USA Rugby announces new Girls High School All-American program

BOULDER, Colo. - USA Rugby announced Friday its first official USA Rugby Girls High School All-American team, which will be sponsored by Serevi Rugby.

Joining six other USA Rugby age-grade All-American sides, including the Boys High School All-Americans, the GHSAAs will allow for comprehensive opportunities for young, female rugby players to be identified through the USA Rugby High Performance pathway.

Athletes will progress from the GHSAAs through to the AIG Women's Junior All-Americans, the AIG Women's Collegiate All-Americans, and then into USA Rugby's Olympic Development Academy program to earn a spot with the Eagles in 15s and sevens, where they will compete in Rugby World Cups and Olympics.

A leading provider of on-field programming and conditioning for players and coaches hoping to make an impact at all levels of rugby in the United States, Serevi's support of the GHSAAs will provide equitable opportunities to young women to compete in elite tournaments around the world through both the 15s and sevens version of the game.

"Providing competitive, on-field experiences for the girls fills in one of the missing pieces of the women's pathway," USA Rugby National High Performance Manager Billy Millard said. "The more elite game opportunities we can give young players, the better off we'll be in future World Cups and Olympics. We are absolutely supportive of Serevi's interest and backing of the women's game."

The GHSAAs will make their first appearance at the 2015 Las Vegas Invitational, an ancillary tournament held alongside the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series stop in Nevada Feb. 12-14, 2015. Girls from the 2014 Stars and Stripes Camp and the Nanjing 2014 Summer Youth Olympic Games will be selected to two teams to compete in the rugby sevens tournament.

USA Rugby's plans for the GHSAAs includes a to-be-announced 15s international competition before the end of the 2015 calendar year and participation in multiple international game-play opportunities within 18 months. An athlete's future selection will be based, first and foremost, on performances in the USA Rugby competitive pathway: playing well for one's high school team, performing at a Regional All-Star Tournament, and being a stand-out player at the annual USA Rugby Stars and Stripes Camp. Supplemental opportunities for identification, exposure, and experience are available through the Serevi system of high-performance training clinics and residency camps.

"We are excited to have selected Mollie McCarthy as our GHSAA head coach to push the program forward and will be looking to add additional coaches to the program in the future," USA Rugby National Sevens Director Alex Magleby said.

McCarthy, the current head coach of the University of Colorado Women's Rugby team and former USA Rugby coach development manager, has coached and identified potential GHSAAs at the first two Stars and Stripes Camps in Greeley, Colo.

"Serevi's support of USA Rugby's Girls High School All Americans immediately opens the doors for the top young female players in our country to get on the field together to continue their development and compete against the best," McCarthy said. "This is a huge step in the ongoing evolution of the women's game here in our country."

"We're passionate about growing the game of rugby in this country, and for us that includes providing equal opportunities for development to young women and young men," Serevi Rugby Co-Founder Julie Prentice said. "We're deeply committed to providing young women a pathway to allow the game to take them wherever they want to go in life; whether that is to college, the World Cup, or even the Olympics."

About Serevi Rugby®
Headquartered in Seattle, Serevi® is focused on growing the game of rugby in North America and beyond. The official Youth Programming Partner of USA Rugby, Serevi offers on-field programming and off field conditioning for coaches and players through the youth to elite spectrum. It also offers performance and casual rugby apparel to players and fans of the sport. For more information on Serevi Rugby, including upcoming player and coach training sessions visit www.serevirugby.com.

About USA Rugby
Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has more than 100,000 active members, with more than 35,000 playing collegiate rugby and 35,000 playing senior club rugby. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts more than 30 national playoff and championship events each year as a service to its members. In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced Rugby Sevens (the seven-a-side version of the game) will appear in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Visit www.usarugby.org for more information.

USA Rugby is now Work For It rugby.