USA Sevens aiming for highest finish ever in world series

By Machuki Sundaa

The USA head to Biarritz in France determined to finish strong by strengthening their hold on second place for their highest ever finish in the HSBC World Sevens Series.

The Eagles have reached the semi-finals in all of their past five tournaments, the only team to achieve such a feat in the 2018-19 season.

Sitting second in the standings, the USA (80 points) are 12 points behind leaders New Zealand (92), three ahead of third-placed Canada (78), and six points ahead of fourth-placed Australia (74).

Making changes to his side, head coach Chris Brown has named 12 players for France. Cheta Emba and Kasey McCravey will replace Jordan Matyas and Meya Bizer who are injured. This will be McCravey’s second appearance for the Eagles. Stephanie Rovetti will takes over from the injured Nana Fa’ avesi.

USA Rugby quoted Brown on their website as saying: ”It’s been a year defined by a lot of personal growth and one could say learning how to win ugly big matches. I’m adamant the fight we see from the group has developed from our players’ willingness to continually be vulnerable with ach other. The level of enjoyment and compassion towards one another has increased significantly.

“The next step for us is to enhance the consistency in how we control matches. When this group is on the same page and they individually take ownership and execute, they’re hard to handle. I’m hopeful that taking comfort in doing the simple things well will enhance the performance we see across the whole weekend in Biarritz.”

The squad for France: Abby Gustaitis, Naya Tapper, Alev Kelter, Kristen Thomas, Cheta Emba, Kasey McCravey, Nicole Heavirland (C), Stephanie Rovetti, Kayla Canett, Lauren Doyle (C), Kristie Kirshe, IIona Maher.

In Pool C, the USA plays China, Fiji and France.

Main photo: Mike Lee – KLC fotos, World Rugby

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