TWO teams from the US have been confirmed for the Bayleys Fiji Coral Coast Sevens tournament next month.
This was confirmed by tournament director Nick Jordon yesterday.
The US will send its women's rugby team and a shadow men's team, known as the Shangri-La USA Falcons.
USA Eagles 7s coach/player Matt Hawkins who will guide the Falcons' team revealed, he'll use the tournament as a testing ground, building up to the Olympic Games.
Hawkins was part of the Serevi Select team last year.
He said the experience of playing at the tournament would be vital for his development program.
"I have no hesitation in recommending the Coral Coast as part of our development program," said Hawkins.
He said the abbreviated code had started to gain attraction in the US.
He will consider the visit as an annual event.
"It is a great opportunity to trial players from the college and Olympic Development Academy systems as there is no better place to learn the game than in Fiji.
"The three tiers of our program are the USA Eagles, Falcons and All-Americans, so the team to the Coral Coast will feature a few college players, and with rugby sevens really starting to gain some traction in the USA ahead of Rio 2016 we hope to make this an annual visit."
The USA Stars and Stripes, in their first visit to Sigatoka, take on 11 other teams for the Crest Na Iri Trophy.
"Our girls are really looking forward to heading to Fiji next month and we expect it to be a real learning experience which will be a benefit for us ahead of the women's world series opener in Dubai," said coach Ric Suggitt.
Meanwhile, defending champion Red Rock, New Zealand's Middlessex champions, Pakuranga, Lauli'i Pago rugby club from American Samoa and the winner of the Fitness First Central Coast 7s in New South Wales will compete for the Pacific Rim's 'champion of champions.'
The Coral Coast 7s is scheduled for November 14-16 at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.
Ticket prices: Thursday November 14, first match starts at 12noon and the entry will be free. Friday November 15, first match kicks off at 8:30am, $10 grandstand, $5 embankment and on Saturday November 16, first match starts at 8:30, $15 grandstand and $5 for embankment.