by Nigel Melville
Nigel Melville Direct
Tonight I fly to Guadalajara, Mexico, to link up with the Men’s Eagle Sevens team (yes, this year is men only – we will be discussing the inclusion of women in 2015 this weekend!) as we make our first steps back into the Olympic arena, the Pan Am Games.
The squad (minus the World Cup players) held fitness and skills camps during September and have been camped at the Olympic Training Centre for the last few weeks. There are a number of new faces in the team, selected from scouting a wide range of events during the summer, plus the HSBC Sevens Series events throughout the year. Unfortunately, Paul Emerick, who had such a good World Cup sustained a knee injury and cannot travel with the squad, but there are a number of new faces that we are looking forward to seeing in action for the Eagles for the very first time.
Amongst some of the better known names such as Test, Hawley, Scully and Suniula from last years HSBC Series, we welcome the return of Mark Bokhoven, undoubtedly one of the warriors in the team and a great leader on and off the field. Talking of Warriors we welcome Maka Unufe, a 20 year old back from the Utah Warriors, Folau Niua of San Francisco Golden Gate, the impressive Chicago Lions wing Rocco Mauer and scrum half Peter Tiberio from the University of Arizona.
During the last 4 years we have made significant progress with the Men’s Eagles Sevens team, we began with a team with no points on the World Series and limited opportunities to being ranked 11, 10, and 12 in the last three years and now a core member of the HSBC Sevens World Series.
In 2010/11 I have been collecting and analyzing data on both our men’s and women’s programs. I have assessed our strengths and our weaknesses and measured our performance against the best teams in the World. We now have an exciting plan that will undoubtedly take both the men’s and women’s teams to the next level of performance. The details will be announced shortly.
This weekend will be an excellent opportunity for the squad to play in a competitive environment, it will help them prepare for the HSBC Sevens Series fall events (Gold Coast, Dubai and Port Elizabeth), and of course its an opportunity to win a medal for Team USA – what a fantastic experience for the players and coaches and development for the game of rugby in America as a whole! Go Eagles!!
With an impressive resume as player, coach and administrator, Nigel David Melville took over as CEO and President of Rugby Operations of USA Rugby, the National Governing Body of the sport in America, in 2006. In addition to his full time job promoting the sport in the U.S., Melville has launched his own blog, Nigel Melville Direct, to further the discussion and his passion for what it will take to make the U.S. a great rugby playing nation.
CLICK HERE to read more on Nigel Melville
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