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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Junior All-Americans Gather For Latest Assembly

The Junior All-Americans are back in camp as they get ready to play Canada for a spot in the Junior World Rugby Trophy next month in Austin, Texas. The team will assemble on Friday at Lindenwood University, the home of interim head coach JD Stephenson. The squad has been whittled down from the assembly last month and it features a few additional players that weren't able to make that camp.

Some of the biggest names coming into the team include Ben Cima and our Youth Player of the Year Hanco Germishuys. Both were solid for the Junior All-Americans last year and their experience will be counted on this year. As usual, the timing of JWRT qualification and the tournament itself should the JAA's qualify butts up against the college season. For that reason players from traditional powerhouse schools like BYU, Cal, Central Washington, and St. Mary's aren't represented.

Take the jump to read more.
"The interim work between assemblies has focused on player and team development of those identified in the process and the implementation of our systems, policies, and practices, of which the foundation was laid in the December Camp," Stephenson said in a U.S.A. Rugby press release. "This has been carried out through weekly Skype calls, email and phone discussions with unit-specific groups, and the availability of our online resources to the playing group as a whole."

"When we discuss the buy-in of players and coaches alike to the All-American program, those involved understand the strain that the absence from school can place on their academics and their respective rugby program's cohesion," Stephenson said. "In the two upcoming assemblies, we have been sure to build in study halls and utilize tutors for the players to ease the burden on their academics and try not to overwhelm them mentally during the assembly process to avoid player burnout when they head back to their program.

"We are extremely grateful to the programs that assist in the identification process of players and put forward players. We hope that we can continue to add value to that player through continued development on and off the pitch and the ability to represent their country at the highest age-grade level."

Malon Al-JibooriLindenwood UniversityFlanker
Steven BranhamUniversity of ArizonaHooker
Benjamin CimaUniversity of Maryland, Men, 15sFly half
Sean ColemanUniversity of ArizonaLock
Brian CollinsFlanker
Connor CudebackCal Poly State University, Men, 15sProp
Ruben de HaasLittle Rock Junior StormersScrum half
Brennan FalconLouisiana State UniversityFlanker
Jacobus GermishuysGlendale RaptorsFlanker
Rodney GilesFly half
Zach HaleyMetropolisHooker
Brian HannonUniversity of ArizonaFly half
Dan HostetlerUniversity of Cardiff, WalesHooker
Jihad KhabirAmerican International CollegeFly half
Nick KwasniewskiGrand Canyon UniversityProp
Siaso MahoniLife WestLock
Deion MikesellLindenwood UniversityWing
Blake NicholasSacramento RugbyLock
Mason PedersenUniversity of ArizonaProp
Darien PickettGrand Canyon UniversityProp
Hayden PotgieterSanta Barbara City CollegeFly half
Roman SalanoaKahuku High SchoolProp
Will Ben SimsTrinity College DublinCenter
Tyler SousleyUniversity of ArizonaWing
Austin TaefuTempe Old DevilsScrum half
Veuki TaumefolauLas Vegas IrishNumber 8
Lorenzo ThomasLindenwood UniversityCenter
Joeli TikoisuvaMetropolisWing
Duncan Van SchalkwykLife UniversityFly half
Joshua WarnockPennisula GreenLock
Chance WenglewskiLindenwood UniversityProp
Mitchell WilsonLife UniversityFull back
Will FifitaRocky Mountain Rebels Rugby 7sCenter

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