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A Closer Look at NAI 7s Pools

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A Closer Look at NAI 7s Pools

Photo Alex Goff.

The NAI 7s pools and lineup of teams are (pretty much) set for the 2022 tournament to be played July 22-23 in Salt Lake City.

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Here's the list, with some comments:

U23 Women

Badger Academy
Rhinos Rugby
TOA
Utah County
Utah Lions

These teams all play round-robin and then a final. No separate pools. These are all strong teams, but keep an eye on Rhinos, which has shown itself to be able to front-up in any bracket.

U23 Men

Pool 1
Silicon Valley
TOA
Valley Wallabies

Pool 2
Antelope
Mustangs
Rhinos Rugby

Pool 3
East Rugby
Utah Valley University
Washington Academy of Rugby

WAR has built from a little-known spinoff program to a really effective select-side team at various ages. They have good backing and make sure players who can't afford to travel can still travel. 

U18 Boys Elite

Pool 1
Atlantis Teal
Pioneer 7s
Rebel Rugby Academy
Washington Academy of Rugby

Pool 2
Berks County
Cali-U East
Gorilla Rugby
Layton Christian Academy

Pool 3
Atlantis Black
Kahuku
Rhinos Academy
Utah Warriors

Atlantis fields two teams and usually one is a bit more experienced than the other The Atlantis Teal team is probably the more experienced, but we won't know for sure until they show up. Cali-U East is a group of players from Utah and California who all played together in Hawaii. Rhinos Academy is expected to be very strong, while we noted last year that Pioneer 7s is a great program that gives all-star playing chances to young players who often have a tough time finding them.

Berks County keeps winning 7s tournaments so watch them.

Girls U18

Pool 1
Desert Warriors
Eagle Lady Mustangs
Pleasanton Lady Cavaliers
Rhinos Academy

Pool 2
Bitterroot Koa Wahines
Rocky Mountain 
Sacramento Harlequins
The Rugby Advantage

Pool 3
Lamorinda
Mana Performance
Pasefika Rugby Hawaii
Pioneer 7s

Pool 4
Atlantis
Majestics
Rugby Colorado Academy
San Mateo Wolverines

Pool 5
Badger Rugby Academy
Provo/Wasatch
Rush Rugby
Valkyrie NorCal

Pool 6
Badger Rugby Academy
Rock Rugby Academy
Sac PAL Amazons
Utah Cannibals

So many good teams here. Sac PAL, Badger, Atlantis, Pioneer. Some of the teams that play regularly together (Majestics, Sac PAL) will bring a special unity to the effort. 

Boys U18

Pool 1
Belmont Shore
Mountain Ridge
South Texas Armadillos
TOA

Pool 2
Kona Royals
Liberty Rugby
Rebel Rugby Academy
San Mateo Wolverines

Pool 3
Arizona Bobcats
New Mexico Desert Warriors
Pioneer 7s
Rhinos Academy

Pool 4
Owyhee HS
Poly United Rugby
Rock Rugby Academy
USA Rugby South Panther Academy

Pool 5
Badger Rugby Academy
Kansas City Blues 7s Academy
Sac PAL Spartans
Washington Academy of Rugby

We are very interested to see this KC Blues Academy team. There are several teams from regions that are not especially deeps, such as Arizona and New Mexico, that get a chance to play. Keep an eye on Belmont Shore, USA South, Washington Academy of Rugby, and San Mateo.

Watch the NAI 7s LIVE July 22-23 on FloRugby - Sign up here and help support Goff Rugby Report at the same time>> 

Girls U16

Pool 1
Belmont Shore
Rocky Mountain
Sac PAL Amazons
Singapore Valkyries

Pool 2
Atlantis
Guam Rugby Club Barbarians
Mana Performance
South Bay Spartans

Pool 3
Pasefika Hawaii
Rhinos
Brighton
Arizona Bobcats

Atlantis is a favorite, and so is Belmont Shore and Rhinos. We're happy to see Guam has expended to bringing a girls team. Singapore is a wild card. But the teams we haven't named yet—Sacramento, South Bay, Rocky Mountain, and Mana—all play well together, all are talented, and all are physical.

U16 Boys-Tier I

Pool 1
Belmont Shore
Layton Christian Academy
TOA Rugby
Tampa Bay Stingrays

Pool 2
Provo Steelers
Rebel Rugby Academy
Atlantis

Pool 3
Caveman Rugby
F5 Rugby
Gorilla Rugby
Rhinos Rugby Academy

Pool 4
Kaji
Olympus
San Mateo
USA South Panther Academy

There are some names fans won't know too well. Kaji is out of Southern California; F5 is out of Oklahoma; Caveman is a team from Utah teams. Belmont Shore, USA South, Rhinos, and Atlantis are probably favored but we're interested to see how Gorilla out of Texas does, and Tampa Bay is a nice dark horse.

U16 Boys-Tier II

Pool 1
Guam Rugby Club Barbarians
South Davis
TOA 2
USA Rugby South Panther Academy

Pool 2
Arizona Bobcats
Liberty
Mother Lode
Mountain Ridge

Pool 3
Herriman
New Mexico Desert Warriors
Owyhee HS
Rhinos Academy Development

Happy to see Guam return. Some local teams and other stand-alone teams combined with development teams for select sides.

Girls U14

Pool 1
Belmont Shore
Lady Cavemen
Lucky Rugby
Mountain Ridge

Pool 2
Pioneer 7s
Rocky Mountain
Sac PAL Amazons
USA West Rugby

Pool 3
Rhinos Academy
Eagle Lady Mustangs
Majestics

Pool 4
Atlantis
Provo Steelers
Los Al Tribe

Quick note - the "Lady" addition to the team names comes from the teams themselves, not us. Belmont Shore is definitely a favorite here. Idaho's Rocky Mountain has an excellent 7s pedigree. The USA West team is from Colorado with players coming from the Denver area, Colorado Springs, and Grand Junction. The program has toured to Monaco (where they met the Prince and Princess) and is coached by former Springbok Andre Snyman and those U12s that toured Monaco are now of age to play as a U14 team.

Boys U14-Tier I

Pool 1
Belmont Shore
Caveman Rugby
Orem Zombies
San Mateo Wolverines

Pool 2
Atlantis
Kaji
Rhinos Rugby Academy
Salt Lake Valley Rhinos

Some high-level talent among these kids. Atlantis and Belmont Shore? Yeah, they are certainly favorites. Rhinos? For sure. These other teams are nicely poised to shock someone.

Boys U14-Tier II

Pool 1
Broncos Rugby Club
Red Mountain
USA Rugby South Panther Academy
Woodlands

Pool 2
New Mexico Desert Warriors
Rhinos Rugby Academy
South Davis
(One more expected)

Pool 3
Gorilla Rugby
Layton Christian Academy
Poly United
(One more expected)

As in U16 Tier II, we've got a mix of development-level academy teams and clubs that are fielding their regular sides. 

U12 Coed

5785
Belmont Shore
Los Al Tribe
Orem Zombies
Rhinos Academy
Toko Malosi
USA West Rugby

We mentioned the USA West program above. What is great about this bracket is that in many tournaments, youth brackets like this are almost entirely local. But here, while Orem and Toko Malosi are local, the rest are not. USA West is from Colorado; 5785 brings in players from Colorado and other areas; and Los Al and Rhinos are out of California. This is great to see these teams travel to play in a challenging tournament like this.

Watch the NAI 7s LIVE July 22-23 on FloRugby - Sign up here and help support Goff Rugby Report at the same time>>