USA Rugby 7s Announces 2019 Roster for Men’s Residency Program

USA Rugby announces 2019 roster for Men’s Sevens Residency Program, Rugby_Wrap_Up
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USA Rugby Press Release, courtesy of Aalina Tabani

CHULA VISTA, CAUSA Rugby has released the names of 24 athletes who will train full-time at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA as part of the senior Men’s Eagles Sevens Residency and junior Men’s Sevens Academy programs. The Academy program features three of the 24 total athletes who have yet to make their national team debut and are still part of a collegiate or club program.

USA Rugby announces 2019 roster for Men’s Sevens Residency Program, Rugby_Wrap_Up

All athletes part of the Men’s Sevens Residency or Academy Program are available for selection for the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, upcoming PanAm Games 2019 and developmental Falcons tours through the season.  Players in both programs will train in a full-time environment led by Head Coach Mike Friday and fellow Men’s Sevens staff.

High performance (HP) camps take place within the structure of the residency program and serve as intensive weeks of training where non-resident athletes are also invited. In these camps, players are tested and evaluated for selection to an upcoming competition and/or to join the Residency or Academy programs.

In striving to continually evolve, we’ve added some fresh blood to the squad which has provided that energy every environment needs to be successful,” said Head Coach Mike Friday. “We are slowly building depth to this program year over year; and while we are still focused on today, we will continue to plan for life after 2020 to maintain the continuity in the program and crack the American Sporting landscape. It is a balancing act but one we are working hard to achieve.

The Academy program — led primarily by National High Performance Development Manager JD Stephenson —  takes place within the structure of the larger Men’s Sevens Residency program as an opportunity for up-and-coming athletes to train and ultimately transition to the senior program over time. 2018 Youth Olympians Inoke “Junior” Waqavesi, Lauina Falatea and Ulu Niutupuivaha are Academy players.

All athletes in the Men’s Sevens Residency and Academy Programs come from D1A Rugby or domestic club programs across the United States.

As part of the program’s commitment to further invest in American talent, Development Manager Stephenson will cast a comprehensive net in a new “Eagles Nest” initiative. The initiative itself will see two Men’s Sevens representatives continue to be present at each U.S. tournament while others periodically engage in talent identification of American athletes playing globally. The approach aims to leave no stone unturned in the lead-up to a heavily competitive Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.

We must continue to explore all avenues in our talent identification and development process,” said Stephenson. “From our competitive domestic playing pool, talent transfer initiatives and non domestic qualified American players, we are looking to ensure that our next generation of Eagles will continue to hold up the exemplary standards of our Men’s and Women’s National Team programs.”

The Men’s Eagles Sevens will next compete in the fourth round of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series at HSBC Sydney Sevens Feb 2-3. Currently tied for No. 1 in the World after claiming three consecutive silver-medals, the USA will need to continue their stride in order to conclude the season in the Top 4 and qualify for the Olympics. Sydney Sevens may be streamed LIVE on

Following Sydney, the United States will take a few weeks rest before traveling to their home stop in Las Vegas Mar 1-3. The Men’s Sevens won their home stop for the first time in history just last year. Tickets for HSBC USA Sevens in Las Vegas are available here or at

USA Men’s Eagles Sevens Residency Roster


Former School/Club

HSBC Tournaments

Perry Baker

Daytona Beach


Danny Barrett

San Francisco Golden Gate


Pat Blair

San Diego Legion


Maceo Brown

Grand Canyon University


Naima Fuala’au

Life West


Madison Hughes

Dartmouth College


Martin Iosefo

Denver Barbarians


Carlin Isles

Gentlemen of Aspen


Matai Leuta

San Jose Seahawks


Cody Melphy

Life University


Folau Niua

East Palo Alto Razorbacks


Ben Pinkelman

Denver Barbarians


Joe Schroeder

Scioto Valley


Faitala Talapusi

Life West


Brett Thompson

Tempe Rugby


Stephen Tomasin

Old Mission Beach Athletic Club


Marcus Tupuola

Notre Dame College


Maka Unufe

Provo Steelers


Anthony Welmers

Davenport University


Kevon Williams

Denver Barbarians


Ben Broselle



USA Men’s Sevens Academy Roster



Inoke “Junior” Waqavesi

CK McLatchy Rugby

Lauina Falatea

Kahuku Rugby

Ulu Niutupuivaha

Kahuku Rugby

USA Men’s Sevens Staff

Head Coach | Mike Friday

Assistant Coach | Phil Greening

Assistant Coach | Anthony Roques

Strength & Conditioning Coach | Jon Hood

Performance Analyst | Paul Goulding

Athletic Trainer | Brian Green

Team Manager | Scott Novack

National High Performance Development Manager | JD Stephenson

HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 Schedule

Dubai, UAE

Second-place (silver medal)

Cape Town, RSA

Second-place (silver medal)

Hamilton, NZL

Second-place (silver medal)

Sydney, AUS

Feb 2-3, 2019

Las Vegas, NV, USA

Mar 1-3, 2019

Vancouver, CA

Mar 9-10, 2019

Hong Kong

Apr 5-7, 2019


Apr 13-14, 2019

London, ENG

May 25-26, 2019

Paris, FRA

June 1-2, 2019


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Matt McCarthy comes to from their partner in the USA, RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00