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USA Rugby held its first open recruitment camp Saturday, welcoming about 60 players to the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. The watchful eyes of National Team coaches and staff were there to monitor and conduct the event.
The day was broke up into three blocks, with the first being dedicated largely to measurements and tests – notating wingspan, hand size, 40-meter sprint times and yo-yo tests. The second portion was more of a skills assessment, seeing where everyone was with passing, track tackling, game sense and aerial ability, followed by feedback and instruction. The third block was a sped up version of the second, allowing coaches to judge the coachability of the attendees.
7s high performance manager Alex Magleby was pleased with the quality of attendees at the camp. There were a few potential diamonds in the rough coming from the club game, and a bevy of talented crossovers.
“There’s a couple of guys like that from a rugby perspective, and there’s a handful of crossovers who you could absolutely see them being coachable,” said Magleby. “They improved throughout the day, they have the physical tools and the physical ability, but how committed are they to really learning the game and getting into an academy or a high quality club team and really pushing over the next three months to learn the rugby side. Overall, quite impressive.”
Some of the crossovers had NFL, NCAA DI track and football experience. And a few of the camp’s standouts could be invited to the Eagles’ upcoming high performance camp coming up next week. Considering everything, Magleby was pleased with the first event, and optimistic about possibly duplicating it in the future.
“It was quite productive. You can imagine if just two of those guys end up becoming national team players in the short term, by short term three to six months, and if three to five of them increase the athletic pool in the next six to 18 months, it’s been quite successful,” he said.
“If we get more than that, awesome. There was probably a third of the guys in camp that at some stage could compete for a spot in the national team.”