LAFAYETTE, CO. – The Men’s Junior All-Americans have completed their training camp in preparation for the two match World Rugby Trophy Qualifier Series against Canada’s U20s this June. Through the camp weekend, Head Coach Scott Bracken and his staff worked to identify players’ strengths and weaknesses, with the goal of bridging gaps to prepare the next generation of youth for elite international competition. The two-match World Rugby Trophy Qualifier series will be hosted in Houston, Texas on June 12th and June 16th at locations to be named later. Updates will be available by following @USARugby on social media.
“This weekend went well. We had 50 athletes in camp who did all that we asked of them and gave everything they had,” says Head Coach Bracken, providing his overall thoughts on the camp which was hosted at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center from May 11-13. “We definitely found some ‘Meat Eaters’ in the group which we will need against a physical Canadian side.”
The 50 athletes in training camp spent three days learning from Coaches and Staff who understand the rigors of international competition with a set of unique skills tailored to development at the U20s age group. All selected from USA Rugby’s new coaching development program Project SOAR, Bracken and his staff will now face the difficult task of selecting a final roster from a tight pool of talent.
With the goal of integrating age-grade teams with the senior national team, Dave Hodges, General Manager of the Men’s 15s Programs, was on hand to look-over the competition in camp.
“This was a valuable camp for the staff to see the players perform on and off the field first-hand,” says Hodges. “The players acquitted themselves well through plenty of endeavor and grit. It’s encouraging to know that some of these players will pull on an Eagle jersey in the near future”.
Competition during all three days was fierce and incorporated a pool filled with talented and emerging athletes.
“Our main challenge out of camp will be finalizing the roster,” says Bracken, further detailing the level of talent on display through the weekend. “In most positions, the separation between players is so slight, selections will be difficult; however, that is not a bad problem to have.”
Final roster selections will be announced closer to date along with the locations of both matches. The two match qualification series against Canada’s U20s will be hosted June 12th and June 16th in Houston, Texas, during the same week as the Senior Men’s National Team’s test match with No. 5 World Ranked Scotland at BBVA Compass Stadium, also on June 16th.
Updates and broadcast information will be confirmed closer to date.