Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Tour to Queensland

July 15, 2016

Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Tour to Queensland


Doug Coil

Article is based on information from – USA Rugby Press Release

The USA Rugby AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans will leave Los Angeles on July 31 to  tour Queensland, Australia. WellDog has been instrumental in funding the tour, as well as scheduling matches with Darling Downs Select Side, Brothers Rugby Football Club, and Queensland Premier Barbarians. Twenty nine athletes have been selected for this tour.

Head Coach Gavin Hickie indicated “Touring to a foreign country to play against high-quality opposition is an inherent part of rugby. We have been very fortunate to have WellDog sponsoring the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Tour to Queensland and we are very excited by the challenge ahead.

“It is important to test ourselves against international competition to get a measure of where our age-grade teams excel and/or need development. This tour to Queensland will provide us with a lot of data on our players, which we will share with the Eagles coaching staff.”

Several members toured Zimbabwe as part of the MJAA that participated in the World Rugby U20 Trophy competition. “Their progression through the ranks showcases the cohesiveness between the age-grade programs and the senior national teams, as well as the strength of the collegiate game.”

Hickie added “The Collegiate All-American staff have worked closely with our Junior All-American head coach, JD Stephenson, to get his input on players who performed at the U20 Trophy earlier this year. Together we have identified players who we feel can continue to perform at the next level.”

“The MCAA coaching staff is excited to work with these players. Along with our Eagle Eye Scout Network, we have identified this group as strong candidates for future Eagles honors. This tour will be a vital step in their development and preparation for that next step. We want to win every game we play, but individual and team performance is what the players will be assessed on.”

Hickie further added “We are under no illusion of the challenges that lie ahead on tour. “Our first goal as a group is to perform. We are currently working with the players through Bridge Athletic and are monitoring their workload. Within the next few days, the players will receive their playbooks and will be expected to understand our systems before we meet.

“Once we arrive in Australia, we will have a tough couple of days acclimatizing to the time difference, weather, and two-a-day training sessions before we ease off the workload and get into games.”

The match schedule has the MCAA facing Darling Downs Select Side at Toowoomba’s Gold Park Sporting Club on Aug. 6, then Brothers RFC at Crosby Park Aug. 10 and finally Queensland Premier Barbarians at Ballymore Stadium in Brisbane on Sunday, Aug. 14. Any live stream details around the MCAA Tour to Queensland will be confirmed at a later date.

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans | Tour to Queensland sponsored by WellDog
Malon Al-Jiboori – Lindenwood University
Dylan Audsley – Saint Mary’s College of California
Tanner Barnes – Central Washington University
Niall Barry – University of California, Los Angeles
Alec Barton – Saint Mary’s College of California
Roland Blackiston – California State University, Long Beach
Zach Bonte – University of California, Los Angeles
Nick Boyer – University of California, Berkeley
Bryce Campbell – Indiana University
Chad Gough – University of Utah
Viliami Helu – Saint Mary’s College of California
Matt Jensen – Brigham Young University
Cody Jerabek – University of Wyoming
Wes Hartmann – Kutztown University
Timothy Katz – James Madison University
Conor Kearns – Trinity College Dublin
Faaitua Laei – Brigham Young University
Vetekina Malafu – Kutztown University
Alex Maughan – Life University
Cody Melphy – Life University
Deion Mikesell – Lindenwood University
Kevin O’Connor – Saint Mary’s College of California
Mason Pedersen – San Diego Breakers (PRO)
Mike Ruther – University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Aladdin Schirmer – Central Washington University
Alexander Vorster – Brigham Young University
Dino Waldren – Saint Mary’s College of California
Chance Wenglewski – Lindenwood University
Calvin Whiting – Brigham Young University

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans | Coaching Staff
Gavin Hickie – Head Coach
Justin Hickey – Manager
Greg McWilliams – Assistant Coach
James Willocks – Assistant Coach
Ben Schuler – Athletic Trainer

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans | Tour to Queensland sponsored by WellDog
v. Darling Downs Select Side – Saturday, Aug. 6 @ 17:00 AET – Gold Park Sporting Club, Toowoomba, Australia
v. Brothers Rugby Football Club – Wednesday, Aug. 10 @ 18:00 AET – Crosby Park, Brisbane, Australia
v. Queensland Premier Barbarians – Sunday, Aug. 14 @ 16:00 AET – Ballymore Stadium, Brisbane, Australia

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