Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The USA Rugby High School All-Americans (HSAAs) begin their first ever sevens assembly this weekend, entering two teams in the Las Vegas Invitational (LVI). While their competition will be fierce in the ‘Elite High School 7’s’ bracket of the LVI. The purpose of this assembly also has one eye looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics.
“We’re looking forward to the first assembly of the High School All-American 7’s team,” said USA Rugby Age Grade Director Matt Sherman.
“This generation of players will be 21-23 in 2016 and may feature prominently in the Olympic movement going forward, and it’s important that we begin their development. Holding the event in conjunction with the HSBC Sevens World Series event also provides a great opportunity for these players to see what is potentially in front of them if they work hard.”
HSAA Head Coach Salty Thompson agrees that this is the first building block in teaching these young athletes to see what it takes to become successful 7’s players.
“Since this is the first age-grade elite sevens, I want players to begin to learn how to play sevens effectively, get excited about sevens and begin to see a possible future in the game,” said Thompson.
The task at hand for the HSAAs is to win their bracket, facing tough competition all the way. The HSAA’s will enter two teams in the competition, All-American Red and All-American Blue. Those teams will square off against two representative teams from British Columbia, The Dog River Howlers (Canadian Select Side), and American Select sides from Colorado, MARFU, and Utah.
For the players in the American Select Sides, this is also an opportunity for them to get noticed by Thompson and his staff.
“I’m really curious and excited to see Colorado, represented by the Glendale Raptors Academy, Utah, and Hyde Academy who are representing the Mid-Atlantic bring some talented high schoolers,” said Thompson.
“We’ll look to include talented, eligible players into the next HSAA assembly.”
The All-Americans will spend Thursday in Las Vegas training for the tournament. The tournament kicks off Friday Morning at 9:40 a.m. on Field 16 at the LVI. Saturday’s elimination rounds will kickoff at 8:00 a.m. the championship match will kick off at 12:20 p.m.
Saturday’s matches will be played on Field 6, next to Sam Boyd Stadium.
Elite High School 7’s Bracket
High School All-American 7’s Assembly Squad