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GLENDALE, CO. - In an effort to expose the next generation of elite athletes to national selection, USA Rugby will host a Men's Collegiate All-American Selection Camp this Aug. 9-17. Set to take place at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO, the event will bring together 100 of the best college athletes for training and exhibition games under the direction of National Team and Major League Rugby coaches.
At the conclusion of the week, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team All-Americans will be named while all athletes will be evaluated for the October 2018 Americas Pacific Challenge with the Men's Selects (XVs). Athletes who have no remaining eligibility will also be evaluated for post-graduation contracts with Major League Rugby.
"The Men's Collegiate All-American program has has historically been a major contributor of talent to the Men's National Team," says General Manager of Men's 15s Programs, Dave Hodges. "We are looking forward to bringing this year's collegiate talent into Glendale and evaluating them with the goal of becoming Men's Collegiate All-Americans and future Eagles."
"The City of Glendale has long been committed to the growth of rugby in the United States," said Linda Cassaday, Deputy City Manager. "Infinity Park was created to support the training and development of these future Eagles, and to promote the development of professional rugby in this country, so we are thrilled to be hosting this camp."
To be considered for the 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American Selection Camp, coaches and conference commissioners are evaluating athletes on the following criteria:
- Ability to confidently represent the United States well on and off the field of play
- Be easily recognized by peers and coaches as one of the best in their position -- both in playing actions and behaviors -- on a national level
- Meet the basic minimum physical requirements of a representative player
- Possess a strong will to better himself and those around him
Currently, representatives from NSCRO, DII, D1AA, and D1A conferences are submitting player recommendation forms, after which conferences will vote on which athletes should be named as All-American candidates. Candidates will then be evaluated within their respective region -- either East or West -- where 50 players from each region will be selected to form the Top 100 All-American invite list.
The Top 100 All-Americans will then travel to Glendale, CO on August 9th to participate in rigorous testing, training and trial games. The first two days will be spent in a high performance training environment, with trial games on the third day serving as a filtering process where 30 athletes from the original 100 will be chosen to stay on in preparation for a match with the Glendale Raptors on August 17th.
The players who remain in camp will spend the next four days training and meeting with coaches one-on-one. The final day will feature an exhibition match between the Glendale Raptors of Major League Rugby and the 30-man Men's Collegiate All-American squad. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team Men's Collegiate All-Americans will be selected following the contest with the Raptors.
The final invite list for the 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American Selection Camp will be completed in July, with the program running from August 9-17th at Infinity Park. Select training and trial games will also be covered across USA Rugby's digital and social media platforms.
The experience will give athletes a series of unique face-to-face interactions with professional and national team coaches and staff throughout the trial experience.