Thousands of fans packed into downtown Las Vegas tonight for the ‘Parade of Nations’ that welcomed the 16 competing teams and set the scene for three days of world-class sevens action at the HSBC USA Sevens.
Lining Fremont Street, rugby supporters from across the globe applauded the teams as they took to the stage in a celebration of sevens and it’s international culture, music, dance and of course Las Vegas.
As part of the HSBC USA Sevens Adopt A Country Programme, Clark County School District (CCSD) students led their adopted nation’s team along the red carpet and onto the stage while waving their country’s national flag.
Catch all of the action across @SkySports. Coverage starts at 10.50pm tonight.
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— Sky Sports Rugby (@SkySportsRugby) March 1, 2019
While fans enjoyed the bright lights of sin city, it was the teams who entered into the party spirit with singing Kenya and Japan teams, a traditional Samoan dance and bull fighting Spanish players. One of the biggest cheers of the night was heard for the home team as the joint series leaders and 2018 Las Vegas winners USA took to the stage with Rookie The Eagle.
Speaking at the event USA’s Matai Leuta, said, “It’s been amazing to be around our home fans this week and see so many of them show up to support us at the Parade of Nations. Our fans always make this tournament special for us and as a team, we’re looking forward to giving them back that same energy on the pitch this weekend. It’ll be a challenging tournament nonetheless but we’re focused, we’ve been working hard, and we’re ready for another opportunity to compete tomorrow.”
Mike Friday, USA Head Coach, added, “We’re excited to get out there tomorrow in front of a vibrant rugby crowd with our friend and families in the stands, just as we saw tonight at the Parade of Nations. The boys have put in all the hard yards these past couple weeks and are anxious to keep building on our goal of Olympic qualification tomorrow. We have another shot at the Cup and we expect the fans in Las Vegas will be as loud and proud as ever to see the boys back out on the home pitch.”