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Men's All Americans to be Named Soon

College Men

Men's All Americans to be Named Soon

These are the 2014 All Americans running on for a game. Josh London photo.

The USA Rugby Men’s Collegiate All Americans will likely be named Thursday or possibly Friday - at least part of the list, anyway.

As has happened in recent years, Head Coach Gavin Hickie and his staff will name an Honors List - which is a list of top rugby players in US colleges - and then later a Touring List - which is a list of US-eligible (or soon-to-be eligible) collegiate rugby players.

The All Americans did not have a camp before the naming of either list, and so the players were selected based on nominations, detailed scouting, and hours of film analysis. 

Hickie told Goff Rugby Report that he was very pleased with the overall skill level - or, more accurately, the skill execution - of the players, and added that more and more players are being looked at.

“I am very excited with what we have,” said Hickie. “It feels like the beginning of a new era and a fresh, exciting approach to rugby in America. We’ve got the high performance data base that had 2,000 players in it year ago and now has 5,000 players in it. Last year we asked for nominations and got 90; this year we got 260. We’re seeing better decision-making from the players, and very good athletes, too.”

The USA Rugby list will draw from about 30 college programs, showing once again that anyone from anywhere can become an All American if he’s good enough. 

The Honors List features players regardless of country of origin, and regardless of whether those players are available for the August tour of Australia.

The tour list will be different, in that USA Rugby wants to invest in potential Eagles for that team - so a player who is not USA-eligible and isn’t on a path (as in, he doesn’t plan to remain in the US after graduation) wouldn’t be likely to be picked. In addition, it’s worth pointing out that some years ago USA Rugby changed its policies with regard to All American touring, and opened up the team to US players who are attending college overseas.

This is basically the Scott LaValla rule (LaValla was the former USA U19 captain who attended Trinity in Dublin and thus wasn’t named an All American until some people raised a stink).

It is certainly possible that players who attend Trinity, or other schools overseas, could find themselves named to the touring squad.

The All Americans will travel to Australia on August 2 and play three games in the next ten days - Darling Downs on August 6, Brothers RFC on August 10, and Queensland Country on August 13. That touring squad could be named relatively soon, also.