Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
LONDON — A team from the USA made up of high school athletes from across America have arrived in the U.K. and are set to compete in the world famous Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens this week. The under 18 team even received a warm-up training session from Ben Gollings, former England Sevens Captain and HSBC ambassador, before their debut in the tournament on Thursday (March 29).
The High School All-American Sevens team have been selected by coaches from across the United States to represent USA Rugby at the world’s largest schools rugby sevens festival, the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens and have flown over especially to take part in the week long tournament in which over 7,000 athletes annually compete.
The squad arrived at the tournament yesterday for a warm-up session and were greeted by former England Sevens Captain Ben Gollings and the all-time leading point’s scorer on the HSBC Sevens World Series, who took the team through their paces during an exclusive coaching clinic at the tournament.
Salty Thompson, Head Coach of the High School All-Americans commented: “We’re here in the UK for the next two weeks giving the boys a flavor of both sevens and fifteens rugby during our stay. We have wanted to compete at this tournament for a while, so to be here now is fantastic. Getting the chance to train with Ben as well has been amazing; it’s always a pleasure meeting great players and for the team to train with Ben was brilliant.”
Nu’u Aiava, captain of the High School All American team said: “This opportunity means a lot to us over in the States. We don’t often get the chance to compete against teams in other countries so this opportunity is amazing for us. We had great fun with Ben, and now we’re looking forward to seeing how we do against all the other teams competing here in the tournament.”
Ben Gollings added: “It just goes to show how international the Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools Sevens is. For a team to come over from America and take part this week is fantastic for them and for the tournament. They looked very sharp out there so I hope they do well in the tournament and get off to a good start when they start their campaign on Thursday.”
The HSAA7s team kicks off against Welsh team Ysgol Dyffryn Taf (3:20 a.m. MT) and will play Lycee Francais Charles de Gaulle (4:40 a.m. MT), Nottingham H.S. (6:20 a.m. MT), and King Edward VI Grammar School, Chelmsford (7:20 a.m. MT) on Thursday March 29.
Updates available via Twitter (@usaeaglesrugby) and USARUGBY.ORG.
The Rosslyn Park HSBC National Schools is an annual event and is the world’s largest schools Sevens tournament. The 7,500 participants age from 13 to 19 with boys and girls taking part in the various different competitions during the week. Over 600 teams of all levels from across the UK as well as international visiting teams play in the tournament, which is now in its 73rd year.
The tournament has an unrivalled alumni of former participants including former England captains Lawrence Dallaglio and Will Carling, Gareth Edwards and Ben Gollings, who have all played in the tournament which was first won by St George’s Harpenden in 1939.
For more information please visit www.rpns7.co.uk