Sam Boyd Stadium is hosting professional Rugby this weekend.Â It’s the US stop on the seven stop circuit called the HSBC Sevens World Series.
This is an annual elite-level competition series between nations, whose top professional rugby players compete against each other throughout the year for the World Series Title. National Teams compete for the HSBC Sevens World Series title by accumulating points based on their finishing position in each of the eight series tournaments.
Alongside the main HSBC Sevens World Series event at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, some of the finest female players in the world will compete in the USA Womenâ€™s International 7s Tournament.
Hosts USA have named an exciting squad blending Sevens veterans, collegiate hopefuls and cross-overs from the 15-a-side Womenâ€™s National team as they prepare to take on the likes of France, Kenya, Spain, the Netherlands and bitter rivals Canada.
As well as striding out on the main Sam Boyd Stadium pitch on Sunday during a break in the men’s action, the women’s final will also be broadcast on NBC/NBC Universal, a further indication of the increasing appetite for both men’s and women’s Sevens as an exciting new Olympic sport.
â€œWe have a lot of great athletes, at camp we saw a lot of our players show up in great shape, with great attitudes,â€ said USA women’s Sevens coach, Ric Suggitt.
â€œI am really looking forward to Vegas and getting to watch the girls play not only as a coach, but as a fan,â€ he added.
â€œItâ€™s going to be an eye-opener for some of the players coming over from 15s to see how much space they have to run.â€
Suggitt selected the home team based on performances in domestic and international competitions at various levels, but the side will almost certainly benefit from the experience that several of the players gained by playing at the 2010 Womenâ€™s Rugby World Cup in England.
Victoria Folayan, Nathalie Marchino, and Christy Ringgenberg all proved match winners in that tournament and during the 2010 Womenâ€™s Premier League (WPL) season, Marchino finishing second top try-scorer in the WPL.
In addition, collegiate All-Star and three-time All-American Tyra McGrady was selected for the Sevens side again, while Penn State stars Deven Owsiany and Sadie Anderson, UNCâ€™s Katie Lorenz, Minnesotaâ€™s Catherine Parkhill, and Stanford stand-outs Amelia Villines and Frances Wehrwein all add panache.
As well as being shown NBC/NBC Universal, the women’s matches will be webcast live on USA Rugbyâ€™s UStream channel, http://www.ustream.tv/usarugby.
USA Womenâ€™s Sevens Squad: Sadie Anderson (Penn State), Katie Dowdy (Beantown), Victoria Folayan (Berkeley All-Blues), Lauren Hoeck (NOVA), Katie Lorenz (UNC â€“ Chapel Hill), Nathalie Marchino (Berkeley), Tyra McGrady (Indiana University), Deven Owsiany (Penn State), Catherine Parkhill (University of Minnesota), Christy Ringgenberg (Minnesota Valkyries), Ameila Villines (Stanford), Frances Wehrwein (Stanford)