Goff Rugby Twitter     Goff Rugby Facebook

USRF Donations Fuel Damian Morley Dream at Stellenbosch Academy

irish rugby tours

USRF Donations Fuel Damian Morley Dream at Stellenbosch Academy

Damian Morley sends the ball out to the backs while playing for Xavier HS in 2019. Photo David Hughes.

We provide opportunities for promising players to improve their skills through scholarships, awards, and Pathways Grants for domestic and international player development.

The Graham Downes Development Grants and Pathways to Excellence High-Performance Grants provide promising athletes the opportunity to grow as players, on and off the pitch, at domestic and international rugby academies.

With generous support from the Graham Downes Development Fund and the Pathways to Excellence Fund, U.S. U18s player Damian Morley spent over three months playing rugby at the world-renowned Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in Stellenbosch, South Africa. 

Within his short but promising rugby career, Damian has shown an outstanding talent for the sport. After transferring to Xavier High School, known for its tradition of rugby excellence, Damian was accepted onto the U.S. U18s. He then received this opportunity to hone his skills at Stellenbosch. From the start of his time at Xavier he was being identified as a player to watch.

"I'd say the tradition of [Xavier's] rugby excellence lies in the motto of Xavier Rugby—brotherhood, rugby, excellent," Morley told US Rugby Foundation President Brian Vizard in their With You! podcast interview. "The coaches instil those values within the players at a pretty young age, freshman year, so by the time that they're pushing up to the varsity ranks, those are given." 

Hear more from Morley in the podcast here:

Playing at Stellenbosch was an unforgettable experience for Morley.

"One thing that's so awesome that I only really realized when I got here was the Stellenbosch Academy was the home of the Springbok 7s, the men's team, as well as the Springbok Women's 15s team," Morley told Vizard. "So, you're walking up to breakfast at 7 in the morning and you've got all these world-class athletes sharing the table with you. As an American kid you're thinking 'whoa, I'm in deep water right now.'" 

It is donations from rugby fans that is crucial to helping players like Damian Morley. Tax-deductible gift, large or small, will enable the Foundation to focus its time, talent, and treasure on the development of the Pathways to Excellence program.

If this is your first gift to the Foundation, the Girton Challenge will triple your gift: Your $1,000 becomes $3,000; your $5,000 becomes $15,000.

To donate through the With You! campaign, go here>>