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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Preview: Serevi RugbyTown 7s

One of the best 7s tournaments of the summer kicks off this weekend as top teams descend on Infinity Park for the Serevi RugbyTown 7s. The tournament has been a breeding ground for some of the top talent in the country over the last few years with Olympians having participated among several teams. Now that the U.S. is embarking on a new Olympic cycle and the team likely to test out new players this next season players at the Serevi RugbyTown 7s will have the opportunity to break on through. \

The tournament kicks off on Friday and will be streamed live on the Infinity Park website. To help get you prepped we have a quick look at each of the pools.

Pool A: Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard

The Armed Forces pool is always one of the most competitive of the summer. These players play with a lot of passion and over the years have grown in skill. Army has traditionally been one of the strongest teams with a number of players in the WCAP program. We haven't been able to confirm but it wouldn't shock us to see the likes of Will Holder turn out for the team like he's done in the past.

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Last year the surprise team was the Coast Guard. As the smallest of the Armed Forces they don't have the biggest pool but a committed program and good coaching turned them into an upset machine. They have every chance of doing that again this year. The Air Force has also been strong in years past and could once again if they have players that came through the Air Force Academy available. The same goes for Navy who have had a strong Academy program over the last few years.

Pool B: Bermuda, Black Dragons, Glendale Raptors, Royal Air Force, SoCal Griffins

Pool B has a lot interesting options. Bermuda are well resourced and have put a lot into 7s in the last few years. The Black Dragons and the Royal Air Force are overseas traveling teams that come in not just for the experience but to pick up a win. It's always hard to tell who exactly they are bringing over. In previous years some of these teams have called flat while others have been very, very good. The Glendale Raptors didn't have the best of summers but did win the Pioneer 7s. They are using 7s this summer as development. The SoCal Griffins could be the surprise of the tournament. There is a lot of talent in Southern California and if they can put it all together they have the ability to top the pool and go far.

Pool C: Atavus All-Stars, Atlantis, British Army, Denver 7s, Rugby Utah

For us, this is the pool of death. It wouldn't be a shock to see any of these teams at the top of the podium on Sunday. Rugby Utah are coming off their win at the Club 7s Nationals in which they looked like few teams could touch them. The Atavus All-Stars are made up of players that have excellent at Atavus camps over the last year. They have been monitored and given programs to make them better players. For some of the players this is going to be their first big opportunity on a big stage. Some will excel, some will not but in the end the team is going to make better players.

The British Army has always been a strong side usually with a number of Fijians. Denver missed some of their traditional players this summer and missed out on the Club 7s Nationals. That might be the motivation they need to have a great tournament. The same goes for Atlantis who typically have many of the best players from the Mid-Atlantic.

Pool D: Negro Y Azul, Ramblin Jesters, Stars, Tiger Rugby, Rogues Rugby

This is also an interesting pool. Negro Y Azul is from Austin and has seen success in the playoff rounds. Tiger Rugby is always good and the Stars turn out solid players as well. The Ramblin Jesters are an invitational side but one that is including some U.S. college talent. Then there are the Rogues from Toronto. We think this pool is wide open for a team like the Jesters to come in an take the top seed.

Play starts at 12:00 p.m. MT. 

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