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Fee To Coach U18 7s, Cariaga Takes On U23s

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Fee To Coach U18 7s, Cariaga Takes On U23s

David Barpal photo.

USA Rugby has named head coaches David Fee and Colton Cariaga to coach USA Rugby’s Men’s Under-18 and Under-23 Sevens teams.

Fee has been embedded in the high performance pathway for many years, both as a coach and an Eagle. Capped with the Men’s National Team XVs in 2002, Fee went on to make 28 test appearances and compete in Rugby World Cup 2003.

As a sevens player, he logged 10 tournaments in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and appeared in Rugby World Cup Sevens 2005.

Alongside his playing experience, Fee has held coaching roles at Indiana University and Brother Rice High School. He led Indiana to a 2017 semifinal appearance in Sevens and Brother Rice to a Tier 2 National Championship in 2013. In the last two years, Fee was part of the support staff for the 2018 Boys Youth Olympic Team as well as the 2019 Men’s Pan Am Games team.

Taking over for Steve Lewis, Cariaga is an accomplished collegiate coach for Life University. Not only has he led the program to two D1A National Championships in 2018 and 2019, he’s seen three of his players become Eagles in Alex Maughan, Cody Melphy and Harley Wheeler, with another 28 earning All-American honors.

A former USA Falcon and Collegiate All-American himself, Cariaga brings valuable experience to guide the next generation of U23 players.

"I am incredibly excited to lead this program, to have a direct impact on our Boys U18 Sevens will be both challenging and rewarding," said Fee. “The more opportunities to allow these young men to compete in high pressure/high performance environments and competitions will be incredibly valuable for their development, both now and in the future. There are so many in the American youth landscape who have done an outstanding job of identifying talent and I look forward to working with all of them."

“I’m honored and excited to take on this role," said Cariaga. "Most ambitious young rugby players have the dream of representing their country and historically this team has been a stepping stone to the Eagles. I look forward to examining the best talent at the U23 level, providing a comprehensive experience for the athletes and preparing a team to compete at the highest level possible.”

“I’d like to thank coach Steve Lewis for his time and commitment to the U23 program," chimed in JD STephenson, General Manager of National Team Pathways. "Coach Lewis laid a foundation for continued success which this new cycle will follow. Both Coach Cariaga and Coach Fee have extensive domestic and international coaching backgrounds working with our nation’s best players. We’re excited to have them be a part of our pathways programme and help us discover, develop and inspire tomorrow’s Eagles.”

For more questions about USA Rugby’s Junior National Teams, contact JD Stephenson - General Manager of High Performance Pathways at jstephenson@usa.rugby.