USA Rugby Squad: 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Rugby Team

USA Rugby 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Rugby Team

USA Rugby has named the squad of 12 athletes and two non-traveling reserves for the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Men’s Rugby Team. The team will participate at the second Summer Youth Olympic Games, a rugby sevens event, in Buenos Aires, Argentina in October.

The Games Opening ceremony will be on October 6 with pool play commencing on October 13 and medal play ending on October 15.

Head Coach JD Stephenson and his staff evaluated the performances of an extended squad of 16 athletes after the Can-Am Futures Sevens tournament before naming the team.

Stephenson indicated that “This selection process was one of the toughest we’ve been involved in; that’s a testament to the wider playing pool and their respective programs, coaches, and staff. The level of play we’ve seen and countlessly reviewed has made for a long and arduous final selection. We are confident the men chosen will represent Team USA to the fullest. I can’t thank our coaching staff and those coaches we were fortunate to share this journey with for their time, dedication and friendship.”

Captaining the team in Junio Waqavesi, who trained with the senior USA Men’s Sevens team and recently participated in the 2018 Youth Touch World Cup for USA U18. Ty Al-Jiboori keeps up the family rugby tradition of Michael and Malon Al-Jiboori with his inclusion in the team. There are also three players from Kahuku Rugby in Lauina Falatea, Johnny Mahe, and Uluamu Niutupuivaha, who will add cohesion to the team.

The USA has learned to trust talented coaches like Salty Thompson for support. Thompson coached the team at the inaugural Youth Olympic Games and his perspective on the Games, as well as his technical and tactical support, have been invaluable.

The inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games were held in Nanjing in 2014 with the USA finished in fifth place.

Coach Stephenson and his squad will assemble later this month for a training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA, arriving in Buenos Aires in early October. Broadcast information and a full schedule will be confirmed closer to date.


Player Name Program
Al-Jiboori, Tyren Union Rugby
Clark, Max Brighton College (ENG)
Cleary, Alex Chuckanut Bay Rugby
Falatea, Lauina Kahuku Rugby
Green, Jasper St. Pauls Rugby (ENG)
Kruse, Isaia Bullard Rugby
Mahe, Sione Kahuku Rugby
Neff, Zachary C.K. McClatchy Lions
Niutupuivah, Uluamu Kahuku Rugby
Rodriguez, Jon Play Rugby USA
Waqavesi, Inoke C.K. McClatchy Lions
Wierenga, Ben Valley Center Rugby

Non-traveling Reserves: Will Chevalier (Neuqua Valley Wildcats), Shane Barry (Ramblin’ Jesters)


Head Coach | JD Stephenson
Physiotherapist | Alan Wallace


October 6, 2018
Opening Ceremony | Time TBA

October 13, 2018
Rugby Sevens Pool Play | 11 AM ET
CASI La Boya Stadium

October 14, 2018
Rugby Sevens Pool Play | 11 AM ET
CASI La Boya Stadium

October 15, 2018
Finals and Victory Ceremony | 12:55 PM ET
CASI La Boya Stadium

October 18, 2018
Closing Ceremony | Time TBA
Youth Olympic Park

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North American Rugby News With A USA Slant