Written by Alex Goff    Friday, 01 November 2013 00:39    PDF Print Write e-mail
Niua Playing 15s and 7s in November
National Teams - USA Men

USA 7s flyhalf Folau Niua is expected to have a very busy November.

While USA 7s Head Coach Matt Hawkins stopped short of saying Niua is a shoe-in to return to the team for the World Series tournaments in Dubai and South Africa, he did say “Folau is our #1 goalkicker and our #1 creator. He’s our go-to guy at this point.”

Folau Niua is still the main man for the USA 7s team. Can he become that in 15s too? Martin Seras Lima photo.Niua has also been selected to play for the USA 15s team throughout the three test matches this November (NZ Maori at PPL Park in Philadelphia, Georgia in Tbilisi, and Russia in London). Those games run through November 23, which is right around the time the Eagles 7s team arrives in Dubai to prepare for Round 2 of the World Series.

Niua, said Hawkins, will go straight from London to Dubai (always nice to cash in that Emirates sponsorship when you can). Niua is expected to challenge Toby L’Estrange for time at flyhalf, although it is highly unlikely he will start in favor of L’Estrange in the opening match.

But it is clear that being on the 15s team will not undercut his ability to make the 7s team.

“We are happy he gets that opportunity,” said Hawkins, who spoke with USA 15s Head Coach Mike Tolkin to discuss players, especially Niua. “We want him to be successful with the 15s team. We have great athletes and players in the US, but we don’t have a lot. So as a group of national teams we’ve got to use our players as best we can, and sometimes that means a player goes from the 7s team to the 15s team.”