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Caravelli Happy with Player Effort

Monday Aug 31, 2009 in Sevens All-Stars

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(Ed Hagerty photo.)

USA 7s head coach Al Caravelli said he’s relatively pleased with what he saw at the National All-Star Championships.

The coach is looking to fill out his USA squad for the 2009-2010 season, a season that will be enormously demanding.

“I saw the individual athletes continuing to work hard to be fit, which is a really good sign,” Caravelli said. “They’re definitely getting the message as to what I’m looking for. Their work rate was much higher than it has been in the past.”

Caravelli is hoping to keep the number of players he uses to under 30 – the USA used more players in the IRB World Series than any other nation – and to do that he needs playershe can count on.

“I always ask the players to make my job hard and I think we’re on the right track,” said Caravelli.

As for new faces, there aren’t that many Caravelli has seen some players improve, but few he hasn’t considered in the past.

“Some guys who have been on the radar have gone back and done a lot more work to be noticed and get selected for the next camp,” he said. “One young man [Sulia Holani] on the Pacific Coast was a completely new find. He played very well at both hooker and center. Everybody else I had on my radar.”

Holani is 19 and is Tongan-born. He lived with his family in New Zealand and then moved to the USA when he was 15. He played for the Silicon Valley U19 team and then the Mission club. He played his 7s this summer with the Bay Barbarians, and was picked up by Pacific Coast coach John Tyler (who also coaches Mission) for the Grizzlies.

“He's got a great deal of skill, good speed, good rugby sense while running with the ball, but he's best at tackling,” said Tyler.

- Alex Goff, Ed Hagerty


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