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Eagles snap up Uale Mai


uale maiSamoan Sevens star, Uale Mai is helping the Borneo Eagles team climb to the top of the world.

He and another Samoan international, Fa’atonu Fili have joined Borneo Eagles for the Borneo International Club Sevens. Despite receiving a major boost with Mai and Fili, Borneo Eagles coach Francis Stowers has down played his side's chances.


Stowers, whose side also feature 10 New Zealanders for the competition in Bandar Utama, Sandakan, said he was delighted to have the duo in his squad, but stressed that lifting the trophy tomorrow will by no means be easy in view of the quality of the teams competing.

The Eagles, who in Januar y clinched the Darwin Sevens title in Australia for a third year running, have been placed in Group B with Australian sides Nedlands and Palmyra Pirates in addition to local heavyweights Cobra and Bandaraya Dragons.

"As far as I am concerned, Uale (Mai) is a legend in the sport while Fa'atonu is also right up there among the best. Having them in the team is definitely great news for us," said the Kiwi.

"Obviously, we do want to win the title here at home and definitely have the potential to do it, but I feel it would be foolish to get ahead of ourselves.

"We are in a tough group with teams that know how to win. For me what is important is that we take it one game at a time and make it to the knockout stages first."

Uale Mai, 34, is the most capped played in the history of sevens rugby and is also the first Samoan to be awarded the IRB International Sevens Player of the Year for the 2005-2006 World Sevens Series season.

Fa'atonu,31, who was part of the 1999 and 2003 Samoan World Cup squads, has been enjoying a late resurgence in his career, earning a recent recall to the national side.

Group A will see Fijian side Davetalevu, New Zealand club Massey RC, Sunnybank of Australia as well as local clubs Tawau Panthers and Sabah Eagles (state team) compete for places in the quarter-finals.

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