Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Eagles Name Extended Squad For Hong Kong

Eagles head coach Mike Friday has named an extended travelling roster ahead of the Hong Kong 7s. 13 players can be on a roster on a Series weekend (the 13th player is injury cover) but the Eagles have taken 15. Returning to the team are Maka Unufe and Steve Tomasin, both of whom had injuries. The return of both will be a big boost to the U.S. as Unufe and Tomasin have been excellent so far on the year. The rest of the squad pretty much returns the core group that has delivered success this season. Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Martin Iosefo, Folau Niua, Ben Pinkelman, and others are all on the roster. The U.S. won the Vegas 7s and finish as a semi-finalist in Vancouver, their best run in a long time.

One reason the Eagles are able to take an extended team is the presence of the Hong Kong 10s. While not mentioned in the U.S.A.  Rugby press release it has been common for Americans in the past to travel to Hong Kong to play in the 10s tournament. A few years back Nate Ebner traveled with the Eagles, played 10s in Hong Kong, and the played in the Singapore 7s the next week. That could happen here as well. It wouldn't make a lot of sense to fly 15 players to Hong Kong unless they are going to get playing time somewhere.

Travelling Roster: Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Pat Blair, Martin Iosefo, Carlin Isles, Malon Al-Jiboori, Matai Leuta, Chris Mattina, Cody Melphy, Folau Niua, Ben Pinkelman (C), Brett Thompson, Steve Tomasin, Maka Unufe, Kevon Williams

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