Coach favours US World Sevens stopover
by Brian Lowe
March 27, 2001

Eagles Sevens coach John McKittrick is in favour of a US stopover on the IRB
World Sevens tour, saying it would be just the shot in the arm that American
rugby needs.

USA Rugby is keen to lock in an American stopover and is working towards
securing sponsorship that would allow it to happen. The coach is very
upbeat about the concept.

"There is some talk about it possibly even being held in Las Vegas. I don't
know how the logistics would go there, but I think it would be great. It
would certainly give the game, Sevens and 15-a-side, a huge boost in
America."

Meantime, McKittrick is confident of another good showing by the USA at this
weekend's IRB Hong Kong Sevens tournament.

The Americans made the rugby world sit up and take notice when they
qualified for their first ever semi-finals at the Wellington Sevens in
February. The Eagles squad stopped off in Los Angeles en route to Hong Kong
to take advantage of southern California's mild climes and to make final preparations. They also took the opportunity to be put through their paces by USA Rugby conditioning coach Tom Billups.

McKittrick conceded that Wellington would be a hard act to follow, but he
felt they could do it again, "I think it's fair to say a couple of teams
took us a wee bit lightly down in Wellington and rest assured they'll be
waiting for us in Hong Kong.

"I think our chances of doing a repeat are very good, primarily because we
have great continuity with the squad. All 10 frontliners who went to
Wellington will back up again, plus we have Craig Sim back from injury. He
wasn't available for Wellington, but he went to Mar del Plata and played
very well. And Nelo Lui has come back, so we've got a very well balanced
team for this campaign."

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