HSBC Sevens & Team USA Preview

HSBC Sevens Series... The Captains
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HSBC Sevens Series… The Captains at the Gold Coast Sevens.

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA:  The Gold Coast is a bit like Australia’s Venice Beach. It is more known for sun and surf than anything else. This weekend however, it will be known for rugby. To be specific, the GOLD COAST 7s; the first leg of the HSBC Sevens Series.

Blaber

The tourney kicks off here at 10:30 AM Saturday, which will be 8:30pm tonight in New York. Take E.S.T. and add 14 hours as a reference. Now that that math is out of the way, here’s how the Tournament Pools add up:

We’re happy to see RWU contributor and all around good-guy, Matt “Polar Bear” Hawkins, return from his hiatus for Team USA. He’ll be knocking heads with our other RWU teammate, Mathew Drew Turner, who stars again for England.  Both Hawkins and Turner will be trying to dodge Wales wrecking ball Richie Pugh, who graced us with his on-camera bit with Johnathan Wicklow Barberie. Click this to see that one, which just reinforces  how the HSBC Sevens Series is chock full of quality players on and off the pitch.

But back to Hawkins… For a while, there wasn’t much certainty if we’d see the Polar Bear wearing red, white & blue again, as this interview with Matt McCarthy shows:

As for those joining Hawkins on Team USA, here’s the squad for Australia:

With just 4 veteran players, this team is relatively young. Coach Alex Magleby is clearly making his stamp, now that he is the full-time Head Coach. To that end, it’s interesting to note that Madison Hughes is not on the squad; Hughes plays for Mags at Dartmouth. But with former college sprinter Carlin Isles and the fleet-footed Team USA 15s wing Luke Hume debuting, this is the fastest USA 7s team ever. Coach Magleby is hoping speed will help them through a very tough draw, which starts with returning champion New Zealand. NZ, by the way, are now called All Blacks 7s. JWB made it an issue with RWU friend  DJ Forbes at the Vegas 7s.

The Americans are also grouped with another of the tournament’s strongest squads, South Africa.  The Blitzbokke feature the always dangerous Cecil Afrika, who can score in an eyeblink. Finally, Team USA must contend with the old enemy, Canada, who has given the Eagles fits.

For a complete schedule, click here. Matches can be seen live on NBC-Universal Sports, with some live coverage of second day action on NBC. You can also try VipBox.tv for live action.

Changing gears, please see the Counter-Rucking Cancer fundraiser. It only takes a moment and anything you have to give is appreciated. Please forward the cause to your mates.

Finally, here’s a brief piece with Team USA Coach Magleby while he was still the “interim” coach:

That is it for me for now. Please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @RugbyWrapUp@JunoirBlaber,@Declan Yeats and @Mathew Drew Turner, respectively.

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About Junoir Blaber 868 Articles
Born in Osu, Accra, Ghana, West Africa, Junoir Blaber is a rare commodity; while most Ghanians eat, sleep and dream Soccer (football), Junoir is all about Rugby. A self-proclaimed Rugbyologist, he has been involved in Rugby as a ref, coach, administrator and player since Columbus discovered Ohio. His useful/trivial rugby knowledge qualify Blaber as RWU's Senior Correspondent & known in rugby circles as The Rugby Rain Man. He can also be found moonlighting for our American partners at MeetTheMatts.com.