A Gainline.us reader whose son is an aspiring college player writes to ask how athletes from smaller or unheralded teams can make the All-Americans?
Normally I look at things from a management point of view, but the parental perspective is worth considering, since adults often underwrite student-athlete costs, and thus a large part of USARFU's dues income.
The correspondent is a foreign national and so well-versed in rugby. 'I still do not understand the way USA Rugby is organized. But my question is very simple: What is the next step for him if there is not [a path to the] collegiate All American team??'
Matt Sherman of Stanford is the coach of the All-American team. Although USARFU this spring eliminated collegiate representative competition, there were unidentified scouts evaluating players. According to Sherman, there was one scout for each of the Division 1 conferences, which means that somebody was to be keeping track of [excised].
… Last month USARFU released a list of 2012 All-Americans and invited many to a trials camp this week in Houston (in conjunction with the Italian international). The camp will yield a squad that will undertake an unspecified tour of Ireland in August.
Who is in camp? The trials roster was released today, although players' positions (along with such basics as height and weight) were not identified; nor are these found on USARFU's web site. Therefore, if you are a lock (for example) trying to assess the standard to beat, the union is not much help.
(Also of interest: An unusually large number of first-team honorees aren't in Houston, including no one from champion Brigham Young.)
Similar conditions pertain at the high school level. This December the union staged a winter assembly but would not release a roster. In February, USARFU devoted some fanfare to announcing an 'Eagle Academy', as well as a summer schedule. When asked for details, 'Nothing I want to share regarding the academy structure at this stage', one official responded -- and nothing since.
So if you are a parent, you are supporting these teams but the governing body is coy about explaining who's on them and how they get there.
Turning to the Under 20 team, the USA lineup against Tonga was indeed published on Facebook, at 6.36pm Monday, or roughly a half hour after the game started, and without the players' teams. I haven't been able to find any coherent scorekeeping. The 22-11 upset win merits better.
Dartmouth fullback Madison Hughes scored an unconverted try at 75 minutes and booted 2 penalty goals in each half, according to a various sources, as the US surmounted an 11-6 second-half deficit, aided by the visitors taking simultaneous yellow cards and then a red.
Tomorrow's Junior World Trophy opponent is Chile, which upended Russia 53-19.
Mose Timoteo has been named a reserve for Saturday's match against Italy, almost six years after his most recent international, in July 2006 against Barbados. The San Francisco Golden Gate halfback debuted against Tonga in 2000 Pacific Rim match, and has 3 tries and 31 caps to his name at halfback, wing, and fullback.
Saturday's starting lineup is essentially unchanged from the Georgian win, but for wings Luke Hume and James Paterson switching sides of the field.
Collegiate All-Americans Trials Roster
Forwards: OJ Auimatagi (Life), Jordan Badia-Bellinger (Claremont), Demacus Beach (Davenport), Steyne Benade (Arkansas State), Nate Brakeley (Dartmouth), Jack Bristol (Air Force), Robert Carlson (St. Mary’s), Mike Erickson (Penn State), Alec Gletzer (UC Santa Barbara), Jamie Gregory (Kutztown), Ryan Hargraves (Davenport), Robert Hayslip (Arkansas State), John Hellman (Penn State), Jamie Kelm (San Diego State), James Lynch (Life), Glen Maricelli (Life), Alex Menke (Stanford), Jake Mizell (Arkansas State), Nick Mostyn (Utah), Shaun Potgieter (Arkansas State), Seamus Seifring (Navy), Mike Shepherd (Utah), Lester Soloai (Utah), Nick Svob (Arizona)
Backs: Jake Anderson (UC Berkeley), Paul Bosco (UC Berkeley), Joe Cowley (Life), Nick Evans (Tennessee), James Gallo (UC Santa Barbara), Dean Gericke (Arkansas State), Mathius Harris (Lindenwood), Luke Hickey (Ohio State), Matthew Jensen (Western Washington), Kalei Konrad (San Diego State), Tonata Lauti (Utah), Jack McCaullife (Navy), Jake McFadden (Life), Tim Maupin (St. Mary’s), Conor Mils (Texas A&M), Zac Mizell (Arkansas State), Cody Naber (Arizona), Chris Saint (Penn State), Sam Sirrell (UCLA), Tim Stanfill (Central Washington), Pat Sullivan (Arkansas State), Darrian Woodson (Life)
United States v Italy
Chris Wyles (Saracens); James Paterson (Glendale Raptors), Paul Emerick (Wasps), Andrew Suniula (Cornish Pirates), Luke Hume (Old Blue); Roland Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club); Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Chris Biller (Northampton), Eric Fry (Wellington Old Boys), Louis Stanfill (New York Athletic Club), Bryan Doyle (New York Athletic Club), Taylor Mokate (Wellington Old Boys), Scott Lavalla (Stade Francais), Todd Clever (captain, NTT Shining Arcs)
Reserves: Derek Asbun (Oxford Univ.), Mike MacDonald (undeclared), Tolifili Liufau (L'Uson), Andrew Durutalo (USA 7s); Mose Timoteo (San Francisco Golden Gate), Will Holder (United States Military Academy), Colin Hawley (USA 7s)