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Play Rugby Boys Take Elite-Level Step at LVI, NAHS 7s

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Play Rugby Boys Take Elite-Level Step at LVI, NAHS 7s

Play Rugby USA's Community Development Program is set to put two teams - a boys team and a girls team - into the Las Vegas Invitational and the rest of the North American HS 7s elite series.

Play Rugby is based in the New York City area, and the Community Development team draws their players from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, using scouting at various HS games, and talent ID assemblies.

There is about a 50% player return rate from the 2016 NY 7s and the North American Invitational 7s in Salt Lake City. Some players are unable to make the Vegas commitment which allows others from the area a chance to impress and put their hand up for selection for future tournaments. 

"Our philosophy comes down to development," said Head Coach Ryszard Chadwick, "and getting players to the next level. We do this though a game based approach and through focusing on players' strengths."

It's a deep coaching staff, with Chadwick supported by the likes of Joe Kelley, James English,  Evi Ashenbrucker, Karen Feury, Tom Feury, Jurrian Zoeteweij, Phaidra Knight, Nate Augspurger, and Harry Higgins.

This is something of a new situation for Play Rugby , and this is the third tournament of this kind. They played in the NAI 7s, and also got a taste of what the competition will be like at the NY 7s in November, beating Atavus and losing to EIRA NY in overtime in SLC before beating a different EIRA squad later on in New York. Play Rugby USA Academy, a feeder program for the CODP, and Eagle Impact Rugby Academy NY played each other in two games at th U Rugby Bowl Series, too - here's the video of their better performance: https://youtu.be/relVvU8Yx1s

For the boys team, some talented players have emerged within the CODP program. Nate Salter is a natural with a rugby ball and, said Chadwick, "can compete in any environment he is thrown in to. He's a true playmaker who sees the rugby field like a master chess player."

Damon Anderson is a shifty player who has tons of pace. Conner Buckley, mentored by longtime USA scrumhalf Mike Petri, has an excellent pass. 

These are all players to watch in future competitions. For the LVI, they won't be available. Noah Geltman is a superb sidestepper, and Elijah Billips is a player to watch for the future who has been developed excellently by Daniel Guzzino the Play Rugby USA Academy Head Coach. 

Now set to play in the LVI Boys Elite bracket, in the first leg of the new NAHS 7s series, Play Rugby CODP is looking to make that big step, and Chadwick is excited.

"I love the idea of it and we are massively invested in the opportunities," said Chadwick. It's great to have players playing regularly at this level and it will do great things for the USA in the future."