USA Men’s Sevens win big at HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Awards

Six members of the USA side are honored at season-ending awards

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PARIS, FRA. – Following the conclusion to what has been their most successful season of all time, several members of the U.S. Men’s National Team in rugby sevens were recognized at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019 Awards.

2016 Olympian Carlin Isles was officially honored as the Top Try Scorer, earning 52 total tries to lead all 16 teams on the World Series circuit for the bulk of the season.

Head Coach Mike Friday earned a well-deserved Coach of the Series for his achievements in leading the Eagles Sevens to their highest ever finish and qualification to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Since Friday started in 2014, he’s helped the U.S. side move from 14th in the World Series to their now No. 2 placing, achieving qualification to the Olympic Games through regional qualifiers in 2016 as well.

2016 Olympian Danny Barrett won the UL Mark of Excellence award for his unrivaled dedication as a teammate and an athlete for the USA Sevens side. Barrett made ESPN’s SC Top 10 at No. 3 earlier this year for a massive try scored against reigning World Cup Champions New Zealand which helped the U.S. side keep their then-streak of Cup Final appearances alive.

Ben Pinkelman, Stephen Tomasin and Folau Niua were all named to the season’s HSBC Dream Team for their work on both sides of the ball. The United States men have had consistent appearances in the HSBC Dream Team for almost every tournament in the 2019 season. Without Pinkelman, Tomasin and Niua — in achieving runs, making tackles and creating space — the number of medals and final ranking would not have been possible.

Pinkelman finished the season third in runs and fourth in offloads made. Folau Niua – who went down with injury in the second match of Paris pool play – finished first in restarts.

As a whole, the entire USA Men’s roster rallied amidst injuries to Perry Baker, Danny Barrett and other players at various points through the season. The remarkable achievements of a group of men – who last year finished sixth both in the regular season and Rugby World Cup Sevens — is a testament to the breadth and depth brewing within the player pool.

As the United States look ahead to the second ever inclusion for rugby sevens in the Olympic Games, the USA Men look ahead to the recognition of rugby as a sport alongside the super powers of Sevens worldwide and also the traditional U.S. sporting landscape.