program this upcoming season. In addition to Perry Baker, Tai Enosa, and Pila Taufa, who were announced earlier in the week, Carlin Isles and Maka Unufe will be joining the team. There is potentially that a number of other players could join the residency in some regard at a later date. All of these players are on off-site contracts. This means they don't live at the OTC but train there. It's the same type of contract that has been play for a number of years.

Of the five new players only Baker hasn't played for the Eagles. Enosa and Carlin Isles have significant experience with the team. Unufe also has experience with the team but not to the same extent. It will be interesting to see if Unufe can resurrect his form prior to his break from the program. Taufa has one tournament under his belt.

Take the jump to read more.
Returning to the program are stalwarts Zack Test, Nick Edwards, Andrew Durutalo, and Danny Barrett. This is the core group of players that have carried the Eagles for the last several years. Nese Malifa, Mike Teo, Garrett Bender, and Mike Ziegler have all had their chances over the last few years but haven't been a regular member of the team.

Two players--Chris Turori and Steve Tomasin--will continue to live locally but train the team. Tomasin was one of the breakout players of last year before getting hurt.

Also complimenting the side are six players from the WCAP program. Will Holder and Nu'u Punimata saw the most time of those players last year. Holder is poised to be a core member of the team in the lead-up to the Olympics. Eric Duechle and Ben Leatigaga are the next closest to breaking through. Andy Locke and Cameron Freeman return while Marcus Satavu is now out of active duty and has moved to New England.

Players in residency will have an advantage over other players in the country given that they have a training and support system that few others have. However, the new coaching staff has made it clear that they will be picking their sides based on performance and not residency status.

Off-site Residency: Zack Test, Nick Edwards, Andrew Durutalo, Danny Barrett, Carlin Isles*, Nese Malifa, Perry Baker*, Pila Taufa*, Mike Teo, Maka Unufe*, Tai Enosa*, Mike Ziegler, Garrett Bender

Local: Steve Tomasin, Chris Turori

WCAP: Will Holder, Eric Duechle, Andy Locke, Ben Leatigaga, Cameron Freeman, Nu'u Punimata

2 comments:

  1. I am obviously biased, but it is sad to see Pono Haitsuka cut loose. He was a solid defender and had good speed. If there was one area he needed to improve it was was his creativity with ball in hand, however, that could have been do to playing a pattern they had in place.

    Oh well, I can take solace in knowing that guys have been given a second (or third) chance to have a crack at the team. Hopefully Pono will get on with one of the development teams.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. I think putting retaining a player like Nick Edwards, and letting Pono go is a foolish mistake. They need to re-watch last season's games, Pono was a consistent player, and Nick wasn't. That being said, I am excited to see many other players like Maka return, it makes me hopeful for a better future for U.S.A 7’s rugby. Hopefully, my girls will hear a lot less cursing from their dad while watching 7’s rugby in the coming season….

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