Perry Baker and US teammates recall Las Vegas breakthrough

American speedster Perry Baker says the USA Eagles are ready to end their amazing, but frustrating, run of runners-up finishes when they seek home glory in the HSBC World Sevens Series.

The USA are defending champions at the Las Vegas Sevens from March 1-3 and Baker said in a USA Sevens tweet posting that all players want to recreate that special winning feeling in front of their home fans.

“It was something that was long overdue and about time we actually won on our home soil,” Baker said of their 2018 victory. “Everyone was crazy out there. The fans … it was an unbelievable experience.”

The Eagles are top of the world series after four tournaments, having finished runners-up in each one. Their last outing at the Sydney Sevens resulted in defeat by the New Zealand All Blacks Sevens.

Coach Mike Friday and his staff are doing incredible things with this American team as they emerge as a genuine world-class sevens outfit with their eyes firmly on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.



Ben Pinkelman, one of the cornerstones of the USA team, is also looking to Las Vegas for their breakthrough in the 2018-19 world series.

“It was a super rewarding experience [to win last year] and that’s the feeling we are going for at every stop this season.” said Pinkelman.

Martin Iosefo  added: “It was our first win ever here at home so we strive to win the Cup and for us to win again in Vegas would mean a lot.”

For Cody Melphy, it was a dream come true. “The feeling of lifting the trophy in Vegas is everything I ever dreamed of,” he said.

The US will be confident of winning their group in Las Vegas, having been placed in Pool B with France, Argentina and Kenya.

New Zealand are in pool A with Spain, Canada and Samoa while Olympic champions Fiji take on Australia, Wales and Scotland in pool D. England head pool C, which also features South Africa, Japan and Chile.

Main photo: Perry Baker and Carlin Isles at the 2018 Las Vegas Sevens. Credit: World Rugby

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