The USA 7s program have three players in camp for January who are training as guests.
Gabe Adler is a likely player for the USA Maccabi team. A dual USA and Israeli citizen, the 6-3, 240 23-year-old is back from service in the Israeli Army. He played basketball and football in high school in San Diego and was a high school All American in basketball. He is still relatively new to rugby and is working every day on his rugby at the Olympic Training Center as well as with the Maccabi team organizers.
Nick Schwieger is a 5-10, 210-pound former running back from Dartmouth College. Obviously the Dartmouth connection might have been helpful in recruiting Schwieger – USA 7s Coach Alex Magleby is the former Dartmouth coach and played rugby for Dartmouth, also.
Schwieger was cut by the St. Louis Rams after setting Dartmouth records in yardage and touchdowns. He was recruited to rugby in part by former Big Green rugby stars Chris and Nick Downer – Nick is now working in San Diego and assisting Magleby in player tracking in his free time.
Schwieger, like Adler, is new to rugby, but has the potential to become a major offensive threat if he can translate his defender-beating ability to rugby. His combine stats are solid – good for speed and explosiveness, but could be better in endurance.
The third player is one familiar to US rugby fans, Madison Hughes. Hughes first came to prominence playing for Wellington College in England. The son of an English father and American mother, he qualified for, and played for, the High School All Americans. In 2011 he moved up to the U20s, and in 2012 set a record for points in the Junior World Rugby Trophy as he helped the Junior All Americans to a victory.
Hughes entered Dartmouth last year and was MVP of the USA 7s CRC, and he continues to be a key player for them. However, Hughes is taking the current term off from school in order to be in camp with the USA 7s team.
“My parents were very supportive,” Hughes told RUGBYMag.com. “They understand this is an amazing opportunity. Training with the USA team is really tiring, and I am getting a lot of experience. It’s great to train with guys I know from the U20s and the collegiate All Americans.”
Hughes said playing with the high caliber of players at the OTC can only help him. He is an accomplished kicker, but in this environment he is learning more about the demands on international players.
All of these players are testing out the environment, and in turn Magleby is testing them out, too.