New caps in USA 7s squad
March 19, 2003

The national 7s team has a new look squad heading to Hong Kong and Beijing this month.

Four of the 12-man squad have their first opportunity to play international 7s as a result of call-ups to the Eagles XVs squad for some 7s regulars. The newcomers are predominantly backs; Belmont Shore's Al Lakomskis, Olympic Club's John Buchholz, and Charlotte's Anwar Salaam have joined the squad while the only addition in the forwards is Life's Scott Lawrence.

"The new selections have been in training camp with us or have international XVs experience," said Eagles 7s coach John McKittrick, "so we expect a fast start from all of them."

The 7s program had anticipated change due to the USA's overlapping XVs tour and selections have been managed to include a veteran backbone to the side. Experienced returners include captain Ben Trautwein, prop Don Younger, hooker Alex Magleby and utility back Jason Raven, a former captain. The squad is rounded out by scrumhalf Doug Rowe who played in the Brisbane 7s earlier this year and prop Marc Vera who was part of the Hong Kong and Beijing squad last season, plus the return of New York Old Blue's Brian Geraghty.

The call-up for Geraghty marks his return to international honors after a break of several years. The center was capped for the Eagles XVs team against Canada in 1993 and went to the Paris 7s with the USA in 1997. After some notable performances at last summer's club 7s championship, as well as good form for the Northeast at December's All-Star XVs Championships, Geraghty rejoins the 7s squad for the Asian tour.

Both Lakomskis and Buchholz have also appeared for the USA's XVs team in recent seasons, but get their first 7s call-up this month. For Scott Lawrence, meanwhile, the 7s selection comes after All-Star XVs play saw him join the Eagles XVs camp last summer, and come off the bench for the USA 'A' team. The Midwest loose forward also grabbed the attention of the national team's selection advisors in Tampa in December.

Salaam played his way into the Eagle 7s training camp last Fall after a standout performance for the South at the All-Star 7s Championships. The tour to Hong Kong and Beijing will be the wing's first international assembly, and his speed could see him pressed into immediate service.

The USA plays New Zealand, Canada and Malaysia in pool play at the Hong Kong 7s which is contested March 28-30. Pools opponents for the Beijing tournament which will be played April 5-6 are England, France and Chinese Taipei.

Squad: John Buchholz, Brian Geraghty, Riaan Hamilton, Al Lakomskis, Scott Lawrence, Alexander Magleby, Jason Raven, Doug Rowe, Anwar Salaam, Ben Trautwein (captain), Marc Vera, Don Younger

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