As part of its commitment to growing rugby in the United States and providing opportunities for deserving young players, USA Rugby South has funded a scholarship to the 2015 Life U Rugby camp. The scholarship has been awarded to Memphis, TN high school senior Donovan Norphlet. Norphlet left the basketball court for the rugby pitch during his sophomore year in high school when a man named Shane Young helped to bring rugby to Power Center Academy in Memphis through the organization called Memphis Inner City Rugby.
Young started playing rugby as a kid in New Jersey and played high school rugby in Naples, FL alongside former Life U standout Cam Dolan. Young moved to Memphis after his collegiate rugby career at Florida Gulf Coast University. He started Memphis Inner City Rugby to bring the sport to the most poverty-stricken parts of the city.
Norphlet was chosen for the award based on his work ethic and character. “Donovan was always one of the most polite and high-character kids on the pitch,” says Young. “His athleticism is unbelievable. He is very skilled but has had limited exposure to a formalized strength and conditioning program. So this opportunity will be a great one for him to see what the next level of rugby is.”
Here is a video about Memphis Inner City Rugby and Donovan Norphlet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNwuz2oSy30