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Coaches for Youth Olympics Named

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Coaches for Youth Olympics Named

BOULDER, Colo. – USA Rugby announced Thursday the coaches for the boys and girls rugby sevens teams to compete in the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, Aug. 17-20.

Ben Gollings, the all-time leading points scorer on the IRB Sevens World Series and former head coach of Sri Lanka, will coach the boys team with the help of Salty Thompson, head coach of the USA Rugby Boys High School All-Americans.

“The Youth Olympic athletes will be in very capable hands. Ben, as head coach of the boys team, is obviously a renowned sevens expert and has done good work to date as head of the Serevi Rugby Academy coaching and getting to know young American athletes,” USA Rugby National Development Director for the Men’s Eagles Sevens Alex Magleby said. “It’s also exciting to have Salty as a coach and Team Leader, as he has years of proven success developing high school athletes for future international honors.”

Richie Walker, assistant coach to the Men’s and Women’s Eagles Sevens, will coach the girls team in China. USA Rugby Events Operations Manager Kellie Cavalier will serve as Team Leader.

“We’re excited about seeing Richie’s continued development as he moves into a national head-coaching opportunity,” Magleby said. “He works as an assistant with both of the sevens national teams. These young players will gain from his rugby knowledge and ability to connect the national team systems to the age-grades.”

The United States is one of six countries participating in the second Summer Youth Olympic Games, where Olympic medals for Rugby Sevens will be awarded for the first time. Rugby Sevens will feature on the Olympic Program in 2016 at the Rio Olympic Summer Games.

Each team will consist of 12 players born between Jan. 1, 1996, and Dec. 31, 1997. Athlete Selections for the Youth Olympic Games will be announced in the coming weeks.