USA Rugby High Performance Pathways brings 97 men’s U18, U20 and U23 players to Winter Camp 2021

USA Rugby Release

For the first time since 2019, USA Rugby High Performance Pathways will host its annual Winter Camp, bringing 97 men’s players to the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA from December 27 to January 2.

Winter Camp 2021 will invite some of the best U18, U20 and U23 male athletes to train and compete across the week under the guidance of a robust roster of high performance staff. The annual assembly typically serves as a primary touchpoint for players within the Junior National Team pipeline, increasing development and scouting opportunities for senior national teams going into the new year.

Attendees will have the opportunity to train and perform in front of USA Rugby Head of Performance Huw Bevan, USA Men’s XVs Assistant Coach and Utah Warriors Head Coach Shawn Pittman, as well as retired Eagle and current Utah Coach Olive Kilifi. Coaching staff for all three Junior National Teams (U18, U20 and U23) will also be in attendance, giving players the best chance to vie for selections in the new year.

The last Winter Camp was held in 2019 – featuring only U18 players – and saw the likes of Tiai Vavao who went on to compete in the Americas Pacific Challenge with the USA Selects this year. Vavao returns this year to continue his journey through the program.

Players for Winter Camp were selected from high school, college and club programs across the United States, The Eagle Eye Scout Network, and National Development Programs, as well as USA Rugby’s Academy Program, Opportunity Days, and Talent ID Days.

For more information about pathways programs and to nominate an athlete, visit

For a contact list of Eagle Eye Scouts in each region, click here.

Brendan Keane, Men’s High Performance Pathways Manager said:

“We’re excited to revive our winter assembly this year after not being able to assemble last year. There is an interesting mix of players that include some returners from previous Junior National Team assemblies and competitions, as well as others who have only recently come on the radar.  

“Combined with what we learned in our camps from the summer and the Academy this fall, our aim is to go into 2022 with a good understanding of the needs and talents of the players currently in the pathway as we begin a new year of identification and development.  We are also enthusiastic about the staff we have coming in for the camp, many of whom are new to the Junior National Teams on the back of the COVID-19 shutdown.  

“For the first time, we will have all the age-grade programs in one place at the same time. This will allow us to work together on our collective vision to play at the next level while developing athletes and offering them an opportunity to express themselves as rugby players.”  


Huw Bevan | Head of Performance

Brendan Keane | Men’s High Performance Pathways Manager

Shawn Pittman | USA Eagles Forwards Coach

Todd Thornley | Head Coach – USA Men’s U23s

Elvis Sevealii | Assistant Coach – USA Men’s U23s

Liam Gardiner | Performance Analyst – USA Men’s U23s

Kyle Sumsion | Head Coach – USA Men’s U20s

Colton Cariaga | Assistant Coach – USA Men’s U20s

Phil Terrigno | Performance Analyst – USA Men’s U20s

Dom Wareing | Head Coach – USA Men’s U18s

Ollie Kilifi | Assistant Coach – USA Men’s U18s

Ethan Pougnet | Performance Analyst – USA Men’s U18s

Janie Kluempers | Athletic Trainer

Josh Werk | Athletic Trainer/ Strength and Conditioning

Men’s Winter Camp 2021 Roster (U18, U20, U23)

(U18, U20, U23)

