Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
Article courtesy of USA Rugby
BOULDER, Colo. – The Men’s Collegiate All-Americans (AAs) will host the New Zealand Universities team this summer, playing the visiting team in a three match series throughout California.
The All-Americans will assemble at the Olympic Training Center to prepare for the series. Matches are scheduled for July 9th in San Diego, July 13th in Santa Barbara, and July 16th in San Francisco. Venues and match details are yet to be finalized.
“We are excited to be hosting a strong New Zealand Universities side that will present a tough challenge and opportunity for the All-Americans in this World Cup year,” said All-American Program Director, Matt Sherman.
“We are also looking forward to showcase the All-American team in three different American cities with strong rugby foundations.”
The timing of the matches is purposeful as they occur during a break in the USA Eagles’ busy pre-Rugby World Cup schedule. This will allow the Eagles coaching staff to scout talent, as well as collaborate with the All-Americans coaches.
Eagles Head Coach Eddie O’Sullivan and a number of his staff have worked regularly with the All-American coaches and players. Creating consistent training environments and expectations for high performance athletes makes the transition from All-American to Eagle more seamless.
All-Americans Coach, Alex Magleby, notes that improvements in high school and collegiate programs across the country have been steadily increasing their standards of performance, something the All-Americans and National Team ultimately benefit from.
“The All-American assembly aims to replicate an international-level test environment. If this is done right, the majority of a player’s development should happen in his collegiate team environment for nine plus months of the year. However, an athlete can learn a lot about himself in two weeks of committed focus and pressure in a constructive national team test environment, and that is the primary goal,” said Magleby.
Just last year, eight 2010 All-Americans; Colin Hawley, Eric Fry, Taylor Mokate, Scott LaValla, Anthony Purpura, Peter Tiberio, Zack Test, and Blaine Scully, went on to represent the USA in either in fifteens or sevens.
Magleby added, “The players who perform well in this environment usually end up excelling in the senior national team. Not only do they have the athletic attributes of a would-be international player, they are deliberate in their preparation, evolve with setbacks, and grow with the opportunities given.”
The All-Americans coaching staff has been scouting for this year’s CAA side. A player’s performance during the regular season, playoffs, and championships are considered, as well as the National All-Star Championships in June.
“Already in the [College Premier Division] we are witnessing healthy growth from many of last year’s All-Americans. There are numerous other students who have worked their way onto the radar. We are looking forward to the surprises the rest of the CPD and national divisional championships are sure to bring,” Magleby said.
The Collegiate All Americans have scouts in each of the CPD and Division I conferences for regular season games. A selection panel will convene and select the All-Americans (team, honorable mentions, and the touring side) following the National All-Star Championships in June.
Coaches may nominate players to the All-Americans by completing this form: http://tinyurl.com/AAplayernomination.