AIG MJAA squad announced for IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014

"It was a good warm up for the Junior World Rugby Trophy, but they know the task ahead against at least three great teams."

BOULDER, Colo. – Twenty-six USA Rugby AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans have been selected to represent the United States at the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014 in Hong Kong, China, April 7-19.

Highlighting the squad is capped Eagle and current Saracens professional Titi Lamositele, who has been made available by the Aviva Premiership club to help the MJAAs regain the Junior World Rugby Trophy.

Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted the tournament in 2012, where the MJAAs defeated Japan in the Final to hoist the hardware. For just the second time since its inception, the MJAAs entered the IRB Junior World Championship in France in 2013, but were relegated to the JWRT with an 0-5 record.

The squad for Hong Kong was chosen after three separate camps since December of last year. Seventy-two players attended the winter camp in Tempe, Ariz., before the roster was whittled down to 42 for the February camp at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif.

In Seattle, Wash., last weekend, the MJAA coaching staff called on 26 players for camp before the final JWRT selections were made. The camp ended with a vigorous scrimmage against Men’s Eagles Assistant Coach Justin Fitzpatrick’s Seattle-OPSB.

“I felt it was a good few days all in all for the MJAAs, which finished with a strong hit out for them,” Fitzpatrick said. “I’m really excited to see how they come together in Hong Kong.”

Two players who attended the Seattle Camp – Zach Bonte and Vili Tolata’u – were with the team at the JWC last year and have also been selected to this year’s JWRT squad.

“The boys stood up to a top American club team and held their own,” MJAA Assistant Coach Luke Gross said. “It was a good warm up for the Junior World Rugby Trophy, but they know the task ahead against at least three great teams.”

The MJAAs are in Pool A with Georgia, Hong Kong and Tonga at the JWRT, while Pool B consists of Canada, Japan, Namibia, and Uruguay. The MJAAs will face the hosts first before finishing pool play with Georgia and Tonga.

Watch the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy on the JWRT website.

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014

Player Position Height (centimeters) Weight (kilograms) Club/School
James Gannon Loose Head 188 102 Spring Hill College
Codi Jones Hooker 183 102 California Maritime Academy
Titi Lamositele Prop 180 116.1 Saracens
Oliver Drew Lock 191 99.8 Bournemouth
Ben Pinkelman Flanker 193 93 Colorado State University
Christian Wiessing Lock 193 104.3 Glendale Raptors
Hanco Germishuys Flanker 188 102 Westside Omaha
Vili Toluta'u Flanker 183 102 Central Washington University
Mike Reid Scrumhalf 178 79.8 USA Rugby High School All-Americans
Ben Cima Flyhalf 185 86.2 Gonzaga College High School
Connor Wallace-Sims Wing 178 80.7 Canterbury RFC
Joe Kelly Center 188 97.5 Pennsylvania State University
Nemia Qoro Center 180 97.5 Penn Green
Seth Halliman Center 188 88.5 Colorado Springs High School
Scott Dean Fullback 180 83.9 Central Washington University
Marshall Godfrey Loose Head 183 111.1 Lindenwood University
Max Roberson Lock 196 104.3 Lindenwood University
Val Lee-Lo Tighthead 185 113.4 Sierra Rugby
Tyler Enfield Lock 191 99.4 Central Washington University
Erik Thompson Scrumhalf 175 79.4 University of California - Los Angeles
Gabe Farley Center 185 96.6 Lindenwood University
James Vaifale Wing 183 86.6 Tempe Rugby Club
Peter Malcolm Flanker 185 99.8 Wheeling Jesuit University
Zach Bonte Flanker 188 93 University of California - Los Angeles
Niall Barry Center 180 80.8 University of California - Los Angeles
David Todd Center 175 89.8 Arizona State University

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | Coaching Staff
Billy Millard - Head Coach
Michael Engelbrecht - Assistant Coach
Luke Gross - Assistant Coach
Dave Williams - Strength & Conditioning and Specialist Coach
Nick Tricarico - Manager

AIG Men's Junior All-Americans | IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014
v Hong Kong - Monday, April 7 - 7:00 A.M. ET
v Georgia - Friday, April 11 - 3:00 A.M. ET
v Tonga - Tuesday, April 15 - 3:00 A.M. ET