Cape Town - USA
Sevens head coach Mike Friday has selected his squad for the upcoming
Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Chris Wyles included.
The team will be captained by Madison Hughes, who recently became the
United States' all-time leading scorer on the Sevens Series. Hughes, a
graduate of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, also finished as the
top-scorer in the 2015/16 World Rugby Sevens Series.
Hughes is joined by veterans Zack Test, Folau Niua, Danny Barrett,
Garrett Bender and Maka Unufe. All five were regular faces for the USA
throughout the 2015/16 season. Friday's squad also includes the dynamic
pairing of Perry Baker and Carlin Isles.
Andrew Durutalo and Wyles are also named, with neither Durutalo or
Wyles participating in the 2015/16 season, instead playing
professionally for clubs in Japan and England, respectively. This past
season, Wyles achieved a Premiership and European Cup double at
New England Patriot Nate Ebner joins the squad after receiving his team's blessing to make a run at an Olympic dream.
"It's a huge honour to represent your country at any time in your
life, but to be given the responsibility at the Olympic Games - the
biggest sporting event on the planet - makes it even more special," said
"The fact that we will be part of Team USA and that as a result we
will be exposing the USA sporting public to another team sport they can
engage with and enjoy watching, as well as passionately support their
country, is immense.
"The boys fully appreciate the accountability that comes with that
responsibility and are looking forward with confidence to those
challenges. While we are not the pre-tournament favorites like Fiji who
have to play with that expectation, we are a team who are hugely
respected and feared by all other countries as genuine contenders.
"We know that on any given Sunday we have the power, pace and
physicality to match and beat anyone. The boys recognise the magnitude
of the task but are confident that we can be medal contenders if we play
to our ability. We will represent the people of the USA in a way that
they expect and deserve, exhibiting the characteristics that will make
Following a week of training in Florida, the team will travel
directly to Brazil on August 1. Friday's side are in Pool A alongside
host nation Brazil, Argentina and 2015/16 Sevens Series champions Fiji.
Perry Baker, Danny Barrett, Garrett
Bender, Andrew Durutalo, Nate Ebner, Madison Hughes, Carlin Isles, Folau
Niua, Ben Pinkelman, Zack Test, Maka Unufe, Chris Wyles