AIG MJAA squad announced for IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy 2014

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

PlayerPositionHeight (centimeters)Weight (kilograms)Club/School
James GannonLoose Head188102Spring Hill College
Codi JonesHooker183102California Maritime Academy
Titi LamositeleProp180116.1Saracens
Oliver DrewLock19199.8Bournemouth
Ben PinkelmanFlanker19393Colorado State University
Christian WiessingLock193104.3Glendale Raptors
Hanco GermishuysFlanker188102Westside Omaha
Vili Toluta'uFlanker183102Central Washington University
Mike ReidScrumhalf17879.8USA Rugby High School All-Americans
Ben CimaFlyhalf18586.2Gonzaga College High School
Connor Wallace-SimsWing17880.7Canterbury RFC
Joe KellyCenter18897.5Pennsylvania State University
Nemia QoroCenter18097.5Penn Green
Seth HallimanCenter18888.5Colorado Springs High School
Scott DeanFullback18083.9Central Washington University
Marshall GodfreyLoose Head183111.1Lindenwood University
Max RobersonLock196104.3Lindenwood University
Val Lee-LoTighthead185113.4Sierra Rugby
Tyler EnfieldLock19199.4Central Washington University
Erik ThompsonScrumhalf17579.4University of California - Los Angeles
Gabe FarleyCenter18596.6Lindenwood University
James VaifaleWing18386.6Tempe Rugby Club
Peter MalcolmFlanker18599.8Wheeling Jesuit University
Zach BonteFlanker18893University of California - Los Angeles
Niall BarryCenter18080.8University of California - Los Angeles
David ToddCenter17589.8Arizona 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