"O' Brother, where art thou?"
"I'm in the bathroom, roomy"..
One of the most enjoyable qualities of life on the road with the IRB Sevens World Series is the conviviality, the brotherhood.
By its very nature, the Sevens tour brings the players together. For a start the 16 teams - 24 in Hong Kong - always share a hotel. Often there is more than one to a floor and meal times bring a throng of over 200 into one dining room.
This is never boring, and not just because of the laughably enormous lashings of bread, pasta, chicken, fish and whatever else that disappears in seconds, usually to be followed by a main course. The mere fact that so many cultures, languages and systems of etiquette are played out at the same time makes for the kind of study that scientists might contrive in the name of anthropological research.
Some teams are quiet, others brash. Some are impeccably turned out in matching shirts, others wear shorts and flip-flips. Some treat the meal as an experience and go back time and again to refill cherished plates with small fine dining-sized portions, others pile a kilo of carbohydrate and protein into a trough and barely use knives and forks.
Time-keeping is also interesting. Many teams abide by the maxim that no sportsman should eat an evening meal after 19:00. And yet Argentina often keep the caterers busy late into the night, their motley crew sitting down to dinner after nine o'clock to tuck into mounds of red meat, sit and chat over a coffee like old men playing dominoes and probably ruing the lack of a good Mendoza Malbec.
The teams train together too. This morning Wales faced off against South Africa, while Gordon Tietjens joked about a new 'Tri Nations' between the kiwis, England and the West Indies, all of whom 'scrimmaged' - a mixture of high-intensity touch and semi-contact training matches.
Over the past week the 'family affair' has reached ever more familiar proportions with the inclusion of five sets of brothers.
Last weekend in New Zealand, Australia's Luke Inman returned to the fold to line up next to brother Mitchell, while former kiwi captain Tafai Ioasa could also share dinner with his brother, albeit across the dining room with Amos lining up for their mother land, the Cook Islands.
Welsh twins Rob and James Lewis are here in San Diego, so too Kenya wing Collins Injera and elder brother Humphrey Kayange and perhaps the most celebrated pair of all - Argentina's Pablo Gomez Cora and his Sevens celebrity sibling, all time leading Series try-scorer, Santiago.
Sevens is a welcome throwback to the old days of touring to enjoy the customs and people of a country, as well as just the rugby. It continues to bring contracted professionals together with amateurs, the 'haves' with the 'have-nots' so to speak, but the action on the pitch more often than not belies the chasm between the countries and their unions. This weekend it may not be England who come unstuck, as they did against Amos and the Cook Islands last weekend, but at least one rugby superpower will get the run-around by a so-called 'developing' nation. That is the charm of the sport, of the series.
Maybe it's also what Argentina stay up so late to talk about..
The USA Sevens will be played at the PETCO Park in San Diego on 9-10 February.
Tickets for USA Sevens
Tickets for the USA Sevens start at the low price of $25, or $50 for a two-day pass with deals for both military personnel and children.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the US hotline 1-888-Rugby-7s (1-888-78429-77) or by visiting www.usasevens.com
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