Play Rugby USA Community Olympic Development Program Next Assembly

August 30, 2016

Play Rugby USA Community Olympic Development Program Next Assembly

Call For Players

Northeast Academy Release: Ryan Trost, August 30, 2016

Following the successful first season of Play Rugby USA’s Community Olympic Development Program (CODP), the opportunity to be part of the next assembly is now available.

The purpose of the CODP is to select the best 7’s players in the area and immerse them in an environment where they experience high quality coaching and 1-on-1 development. The program also includes invaluable experience within a high performance environment and the challenges that come with it reflecting & aligning with the National Side.

Athletes interested in being considered for selection have three options for assembly invitation:

  • Attend the below training dates in all states NY, CT or NJ
  • Be selected by CODP scouts at upcoming tournaments
  • Be nominated by a coach

To be eligible for assembly selection, athletes must have represented their High School or Club’s 1st XV and/or Varsity Team and be committed to training in a high-performance Sevens environment. Coaches interested in nominating a player should contact CODP Manager Ryszard Chadwick

Call For Players 1


The CODP Side will be competing in the North America 7’s Series which is the highest competition that high school 7s players can play. They will compete in 4/5 tournaments a year as well as a couple of warm up / practice tournaments. This summer at the Saratoga 7s tournament in July, the Boys side dominated the competition, scoring 237 points in 5 games and only conceding 17. The effort culminated with the Championship trophy. Both the Boys and Girls sides performed consistently well throughout their season with the Girls highlight being a 3rd place finish at the North American Invitational 7s Tournament in Utah and the boys missing out on a semi-final spot in over time.

Community Olympic Development Program Background:

Play Rugby USA, an established grassroots rugby development program, was recently designated by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) as the nation’s first Community Olympic Development Program (CODP) for Rugby.

Formally launched in January 2016, the CODP combines resources from Play Rugby USA and the Northeast Academy, a USA Rugby approved elite development program, to formalize and consolidate a pathway for talented young players to USA Rugby national teams.

The mission of the CODP is to “identify, develop, empower and support young talented athletes from the Northeast of the USA to achieve their rugby dreams, by maximizing their potential to compete effectively on the international stage.”

“USA Rugby has firmly endorsed this partnership, which combines one of the highest performing adult sevens programs in the country with the largest youth outreach program in a city with more young athletes than anywhere else in the country,” said USA Rugby High Performance Director Alex Magleby.

To learn more about the CODP program and their most recent outing in, click here.

Any Questions about training sessions, please contact CODP Manager Ryszard Chadwick.


Aligned High Performance Pathway

With the CODP sides purpose to develop future Olympians this means that the program will replicate the national team as much as possible both on and off the field.

Coaching Philosophy – PRIDE in PERFORMANCE

The Play Rugby USA CODP Coaching Philosophy is carefully and effectively designed, created and implemented by using contemporary coaching best practice. The CODP uses a Holistic Person Centred Philosophy that develops players and more importantly people through Game-Based Pedagogy in a high performance environment.

In order to execute this philosophy effectively we have pulled together some of the best coaches in the area who together will provide players with a great opportunity to become successful. We have gathered together a fantastic mix of coaching expertise and players from the top levels.

CODP Staff

Ryszard Chadwick – CODP Manager / Head Coach

As the Play Rugby USA’s Rugby Development Manager, Ryszard has a highly academic background in coaching holding A BSc (HONS) In Sports Coaching and an MSc in Coaching Science from the UK. He continues to research into best practices of coaching and works closely with researchers from the UK and is a published author in the field of coaching, He has experience in teaching coaching at the degree level & is a certified World Rugby Coach Educator where he travels the USA educating and certifying coaches on best practices. He is a certified USA Rugby Level 300 coach and coaches anywhere from High School development Rugby to Elite Adult Rugby in both 7’s & 15’s, Men & Woman. He is the Founder of The Rugby Advantage which provides coaching and teaching of the ‘always gaining mindset’ & coaches in the corporate space & also provides life coaching & health and fitness advice.

Boys Coaches

Joe Kelly – Male Defence Coach

After playing rugby for over 30 years for many teams in some really cool places, Joe continues with the sport as a coach. For the last 6 years he has served as the head rugby coach at Greenwich high school and started and continues to run the Greenwich 7s program. He has been a referee, regional youth development coach/scout for the High School All American program and the Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, Scout at the USA Rugby RCT, Coached IONA College, OGRCC youth program and Atlantis 7s.

Harry Higgins – Male Contact & Set Piece Coach

Harry is an Australian-born rugby union player who plays for the United States national rugby union team. Harry debuted for the U.S. on the 18th of June 2016 against Italy. Harry plays for Old Blue Rugby Football Club, New York. Harry attended Brisbane Grammar School from 2004 to 2008 and played in the First XV. A versatile player, Higgins can play No. 8 and Lock, but primarily plays flanker. He is new to coaching but has achieved his level 200 certification but provides a lot of technical playing experience which is invaluable.

