USA Rugby Boys Qualify for 2018 Youth Olympic Games

Following Canada Olympic Committee's declaration of field hockey, USA will be represented in Buenos Aires

LAFAYETTE, CO. - Following Canada Olympic Committee's declaration of field hockey as their boy's team sport, and the qualification of Team Canada's boy's field hockey team, the USA Rugby boy's team has officially accepted a berth to the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games. Commencing October 6-18, Head Coach JD Stephenson and his team will spend the next several months building a squad with depth and preparing for a strong United States showing at the upcoming competition.

"It's a bittersweet feeling to qualify in a manner different than you originally intended. We really feel for the Canadian boy's rugby team and staff who are well-deserving of the bid," said USA Boy's Team Head Coach JD Stephenson. "We will ensure that we represent North America to the fullest degree and show what our age-grade national teams can do on the world's stage."

During the North American Region Qualifiers in Las Vegas earlier this March, the United States girls and boys teams both advanced to the final round of competition against rival-Canada. After a hard fought battle, the girl's team conceded their match 5-36, with the boy's team also conceding 10-14. Since the Canadian Olympic Committee selected field hockey as their team sport on the boy's side, qualification for the United States' boy's was still on the table so long as Canada's boy's field hockey team also qualified. However, if Team Canada's boy's field hockey had not qualified, their rugby team would have taken the berth instead.

Over the next month, USA Rugby will work with partners, friends, and family to assemble the additional resources necessary to set up the Team USA boys for a successful run. 

"Despite limited assembly time the team was a couple of moments and conversions away in Las Vegas to a historic win over a Canadian team that had been together for the better part of a year," said Alex Magleby, USA Rugby's General Manager, National Teams. "As we approach Buenos Aires, every day that we can provide the athletes time together will be key, not only to performances to be proud of at the Youth Olympic Games, but to help setup this group for future World Series and Olympic successes." 

With foresight into the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, and even the return of the Games to the United States in 2028, giving future Olympians the tools to perform at the highest caliber is of utmost importance. 

In their last Youth Olympics run, at the 2014 Nanjing Youth Games, the Team USA girls finished in fourth-place while the boys finished in fifth-place. 2016 Rio Olympian Richelle Stephens and current national team players Tess Feury (women's) and Hanco Germishuys (men's) were both part of the squads in 2014 before continuing their careers with the senior national teams. 

The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be held October 6-18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Though broadcast information has not been released just yet, updates will be available by following @USARugby on Twitter.

To nominate a 2000 or 2001 born player who is eligible to represent the USA at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games, please CLICK HERE.