USA Rugby

USA Men's Sevens: A Look Into The Eagles' Squad Ahead Of 2024 Perth SVNS

USA Men's Sevens: A Look Into The Eagles' Squad Ahead Of 2024 Perth SVNS

All-time leading American sevens try-scorer Perry Baker is back, along with a host of others, as the Eagles play in the Land Down Under this weekend.

Jan 26, 2024 by Briar Napier
USA Men's Sevens: A Look Into The Eagles' Squad Ahead Of 2024 Perth SVNS

The highlight-reel names are coming out in full force for the United States men’s national rugby sevens team this weekend.

And with the all-important Olympics looming, the SVNS Series is a perfect time for the Eagles to get rolling ahead of Paris 2024.

The improvement needs to come sooner, rather than later, however, as being 10th place in the competition with just eight points through two tournaments will not be a placing the Americans will be satisfied with for much longer.

Events closer to home are coming soon, and with familiar superstars back in the fold for this weekend’s event in Australia, the Eagles’ push back to the upper echelon of the sevens game may begin this weekend.

Here’s a look at what to expect ahead of the USA Eagles’ trip to Perth, with the tournament scheduled to take place from Friday to Sunday:


The SVNS Series has been a bit of a mixed bag for the United States thus far, following a 10th-place finish in last year’s competition, won by New Zealand, and there certainly is room for improvement through two stops in the competition calendar. 

At the season opener in Dubai in December, the Eagles topped Pool C but were shut out 40-0 by the All Blacks in the cup quarterfinals; then, at the second tournament of the campaign in Cape Town, South Africa, the United States finished rock bottom in Pool A against a tricky grouping of South Africa, Ireland and Great Britain. 

The group of Eagles going to Perth will be looking to do better than their last showing in the SVNS Series in the Land Down Under — in which the United States only mustered a five-point haul from the competition’s Australian stop in Sydney last year — and there’s an experience factor in the squad that should be well-rested ahead of the tour’s two North American legs in Vancouver and Los Angeles in late February and early March. 

In Perth, the Eagles will be matched up in Pool B with host Australia, plus familiar foes Ireland and Great Britain, as they continue to prepare for the home-continent legs, the upcoming second half of the SVNS Series season and the approaching Summer Olympics in Paris, where the United States was knocked out in the quarterfinals in the last Olympics in Tokyo. 

There is some recent history of American sevens success in Australia, however, as the Eagles men’s team finished second in 2019 and third in 2020 in successive visits to Sydney — and the team should get some big names back to utilize in Perth, as well.


When you think of American success in sevens, wing Perry Baker often is tied to major moments in Eagles history, and for good reason. 

And after an extended break in which he last played in last season’s SVNS Series stop in Singapore, he’s the most crucial addition to the United States' squad ahead of its trip to Perth. 

One of the most electric and explosive players ever seen on a rugby pitch, the former American football wide receiver and two-time World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year is still going strong at age 37, as he was listed in coach Mike Friday’s 13-man squad unveiled last week, with his 263 career tries ranking first among Americans and third all-time. 

His 65 career HSBC Tournaments ranks first on the Eagles team going to Australia, as he’ll be under the captaincy of fellow back Kevon Williams (47 tournament appearances), another American football convert who has been a consistent fixture in the Eagles lineup since his sevens debut in 2016. 

Versatile utility man Stephen Tomasin and his 54 tournament appearances also bring some veteran leadership to the lineup, as the former San Diego State Aztec will make his first SVNS Series appearance of the season, with other notable names, such as Malachi Esdale, Naima Fuala’au, Madison Hughes and the returning Maka Unufe — last with the Eagles during the Toulouse leg last season — among the players slated to make up the back line in Perth.


A much younger group in the American setup, compared to the esteemed, experience-heavy setup in the backs, the Eagles’ forwards will be challenged in Perth, as Aaron Cummings, Lance Williams and Orrin Bizer have a combined 22 HSBC Tournament appearances between them.

However, their position group also will get a boost from a notable returning name, as Tokyo Olympian Joe Schroeder and his 32 tournament caps, will be back with the squad. It's part of Friday’s planned strategy to give some of his more seasoned names some rest ahead of a busy 2024 in the sevens game, as he told USA Rugby in a news release following the Eagles’ disappointing 11th-place finish in Cape Town their last time out. 

Recent first-round Major League Rugby Collegiate Draft pick Bizer showed some promise, managing to score his first SVNS Series try in the Eagles’ finale in Cape Town against Samoa, coming off of the back of an impressive offload sequence. The future Houston SaberCat will be aiming to build off of that breakthrough moment for his rugby career in Perth. 

Those four names listed as being on the Eagles’ squad, however, also are the only four true forwards listed on the roster. Depth for the set pieces and grind of the tournament could be an issue if a player goes down, especially considering that the team opens play in Perth against Australia in front of what should be a raucous home crowd at HBF Park.