LAFAYETTE, Colo. – Eleven D1A student-athletes have been selected for the U-20 All-American team that will compete for the Junior World Trophy in Zimbabwe April 19 – May 1.
Arizona and Lindenwood lead the way with four players selected, with Life University just behind them with three Running Eagles getting the call. Nine of the 11 U-20 standouts were with the Junior All-Americans when the team defeated Canada Feb. 13 to qualify for the Junior World Trophy.
The eight competing teams have been divided into two pools of four. The United State have drawn Pool B, which will see the Junior All-Americans compete against Hong Kong, Namibia and Spain. The team will hold camp at Lindenwood University April 10-12 before departing for Zimbabwe.
The four D1A programs represented in the Junior All-American squad have each qualified for the 2016 D1A Playoffs. Those teams will no doubt be losing some quality contributors for the postseason, but the players will no doubt return to their teams better rugby players.
“I think there is merit in all competitions that our playing group is drawn from, and certainly if you’ve watched some Mid-South encounters it’s a great standard of rugby,” said U-20 and Lindenwood Head Coach JD Stephenson. “That being said, there is no higher accolade for a player to represent his or her country, and the standard of play at the international level gives the players that well-rounded aspect to their game.”
D1A Players on the Junior All-American roster:
Malon Al-Jiboori – Lindenwood
Steven Branham – Arizona
Brennan Falcon – LSU
Travis Heer – Lindenwood
Carter Hunchik – Life
Mason Pedersen – Arizona
Tyler Sousley – Arizona
Lorenzo Thomas – Lindenwood
Duncan Van Schlakwyk – Life
Chance Wenglewski – Lindenwood
Mitchell Wilson – Life
For a complete roster visit USARugby.org.