Who Wins NAI 7s U20s? A New Reason To Watch

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The North American Invitational 7s has kind of broken the mold when it comes to high school-level sevens tournaments, expanding to an older bracket with a U20 competition this year.

Watch The NAI 7s LIVE on FloRugby
Friday, August 3, Saturday, August 4

What good does that do? On the elite level, it helps players bridge the gap between high school and college or club. Players who were all-stars in high school might run into a period where elite playing opportunities are rarer, and this fills the gap.

This year, the inaugural NAI 7s U20 Men's bracket includes six teams, who will play a round-robin of sevens games — five for each — and then the top two will play for the championship (with the third and fourth playing for third, and the fifth and sixth teams playing for fifth).

So, who will win? Here's our take as we count down to who we think is the favorite:

Rhino Rugby Academy

Perhaps the team that most exemplifies the purpose of this bracket, the Rhino squad is young and still learning how to compete at the most elite level. Right now, the major value for this group is showcasing players' abilities, and getting that experience. They could take third, but top two will be very difficult.

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Arizona Bobcats

Watch out for a couple of young players on this squad, especially the speedy Malachi Knox and the hard-working Adriaan van Niekerk. But depth may be an issue for this team, as many of the others can spell their biggest, fittest, and fastest with players who are still quite big, fit, and fast.

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Upright Rugby

The Ontario-based Upright Rugby Rogues won the U18 Elite bracket in 2016 but had a couple of missteps in 2017. No worries, Upright has talent and usually brings a big, aggressive style to the game. What will benefit Upright is the format — playing everyone means you won't be out of it just because you lose one game.

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Stars

Watch out for this group. Coached by St. Bonaventure head coach Tui Osborne, and with a couple of Bonnies standouts plus some snappy high school talent — Alex Chura helped Celtic win the Midwest RCT and he's in this team — the Stars team has the talent to win it all.

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Eagle Impact Rugby Academy

This team has to be among the heavy favorites simply because it's most of the squad that won the U18 Elite bracket in 2017. Big, athletic, difficult-to-contain players such as Jack Bradfield, Joe Rusert-Cuddy, and Joe Kamara are back with Salty Thompson at the helm. This will be a fun team to watch.

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Favorite To Win: Canadian Misfits

The Misfits remember just missing out on a place in the 2017 U18 final thanks to a dramatic late try. That loss fueled the team to win three major tournaments in the fall, including the New York 7s.

Back, with Canada national sevens team player Josiah Morra and with James Hammond reading the field superbly, the Misfits might be the favorites here.

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How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Wales vs Italy

Wales vs Italy

Italy and Wales will face off for fifth place as they look to finish off their Autumn Nations Cup run with a win. 

How to Watch Autumn Nations Cup: Ireland vs Scotland

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Both teams had some decent showings in pool play. Ireland's lone loss came to championship contender England in the second round in a hard fought contest. They will look to finish out the Autumn Nations Cup on a good note with a win over Scotland.

How to Watch England vs France In Autumn Nations Cup Championship

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England and France will be looking to stay flawless at the Autumn Nations Cup as they meet with the title on the on line. 

Autumn Nations Cup Notebook: Stage Is Set For Massive Title Bout

Georgia

Round 3 was highlighted most by the efforts of the Georgians, who pushed Ireland for 80 minutes in Dublin. 

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England Looking To Stay Perfect Against Wales

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England has been rolling. 

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Autumn Nations Cup Notebook #2: Contenders & Pretenders Revealed

Highlight: Wales vs Georgia

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The second weekend of Autumn Nations Cup action served up two of the most anticipated clashes of the tournament.

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What Did We Learn From Stars vs Stripes Scrimmage?

Replay: USA Women Stars vs Stripes

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With the news that two players in and around the Eagles camp tested positive for coronavirus this week, the second Stars vs Stripes match was cancelled. 

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USA Rugby Cancels Second Stars vs Stripes Game Due To Positive Covid Test

USA Rugby

During Friday’s scheduled screening, two Women’s XVs players tested positive for COVID-19. 

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Can Ireland Handle England's Knockout Power?

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England is red hot coming off a title run at Six Nations and an absolute waxing of Georgia to the tune of a 40-0 shutout in its first Autumn Nations Cup game a week ago. 

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Women's National Team XVs Rosters For Stars vs Stripes Scrimmage Series

Stars vs Stripes

Head Coach Rob Cain has announced a 49-player roster for the Women’s National Team XVs’ scrimmage series to happen November 18 and 21, KO 2 PM MT, at the Rugby Town National Training Center. 

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