Marco Barnard is out injured, while Nese Malifa is back from injury. The halfback position on the USA 7s team is in flux, but it’s a good flux.
Malifa, Tai Enosa and Shalom Suniula, who has appeared in 20 of the USA’s last 22 IRB World Series tournaments, are now sharing time at flyhalf and scrumhalf; Head Coach Al Caravelli likes players who can play both positions.
“It’s great to have Nese coming back in,” Suniula told RUGBYMag.com. “It’s different, too. He’ll be taking the kicking roles so I’ll be up in the line again. I’ve not been up in the line all year so I’ve got to adapt. We’ve been practicing it and adapting to new things is what a good team does.”
All three are working together, each at flyhalf and each at scrumhalf. And Suniula said they are working well together, but also there is still plenty of competition among the three.
“Everyone wants to be on the field,” he said. “You want to be the best and you want to do your best, playing the way Al wants. I’m going to be keep doing what I need to do, Nese does what he needs to do, and if Tai does what he needs to do then, great; we will do really well.”
Asked to name one watchword for the USA 7s team, Suniula had no trouble picking “consistency.”
“Sticking with the same guys throughout the season makes it a lot easier for cohesion for the team,” he said. “You can build on it. There’s less confusion. We were frustrated with our second leg – Wellington to Vegas. We let that frustration get the better of us, and while we had injuries we’ve got to be able to overcome them. We play one good game, we have to back it up. We didn’t do that, but eventually managed to do that in Adelaide. We were able to string four wins together, and if we can have that consistency, we’ll do well.”