Michael Amberg, United States Military Academy at West Point, U23

Brendan Amiatu-Tanoi, Alaska Youth Rugby, U18

Sone Aupiu, Belmont Shore, U18

Chris Aurich, Clemson University, U23

Dante Bandoni, Arkansas State, U23

Deacon Behnam, Penn State, U20

Judd Berman, San Diego Mustangs, U18

Dominic Besag, Danville Oaks, U18

Christopher Biagi, Back Bay, U18

Orrin Bizer, Life University, U23

Daniel Bray, UC Santa Barbara, U20

Jacob Broselle, University of Arizona, U20

Jack Brown, University of Arizona, U20

Ian Bullock, Germantown, U18

Padraic Casey, San Francisco Golden Gate, U18

Isaiah Caver, Herriman High School, U18

Owen Clarke, Staples HS, U20

Oliver Cline, Saint Peter’s School, NZ, U18

Evan Conlon, Lindenwood University, U23

Tomas Edmeades, Vienna, VA, U18

Riley Elliott, San Diego Mustangs, U18

George Engels, Staples HS, U18

Andrew Farrington, Central Washington University, U20

Shane Fata, Newbridge College, IRE, U20

Maika Finau, Kahului Warriors, U18

Dylan Fortune, Cathedral Catholic High School, U18

Ernest Freeman, University of Arizona, U20

Kyle Fulton, University of Arizona, U23

Matthew Gelhaus, Kutztown University, U23

Michael Ging, Rockaway Rugby Football Club, U18

Nathan Gould, United States Military Academy at West Point, U20

Collin Grosse, United States Military Academy at West Point, U23

Louis Gryspeerdt, Old Glory DC Academy, U23

Jonathan Haley, United States Military Academy at West Point, U23

Thomas Hannon, Royal Irish, U20

Nick Hardrict II, Lindenwood University, U20

Brandon Harvey, Cardiff Metropolitan University, U20

Doyle Hedgepeth, Queens University, U23

Ethan Howard, Davenport University, U23

Mosese Kauvaka, Utah Valley University, U23

Kaipono Kayoshi, Saint Mary’s College of California, U23

Karl Keane, Saint Mary’s College of California, U23

Riley LaDuque, United States Air Force Academy, U23

William Laino, United States Military Academy at West Point, U20

Spencer Layne, Carlsbad Thunder, U18

Luke Leddy, Eastside Lions Youth Rugby Club, U18

Nathan Leff, JSerra Catholic HS, U18

Dylan Liskey, Vienna, VA, U18

Calvin Liulamaga, Central Washington University, U23

Chance Loudenback, Seattle Vikings RFC, U18

Gabe Mahuinga, Brigham Young University, U23

Alejandro Martinez Tapia, Lindenwood University, U20

Sy Mendenhall, St. Bonaventure University, U20

Finlay Mitchell, Charlotte Cardinals Rugby Club, U18

Hunter Modlin, Saint Mary’s College of California, U20

Christiaan Mosconi, United States Military Academy at West Point, U23

Braemar Murray, Sedberg School, UK, U18

Siaosi Nauer, Lindenwood University, U20

Jeremiah Noaese, Tacoma, WA, U20

Sean Nolan, Davenport University, U23

George OíBrien, University of Arizona, U20

John O’Toole, Penn State, U23

Roan OConnell, San Francisco Golden Gate, U18

Gottlieb Opperman, University of Notre Dame, U23

Charles Overton, Penn State, U23

Penisoni Panuve, Kahului Warriors, U20

Liam Parker, Carlsbad Thunder, U18

Alexander Patolo-Aumua, San Diego Legion Academy, U20

Lucas Pattinson, United States Military Academy at West Point, U20

Julian Roberts, Life University, U23

Trenton Rogers, Kutztown University, U23

Rand Santos, Life West/International School of Manila, U18

Reed Santos, Babson College, U23

Ryan Santos, Harvard University, U23

Dalton Slaughter, University of Arizona, U20

Corbin Smith, Fairfield Rugby Club, U18

Seth Smith, West Houston Lions, U18

Vladislav SOTNIKOV, Lindenwood University, U20

Riordan Sweet, Naples Hammerhead Youth Rugby, U18

Caden Syddall, Herriman High School, U20

Tavius Sykora-Matthess, Iowa Central Community College, U23

Jackson Tankersley, Gonzaga College High School, U18

William Tenney III, Brigham Young University, U23

Chad Tinney, Lindenwood University, U20

Aisake Tukuafu, Herriman High School, U20

Colin Turner, Davenport University, U23

Eduan Van Heerden, Lindenwood University, U20

Ethan Van Tonder, Grand Canyon University, U20

Tiai Vavao, Central Washington University, U20

Quinn Vorster, Wando High School, U18

Thomas Wagner, San Diego Mustangs, U18

Asher Webb, Lindenwood University, U20

Logan Weidner, Brive, FRA, U20

William Whiteside, Lindenwood University, U23

Larry Williams, United States Military Academy at West Point, U23

Solomon Williams, Carlsbad Thunder, U18

Maxime Wilson, Rugby HTX, U23

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