All-Stars earn Eagles 7s camp invites
November 9, 2002

The National 7s team is holding a pre-season training camp with 28 of the country's elite players invited to San Diego, in preparation for the Eagles' World Sevens Series campaign.

Athletes who played stand-out 7s at August's National Club and All-Star Championships join established Eagles and promising All-Americans for the three day camp at the United States Olympic Committee ARCO Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

Among the newcomers are Maryland's Tom Sanders, a 20-year-old who enjoyed a break-out tournament at the club nationals in Conshohocken, PA., and Charlotte's Anwar Salaam who earned an invite after a strong performance for the South at the territorial event in Long Beach, CA. Potomac's Danzell Van Zyl played equally well at both the club and the territorial tournaments to claim a first-time place at the camp.

"We welcome the new talents," noted USA 7s coach John McKittrick. "They earned a place in camp and their next challenge is to earn a place on the team. We take 12 athletes on tour and we expect intense competition for those places. There are no automatic selections. We will take the strongest possible team every time."

McKittrick noted that many current Eagle 7s players also earned their camp invitations through the domestic competitions. San Diego's OMBAC featured Paul Emerick and Nelo Lui in their run to the club championship, for example, while Alexander Magleby pushed for his re-selection representing NYAC in Conshohocken. Similarly, Marc Vera was part of the Pacific's territorial championship defense, and Don Younger featured for the Midwest. USA 'A' selections Doug Rowe and Riaan Hamilton were in strong form for both Denver and the West, while 2001 USA 'A' player Karl Thomson showed good club form to enter the frame for 7s selection.

The camp also includes several players whose commitments to the National XVs team precluded their involvement in August's domestic 7s events. Eagles David Fee, Mike Hercus, Conrad Hodgson, Al Lakomskis, Jone Naqica, and Shaun Paga were all part of the Rugby World Cup qualification series this summer and are in consideration for the 7-a-side team as well.

The third major source of camp invitees is the All-American squad. Arizona flanker Tom Dolan, Middle Tennessee's center Cayo Nicolau, Washington's Wes Hanson Smith and Utah's Mike Morgan have also been invited to the Chula Vista camp. They earned their All-American status at the collegiate All-Star event in June.

"The All-Star Championships are the keystone to our selections process" noted national team director Scott Compton. "It is a simple system: if your play is outstanding, you will earn an opportunity at the next level. Players like Sanders and Salaam are the latest to prove that."

The USA will participate in five World Sevens Series tournaments in the Spring. The Eagles played in six of the grand prix events in 2002 and finished the series ranked 10th in the world between France (9th) and Canada (11th).

National 7s team training camp invitees: John Buchholz, Tom Dolan, Paul Emerick, David Fee, Riaan Hamilton, Wes HansonSmith, Michael Harvey, Jr., Mike Hercus, Conrad Hodgson, Al Lakomskis, Nelo Lui, Alexander Magleby, Mike Morgan, Jovesa Naivalu, Jone Naqica, Cayo Nicolau, Shaun Paga, Jason Raven, Doug Rowe, Anwar Salaam, Tom Sanders, Karl Thomson, Mose Timoteo, Ben Trautwein, Sinapati Uaigelelei, Danzell Van Zyl, Marc Vera, Don Younger

Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.