Seamus Kelly – Male Attack Coach

Born in Queens, NY Seamus attended Xavier HS in NYC and then attended the University of California. During his university career he was selected to represent the USA Eagles at outside centre in 2013. Seamus has played rugby at the international level all over the world even playing in the England 2015 Rugby World Cup for the USA

Girls Coaches

James English – Female Defense Coach

From London, England, James has representative playing and coaching experience across England and Ireland. Notable having coached at Blackrock College in Dublin. Since moving to the US, James has been leading rugby development as the Executive Director and HP Director for Rugby Pennsylvania. He has coached Yale University Men, Atavus All Stars, is a current Coach at New York Rugby Club Women in the WPL, and was recently appointed attack coach with USA Rugby’s Women Collegiate All Americans.

Tom Feury – Female Attack Coach

Tom started his coaching journey in 1999 in NJ. He has developed and coached a number of programs and has been successful in their growth, development and sustainability and also their success on the field as a coach. He is currently a major figurehead in the continuing growth of Rugby NJ and is currently the head coach of the U18 Morris RFC Girls team and is also part of the Northeast Development academy coaching women’s team. Tom is also a certified USA Rugby L300 Coach, and has experience coaching at the HSAA Stars and Stripes level and other high performance programs.

Evi Ashenbrucker – Female Contact & Set Piece Coach

Former Collegiate All-American from UC San Diego, Evi transitioned to coaching full time at Humboldt State University in California, where she led the team to consecutive National Championship series appearances. From there Evi created and oversaw the California Women’s Collegiate All-Star program before being selected as an emerging coach through USA Rugby’s Elite Coach Development Program, where she currently acts as an assistant to the USA U20 pool. She recently relocated to New York City to play in the Women’s Premier League for New York Rugby Club this Fall.

Sport Science Support

Jurrian Zoeteweij – Optimum Performance Coach

Played Rugby at a high level in the Netherlands since 2000 and captained myteam to winning the division in 2011. Created a practice cycle on skills and tactics and engagingly coached the new recruit’s team for 7 years, which increased club memberships from 1 team to 3 teams. Coached a premier league team on mental and motivational challenges.As a coach I respect and love the diversity in teams and develop players into their best possible selves by recognizing their behavior, needs and uniqueness.

The last decade, Jurrian has worked professionally as an organizational psychologist, HR consultant and talent coach. In that role he coached managerial staff on mental & personal workplace challenges by using physical sports experiences and advised on further development. He studied the scientific theories of motivation, human needs, group processes, communication, leadership and high performance during achieving his Masters in Psychology. In addition, He completed a Postdoctoral Training Business Psychology focusing on the theoretical base and practical methods of motivational interviews, executive coaching and talent development.

Nate Augspurger – Skills Coach

Nate is a second generation American rugby player who has been playing the game since 11 years old. He played rugby in high school, through my collegiate years at the University of Minnesota, all the way up through Men’s Club to the International level for both USA 7s and 15s. He continues to mentor and coach in his free time as a player between living in New York City and San Diego over the last four years.  During that time he was training for the 2016 Olympics, in which, he was selected as an Traveling Reserve member of the squad.

Phaidra Knight – S&C & Nutrition Coach

For over ten years, Phaidra traveled the globe as a professional rugby player, establishing herself as the one of the premiere players in the sport. She made three appearances in the Rugby World Cup. Phaidra’s athleticism isn’t confined to one sport. She has competed on the regional level in CrossFit Games and Strongman. She was also a member of the United States Developmental Bobsled Team during the 2013 season. As an ambassador for women’s sports, she has been able to address in numerous venues and in a multitude of ways two issues that mean a great deal to her—women’s fitness and childhood obesity. Both independently and through the Women’s Sports Foundation, she is also involved with the United States Rugby Foundation and works in partnership with Ashe Sports and Entertainment Consulting to provide brand management and negotiate marketing and sponsorship opportunities for Olympic athletes and fitness experts.

KJ Feury – Medical Professional

KJ is an Acute Care Nurse Practitioner working in Critical Care and Trauma for over 35 years. Throughout her career she has volunteered for numerous rugby clubs doing side-line medical coverage including Morris Rugby, Atlantis, Rugby NJ & the Northeast ODA. Currently she is the Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Service at Morristown Medical Center and works at the Concussion & Physical Rehabilitation Center at Overlook Hospital both in NJ. KJ holds her 200 Level Rugby Coaching & First Aid In Rugby Certification & is the current president of Rugby NJ.



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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant