The full schedule for this weekend’s USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s All-Star Sevens has been announced taking place this weekend in Randall’s Island New York. It’s the first time the Big Apple has hosted the rugby players in the U.S with last year’s event staged at Pittsburgh, Pa. For the first time, New York City will play host to the best sevens rugby players in the U.S. as the 2009 USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s All-Star Sevens Tournament gets underway on Randall’s Island, this weekend (29th-30th).
The full schedule for this weekend’s USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s All-Star Sevens has been announced taking place this weekend in Randall’s Island New York. It’s the first time the Big Apple has hosted the rugby players in the U.S with last year’s event staged at Pittsburgh, Pa.
For the first time, New York City will play host to the best sevens rugby players in the U.S. as the 2009 USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s All-Star Sevens Tournament gets underway on Randall’s Island, this weekend (29th-30th).
Fans can see 40 matches played over the course of two days on the municipally-owned rugby fields 73 and 74 on the park’s Ward’s Meadow section.
Featuring eight men and women’s teams, this year will see an All-Star side from most of the seven USA territorial unions. With the South unable to attend, the men’s tournament will feature one Collegiate All-Star Sevens Team and one Combined (College and Club) All-Star Sevens side.
In the Men’s tournament number one seeds are Southern California, who are also the defending champions after romping to the title last year following a comprehensive 31-14 win over a talented West team. With the side set to include some of the Belmont Shore side which won the Nationals in San Francisco two weeks ago combined with some young talent from sides such as OMBAC.
Joining them in Pool A will be the 2007 champions Mid-Atlantic who include USA Sevens Internationals Matt Byrd (Las Vegas) and PJ Komongnan (NOVA). Experienced campaigners Scott Fraser (NOVA) and Fred Wintermantel are returnees from last year.
Attempting to challenge both these teams in the pool will be a fresh looking Pacific side which went so close to the title back in 2007. They include newly installed USA skipper Thretton Palamo along with family members Arona Palamo and Emmanuel Palamo (all SFGG). Coach John Tyler will also have the luxury of US legend Jone Naqica (SFGG) in his ranks, who stood out at Nationals.
Leading the charge in Pool B is a West team that sees a strong contingent of players from fierce regional rivals Gentlemen of Aspen and Denver Barbarians joining up once again. Looking for redemption will be Aspen players Scott Spencer, Brian Naqica, Ryan Nichols, and Merrit Johnson who will still be licking their wounds after losing to Belmont in Nationals Final. Teddy Omondi (Denver), Maximo De Achaval (Denver) give the side some stardust whilst Coach Sean Knight has two exceptional playmakers in Taylor Howden (Glendale) and of course Naqica.
Old Blue, who performed so admirably in San Francisco, make up the majority of the North-East side that will out to impress the home support. The 2008 captain Dom Wareing is back again with the impressive Ian Elliot an important player for coach Sean Horan. Boston have two returning players in Kyle Marshall and Brennan that will add some experience to the always physical NRU.
Competing with both these sides is the un-fancied Mid-West team which has a young feel to them with Nate Augspurger (Univ of Minn) Adam Friedermann (Univ of Dayton) and Brian Rooney (Iowa State).
Much will expected of the likes of Eddie Bluemel (Chicago Lions) and Matt Degutes (Chicago Lions) who both involved last year.
USA Coach Al Caravelli and Emil Signes have a large pool of 23 players to choose from to fill the Collegiate (Pool B) and Combined (Pool A) sides.
Nese Malifa, Kevin Swiryn, Kevin Linzey, Leonard Peters are all expected to feature for the combined side with South's Ben Catania also included. Swiryn will also assist Signes with the coaching duties on Randall Island. Expect to see Steve St. Pierre and Marco Barnard, both part of Caravelli's outfit in London and Edinburgh, featuring heavily in the first team.
The Midwest kick off proceedings on Saturday at 10am against the Collegiate All-Stars with the play-offs taking place the next day.