Mike Friday To Use Elite Rugby 7s Tournament As Selection Vehicle

(Press Release)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., American Rugby Sevens announced today the eight selected teams who have accepted the invitation to participate in the inaugural international tournament. The World Class teams include the USA Falcons, USA Hawks, Canada Maple Leafs, Argentina Rugby, and four All-Star teams from regions targeted for professional sevens including Ohio, New York, Denver and Utah. The elite teams will compete for the $10,000 winner-takes-all grand prize, and for US players, a chance to be considered for Rio 2016. AR7s and partner BIll Edwards Presents, have also confirmed a weekend full of activities for everybody, including 4 live musical acts, Knockerball™ tournaments, youth rugby showcase and children’s costume parade.

Participating teams photo by Halloween 7s Elite International Invitational Tournament
Participating teams photo by Halloween 7s Elite International Invitational Tournament

“We could not be more excited to deliver a world-class, international rugby sevens experience at one of the most incredible stadiums in Florida,” said American Rugby Sevens Founder and CEO, Karyne Bazzano. “Al Lang stadium is a gorgeous destination for players and fans, with a waterfront view, pristine field conditions and best-in-class athlete treatment. With Contests and music, there’s something for everyone, but most importantly, thrilling elite rugby sevens action where anything can happen and anyone can win.”

The two-day competition and weekend party at Al Lang Stadium in St. Petersburg, FL will highlight international superstars, with USA Falcons’ and Hawks’ rosters stacked with members of the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens team in preparation for the 2015-16 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Eagles Head Coach Mike Friday has confirmed the tournament as a selection vehicle for the Series.

“It’s absolutely fantastic to be involved in the first Halloween 7’s tournament and be afforded the opportunity to not only bring a team of today’s American sevens stars, but also a team of future stars,” said Friday. “The tournament will be hugely beneficial for the upcoming series and our continuing development. I am also hopeful we may find a few more future Eagles from other teams who will put their hand up in what will prove to be a very competitive tournament with the likes of Argentina and Canada also in attendance.”

Sitting only a few spots behind USA in international rankings, Canada and Argentina will provide world-class competition in the 2-day tournament. The Canada Maple Leafs and the New York Ctiy 7s both finished in the top eight in the Limerick World Club Sevens in August. Argentina Rugby are currently participating in various competitions such as the Nations Cup and The Americas Rugby Championship.

Elite rugby sevens on-field talent will be complemented by an action-packed entertainment lineup during the Halloween 7s Fan Festival. The Howling Tongues, a 5-piece rock-n-roll outfit from Atlanta, Ga., will headline the music schedule. The band has opened for acts such as Train and Butch Walker. Also playing at the pre-tournament party will be Philadelphia based solo rock artist Christian O’Connor, Vans Warped Tour band River’s Monroe, and up and coming artist Eddy Davis.

Fans are encouraged to attend the tournament in costume for a chance to win prizes. Knockerball™ will also be in attendance to let fans try the fun and take entries for an on-field Knockerball™ tournament.

The weekend kicks off on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., with Rugby World Cup final viewing parties at local bars and restaurants, and will continue entertaining rugby enthusiasts with a Saturday evening pub crawl. Discounted tickets and VIP packages are available for clubs, colleges and youth programs. For more information on discounts please visit halloweenrugby7s.com or email info@ar7s.us.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater area is known for its 35 miles of white sand beaches, many of which are located just minutes from downtown St. Pete and Al Lang Stadium.

Tickets for the Halloween Rugby 7s Elite Invitational can be purchased at HalloweenRugby7s.com or at Ticketmaster.com. Follow the event at facebook.com/halloweenrugby7s and on twitter @Halloween7s.

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