The USA men’s 7s program will be sending a team to several tournaments not in the IRB Sevens World Series.
This sort-of second team (although USA Head Coach Matt Hawkins does not care for that term) will play as the Falcons and will serve as a proving ground for players hoping to earn more time on the IRB circuit.
Hawkins said players who didn’t make the USA team will be on the Falcons, but so will some who are on the team, but who aren’t playing a lot.
“I want Carlin Isles on that team and starting every game and getting game time,” said Hawkins. “Because he’s not getting a lot of time now and he needs it to develop his game.”
The Falcons will play at the NACRA 7s (NACRA stands for North American, Caribbean Rugby Association) which will be held in Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, Nov 9-10. they will follow that up with a trip to the Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka, Fiji on Nov. 14-16.
The Coral Coast event will include teams from Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, and American Samoa.
Then in early December, the Falcons team will travel to South Africa to join the USA World Series team as they prepare for the Nelson Mandela Bay 7s in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. After watching the World Series event, the Falcons players will train at an academy in the area and compete in the George 7s Premier League international rugby tournament in George, South Africa on Dec. 13-14.
The trip to Fiji is partially underwritten by a sponsorship with the Shangri-La Fijian Resort. The trip to South Africa is part of a trade deal with the South African 7s program. South Africa will host and train with the Falcons in December, and in January the South African 7s team will remain in the USA after the USA 7s in Las Vegas to train with the Eagles before going to the Wellington 7s a week later.
The Falcons are also expected to play once again in the Las Vegas Invitational in the Men’s Elite 7s. Thus a basically USA development team will have four tournaments to play in during November, December, and January … something unheard of just a couple of years ago.