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USA U19s Set to Face Canada

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USA U19s Set to Face Canada

Karen Odeh one of the many who excelled for the HS All Americans this past summer. Allison Bradfield photo.

As reported on Goff Rugby Report this past weekend (Canada U19s to Play USA U19s), the Canada U19 Men's team will face a USA U19 team for two games around New Year's Day.

The USA U19 team, dubbed a Junior All American Developmental Team, will include players just graduated from the HS All American rosters, as well as players pushing for spots in the U20s, but who might be a year too young to play without a waiver. The team is being coached by the USA U20 coaching staff.

"This assembly is not only a great stop-gap for High School All-Americans preparing for collegiate rugby and young Junior All-Americans hoping to continue their age-grade careers, but builds on the continuity of the High Performance programs in a storied setting with Canada," Head Coach JD Stephenson told USA Rugby's Chad Wise. "The talent level of the country's youth grows year to year, and this under-19 squad will further showcase the camaraderie and passion our young players have to represent their country."

Several of these players, which is heavily West Coast, toured with the HS All Americans to British Columbia in the summer, while others played for the HSAA team in Ontario, Eagle Impact Rugby Academy, and the USA Rugby South.

Goff Rugby Report has profiled several of these players. David Ainuu is already being looked at as a potential senior Eagle spot as a prop. Ruben De Haas has been on the U20 radar even while he was still a HS All American. Ben Broselle was a punishing runner for the HSAA team in BC, while Calvin Gentry was central to the USA Rugby South's victory in the Rugby North America U19 championship over Mexico.

Justin Johnson is a superb leader in the second row, and Nafitalai Maafu a special athlete who can play lock or flanker. Jonas Petrakopoulos is part of the outstanding Royal Irish program and played for the Netherlands U19s. He's a wiry, mobile prop, and combines nicely with the big, powerful Karem Odeh. Patrick Madden, Marcos Young, and Sean Lumkong are part of a cadre of skilled inside backs from strong HS programs.

We have links to some features and articles about the related players below:

USA U19s (Junior All-Americans Developmental) to face Canada U19s
Muhammad Abdullah - Trojans Rugby Club, Ga.
David Ainuu - Liberty Patriots, Wash.
Ben Broselle - Chuckanut Bay High School, Wash.
Ruben De Haas - Little Rock Junior Stormers, Ark.
Sean Dowling - Fort Hunt Warriors, Va.
Li'a Faletogo-Monis - Central Washington University, Wash.
Maanaima Fualaau - Life West, Calif.
Calvin Gentry - Arkansas State University, Ark.
Antonios Grigoriou - University of Arizona, Ariz.
Ryan James - San Diego Young Aztec Warriors, Calif.
Justin Johnson - Life University, Ga.
Tavite Lopeti - Life West, Calif.
Sean Lumkong - Coastal Dragons, Calif.
Nafitalai Maafu - Tempe Old Devils, Ariz. (Bonus video: Nafitalai Maafu HS All American - YouTube)
Patrick Madden - San Diego Young Aztec Warriors, Calif.
Sosefo Mailangi-Ray - Back Bay Sharks, Calif.
William Mailau - Peninsula Green High School, Calif.
Conor McManus - Fort Hunt Warriors, Va.
Jack Miller - University of Colorado, Colo.
Jeremy Ockomichalak - Santa Monica Dolphins, Calif.
Karem Odeh - Life University, Ga.
Conner Pederson - Eastside, Wash.
Quinn Perry - Santa Monica Dolphins, Calif.
Jonas Petrakopoulos - Royal Irish, Ind.
Kelsin Pupunu - University of Utah, Utah
Campbell Robinson - Arkansas State University, Ark.
Joseph Rusert-Cuddy - Palmer High School Terrors, Colo.
Joshua Schnell - Katy Barbarians, Texas
Dillon Shotwell - Texas State University, Texas
Isaia Taotua - Danville Oaks, Cslif.
William Waguespack - University of Louisiana, Lafayette, La.
Jack Walsh
Bailey Wilson - United Varsity Rugby, Utah
Marcos Young - Key Biscayne Rats, Fla.

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans Developmental Team | Coaching Staff
JD Stephenson - Head Coach
Michael Engelbrecht - Defense Coach
Shawn Pittman - Forwards Coach
Justin Goonan - Head of Performance
James Walton - Video Analyst
Jimmy Harrison - Manager & Video Analyst
Rob Randell
Sean Dowling
Britney Schenck - Trainer