MJAA Squad vs. Canada: World Rugby Trophy Qualifier
USA Rugby Release: COLLEGE STATION, TX. – Men’s Junior All-Americans (MJAAs) Head Coach Scott Bracken has named his starting lineup to compete in the first match of the World Rugby Trophy Qualifier series with Canada’s U20s tomorrow at 7 PM CT. After a week of rigorous preparation, including an exhibition game against Austin Elite Academy, the MJAAs look ahead to a promising showing in the first of two games against northern neighbor Canada.
The match takes place at Penberthy Playing Field at Texas A&M University. Admission is complimentary but parking (located in Lot 100 D North of fields 1-10) will incur a small fee. Due to connectivity limitations at the playing field, a live stream for the match will not be available. Updates will be provided through @USARugby’s Twitter account.
“Training has been tough with the travel, heat, and humidity but nobody is complaining. A core principle of our team is that we will never be victims of anything. Our guys just brush the weather aside and get on with business,” says Head Coach Bracken, describing the team’s overall experience over the past week. “We expect tomorrow to be a physical match against a strong Canadian side. I am really looking forward to kickoff.”
Headlining the squad as Captain is capped Men’s National Team player Ruben de Haas. De Haas joined the Men’s Eagles for their June training camp and competed with them earlier this season during the Americas Rugby Championship, helping the team earn their second consecutive title in the tournament. David Ainuu joins the MJAAs after spending time with the Men’s National Team during their June training camp, as well.
Along with de Haas and Ainuu’s national team connections, two athletes from Major League Rugby will suit up as reserves. Will Waguespack of Nola Gold and Devin Short of San Diego Legion will join the rest of the team in bringing professional experience to the mix of an already talented group of athletes.
With one North American spot remaining, the two match qualifier series will see either the USA Men’s Junior All-Americans or the Canada U20s advance to the international World Rugby Trophy tournament set to take place in Romania August 24. After conceding their berth to Canada last year due to a lower cumulative points score, the United States will seek their first representation in the tournament since 2016.
Following the first match at Texas A&M in College Station, the Men’s Junior All-Americans will travel to Rice University on Sat, June 16 to face Canada in the final match of the series at 3:30 PM CT. Taking place in the same local region as the Senior Men’s National Team’s test match with No. 6 World Ranked Scotland, fans are encouraged to enjoy a full day of American rugby.
Admission to the 2018 World Rugby Trophy Qualifier series is free of charge with match updates available by following @USARugby on Twitter. Fans in attendance will be required to pay for parking on site in Lot 100 D North of fields 1-10.
MEN’S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN STARTERS | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER
|1. Payton Telea-Ilalio||Prop||Saint Mary’s College|
|2. Dillon Shotwell||Hooker||Sam Houston State University|
|3. David Ainuu||Prop||Toulouse Rugby|
|4. Ronan Murphy||Lock||Saint Mary’s College|
|5. Bronson Teles||Lock||University of Arizona|
|6. Bailey Wilson||Flanker||Utah United|
|7. Justin Johnson||Flanker||Life University|
|8. Santi Mascolo||No. 8||Iona College|
|9. Ruben de Haas (C)||Scrum Half||Free State Cheetahs|
|10. Sam Walsh||Fly Half||Scots College (NZ)|
|11. Noah Niumataiwalu||Wing||Saint Joseph’s University|
|12. Quinn Perry||Center||Santa Monica Rugby|
|13. Jack Wendling||Center||Central Washington University|
|14. Patrick Medina||Wing||Austin Blacks|
|15. Patrick Madden||Full back||Cal Poly State University-San Louis Obispo|
MEN’S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN RESERVES | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER
|16. Stephen McLeish||Reserve||Lindenwood University|
|17. Jack Wiles||Reserve||St. Bonaventure University|
|18. Daryl Bagley||Reserve||American International College|
|19. Will Waguespack||Reserve||NOLA Gold Rugby|
|20. Devin Short||Reserve||San Diego Legion|
|21. Ethan McVeigh||Reserve||Old Mission Beach Athletic Club – Wallabies|
|22. Campbell Johnstone||Reserve||Mount St. Mary’s University|
|23. Jack Bradfield||Reserve||Cleveland Westside Rovers|
MEN’S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN STAFF | 2018 WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIER
|Head Coach||Scott Bracken|
|Assistant Coach||Michael Engelbrecht|
|Assistant Coach||Brendan O’Meara|
|Athletic Trainer||Catherine Donahue|
|Team Manager||Kevin McCorry|
|Director of Rugby||JD Stephenson|
MEN’S JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN SCHEDULE | WORLD RUGBY TROPHY QUALIFIERS
v. Canada U20s
Tue, June 12 | 7 PM CT
Penberthy Playing Field (Texas A&M University)
Admission is free; small fee for parking
v. Canada U20s
Tue, June 16 | 3:30 PM CT
Intramural Field (Rice University)
Admission is free