USA National Rugby Team

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Old Hands Join Team for Hong Kong

(Berkeley, California) 21 March 2000 -- The USA 7s team arrives in Hong Kong this week with some professional help.

World Cup veterans Kevin Dalzell, Dave Hodges and Kurt Shuman join the team for the World Sevens Series most prestigious stop.

The Eagle XVs players will lend the 7s side their experience through the Hong Kong and Japan 7s leg of the Series which also serve as crucial match preparation for the Rugby World Cup 7s Qualifier scheduled for early May.

Scrumhalf Dalzell is currently contracted with Brive, Hodges plays for Bridgend and Shuman is just returned from playing in England. The trio join a side captained by Craig Hartley that also introduces prop Ryan Bannan and wing Jovesa Naivalu to the side. Bannan is expected to help the team compete for kick-offs and restarts while Naivalu is known for his pace.

"We're looking to play an open style of rugby," said head coach Tommy Smith. "We want to maintain possession and stretch the defense. When we are on defense, we'll try some different alignments and work on our communication."

In Hong Kong, the 7s team will face Fiji, Korea and China in pool play.

United States: Ryan Bannan, Kevin Dalzell, Craig Hartley (c), Dave Hodges, Chris Kron, Kevin Linzey, Nelo Lui, John McGeachy, Jovesa Naivalu, Kurt Shuman, Don Younger, Jon Younger.
Coach: Tommy Smith Manager: Doug Brown Physiotherapist: Jeff Ward.