Kiwi student ruggers to play in U.S.

USA Rugby has announced that a New Zealand Universities rugby team will tour California during the northern hemisphere summer.

They will play a team of Collegiate Americans.

There is a long history between U.S. collegiate rugby and New Zealand. In 1910, more than a hundred years ago, a team of U.S. collegians toured Australia and New Zealand and actually beat the Auckland R.U.

1910 USA Collegiate team in New Zealand - Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

1910 USA Collegiate team in New Zealand - Photo courtesy of USA Rugby

“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.

The matches are scheduled for San Diego on July 9, Santa Barbara on July 13, and San Francisco on July 16.
USA Rugby

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