BOULDER, Colo. — USA Rugby is delighted to announce today that Aircraft Charter Solutions has extended its sponsorship of Boy’s High School All-American team through 2016. This will enable the High School All-Americans to expand their program of international competition for both 7s and 15s rugby.
The sponsorship will help develop today’s youth players and prepare them for the highest level of competition in the world. A number of current HSAAs could very well be in the Men’s National Team mix for the 2015 Rugby World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games.
“Aircraft Charter Solutions has a passion for rugby and wants to help USA Rugby build a strong 7s and 15s program,” said Nigel Melville USA Rugby Chief Executive. “Their support will enable us to expand our talent identification programs and increase the number of international rugby opportunities for our elite high school 7s and 15s players.
Aircraft Charter Solutions will also sponsor the Eagle Academy, a project focusing on the development of youth and high school players. High School All-American coach, Salty Thompson, will lead the Academy. Thompson will travel around the country scouting and developing players, ultimately preparing them to advance through the high performance pathway.
Earlier this month, the HSAAs fielded two 7s teams at the 2012 Las Vegas Invitational. One team won the Plate and the other made the Cup final. losing 19-5 to British Columbia.
The Las Vegas experience will provide the foundation for a robust touring schedule made possible by the Aircraft Charter Solution sponsorship. Last year the HSAAs went to South Africa and in 2012 the U.K. and South America are the destinations.
The HSAAs begin their summer schedule in the U.K., competing in the open division of the England Schools Sevens Championships in London.
The following week the HSAA Under-17s side will enter a 15s side into the Wellington College International Festival where they will take on Wales, England North, and France.
The highlight of the 2012 season will be a five-game summer tour to South America starting in mid-July. Two matches against Chile and two against Uruguay will lead up to the final match against an Argentina Select Side.
The pool of 30 players will assemble on July 10 to prepare for the Tour.
Recruitment for both the HSAA Varsity (predominantly high school seniors and juniors) and Junior Varsity (Under-17s, freshmen and sophomores born in 1995 and 1996) is ongoing. The HSAA 2011 Winter Camp in Arizona brought in 74 players and produced a nucleus to build upon, however the summer recruitment in 2011 identified twice as many players to consider for possible representative honors.
“Obviously we haven’t seen all of the best players in the country at this stage. The HSAA staff and scouts are actively engaged in finding the best through direct scouting, reviewing coach referrals and working with the state-based rugby organizations to better identify and develop future Eagles,” said Thompson.
HSAA 2012 SCHEDULE
March 24-31 | England Schools Sevens | London
April 1-14 Wellington College Tournament | Crowthorne, U.K.
April 7 | USA | USA HSAAs U17s v Wales U16s
April 10 | USA USA HSAAs U17s v England North U16s
April 13 | USA USA HSAAs U17s v England North U16s
July 6-10 | HSAA Summer Camp
July 11-30 | HSAAs Varsity Tour to South America (Venues TBD)
July 16 | USA HSAAs v Chile U18s
July 18 | USA HSAAs v Chile U18s
July 21 | USA HSAAs v Uruguay U18s
July 25 | USA HSAAs v Uruguay U18s
July 28 | USA HSAAs v Argentina Select
Dec 26-31 | Winter Camp