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North American Teams Land In Dubai

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North American Teams Land In Dubai

The NA Lions train in front of the Dubai skyline. Allison Bradfield photo.

The North American Lions and the North American Barbarians are getting set to play in the U19 International bracket in the Dubai 7s starting Thursday.

Allison Bradfield photos.

This is one of the most demanding tournaments a young team can play in and features squads from all over the world, with several from South Africa.

Both teams are made up of USA and Canadian players hoping to showcase their talents on a wider stage.

The North American Lions U19 teams is composed of players from both the United States and Canada primarily selected from the Core Four programs of the NAHS 7s Series that participated in the NAI7's in Utah this past summer.

With players and staff coming from across North America, one of the obstacles to overcome will be quickly establishing a strong team dynamic, let alone providing a competition structure, and system to play. One of the benefits is that most of the players have represented the US and Canada at the age grade level.

NA Lions Prepare For Dubai

Coach Greg Schor of Atlantis, speaks about the impressive make-up of this squad and how they will need to manage themselves in order to perform as a team, “In our forwards, we have a real good combination of size, athleticism and ball winners. While our halfbacks are very skillful with very good decision-making abilities allowing them to get the ball to some exceptional finishers. Getting them to gel in that short of a time will have to come from them buying into the team pattern and not playing as individuals,” said Schor.


North American Barbarians Ready For Dubai


Due to the distance traveled and obvious costs associated with such a campaign, the squad has only train one day to train and prepare together before the tournament starts. Fortunately most of the players come from programs that have similar patterns and philosophies.

“This is an amazing opportunity for all of us to come together and perform under one banner," said Upright Rugby Coach Tyler Leggatt. "Atlantis, EIRA, Utah and Upright routinely finish within the top five in the NAHS 7s events and it is evident that each of us share a similar perspective on 7s. The athletes coming from these programs are both capable and adaptable… I can’t wait to see the boys have a go.”

Tour organizer Michael Cressler (Utah Lions) added that character may well be what sees the team through.

“The real strength of this squad that will be the character of the players," said Cressler. "These young men are the Captains and leaders of their teams and clubs at home. They are all great athletes and all have a very strong pedigree of rugby but it is their character and leadership that really distinguishes them from other players.”


NA Lions Roster      
Name Position Organization Birth Year
Chase Schor Haskin Prop/Hook Atlantis 1999
Mike Weir Fly Half Atlantis 2000
Jesse Capriotti Wing Atlantis 2000
Bill Kaisa Saluone Prop/ Center Utah 1999
Kekoa "Tai" Kauwe Flyhalf / Hooker Utah 1998
Eric Naposki Flyhalf EIRA 1999
Patrick Madden Scrumhalf EIRA 1998
Ryan James Wing EIRA 1999
Jack Bradfield Prop EIRA 1998
Ethan Hager Wing/Fetcher Upright 1998
Mostyn Findlay Hook/Centre Upright 1998
Kevin Vertkas Prop/Wing Upright 1998
Robert Figley* Prop/ Center Atlantis 1999
John Grande IV* Wing/ Prop Utah 2000
*= Alternates