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USA Rugby South Picks Squad For RAN Men's U19s

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USA Rugby South Picks Squad For RAN Men's U19s

USA South in action in 2015. Daniel Pretorius photo.

The USA Rugby South Panthers have named their squad to play in the Rugby Americas North Men's U19 championship to be held in Barbados this month.

The tournament is held among U19 national teams in North American and the Caribbean. However, for many years now USA Rugby has sent a USA South team to this event, reasoning (correctly), that many competitors would struggle against a full USA team. This compromise has worked superbly, with the South program providing important international competition for players who have gone on to succeed in the game as they grow older. 

The South has won this tournament before but Mexico, which hosted last year, is the defending champion. With the tournament in Barbados this year, interest is high and the team looks strong. The players are drawn from around the South, although some may attend northern colleges. Two players not considered to be from the South, Julian Skinner and Luke Hawk from Avon HS in Indiana, attended the South RCT and the Panthers camps and with that commitment were chosen.

"We've got a really fit, mobile team," said Head Coach Mark Williams. "Last year I think we were a bit too heavy and with the heat and the altitude in Mexico City we struggled. We need props who can get around the field."

With some USA South talent off with the HS All Americans and Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, Williams has had to rely on the depth of the region and it has stepped up. He said consistent fitness testing and constant communication has helped prepare this team.

The RAN U19s tournament will be in a different format this year. In previous years the tournament has been a series of full games every few days. But the tournament has been compacted now, with the tournament running over four days. Teams play two shortened games (20-minute halves) on July 18, and one more shortened pool game on July 19. Then the teams are seeded for the semis, and play a shortened semifinal on the same day.

Teams then get a day off before playing full-length final games to determine the champion and all the other placements on July 21.

Teams involved are: USA Rugby South, Mexico, Jamaica, Cayman, Trinidad & Tobago, Bermuda, Barbados, and Cayman.

The games will be held at the Bellevue Polo Club in Brodgetown, Barbados.



USA South U19 Panthers For RAN Championships

First Name Last Name Rugby Team City State
Liam Andersen Iona College Mt.Tabor NJ
Ethyn Baker Charlotte Tigers Matthews NC
Koby Baker Raleigh Redhawks Raleigh NC
Grant Caldwell University of Memphis Germantown TN
Kai Carlberg University of Kentucky Pleasant Plains IL
Johnny Carmichael South Greenville Rugby Simpsonville SC
Luke Davies University of Tennessee Weston CT
Alex Dillard Sumner County Goodlettsville TN
Matt Freeman Gonzaga HS Silver Spring MD
Jalen Greatrex MTSU Murfreesboro TN
Preston Hammerschmidt Lindenwood University Winfield IL
luke hawk Avon HS Avon IN
Garrett Hill Clayton Copperheads Clayton NC
Jaydon Hudson University of Kentucky Fishers IN
Jackson King Furman Paladins Saint Simons Island GA
Dre Mejicanos Furman University Orlando FL
Vince Meymandi Raleigh RedHawks Raleigh NC
Reed Pederson Charlotte Catholic HS Charlotte NC
Dougie Price Iona College Palm Beach FL
Jaccob Schroeder Francis Howell Force St. Peter’s MO
Joshua Schwartz Wizards Rugby Club Wellington FL
Jullian Skinner Avon HS Indianapolis IN
Jack van Vliet Wando HS Mount Pleasant SC
Matthew Wigley University of Memphis Memphis TN
Mark Williams Head Coach    
John Watson Forwards Coach    
Jody Hensley Backs Coach    
Luis Rodas Trainer    
Theresa Williams Management