The Eagle Impact Rugby Academy is playing British Columbia's U16 and U17 teams on Thursday and Saturday in Vancouver, BC, but that's just part of the EIRA touring puzzle.
The program is also sending U16 and U17 teams to Ontario later this July, and in between, a different group of U17 players are touring Ireland.
The plan, organizers say, is to use the program to close the gap between the USA and top-tier rugby nations.
The Ireland tour will see the EIRA squad base its operations at Campbell College, Belfast (one of the top private secondary schools in Ireland), and play two games against Ulster Academy in Belfast and one game against Leinster Academy in Dublin.
The squad will assemble in Newark, NJ, on July 16 and will commence training at West Point before leaving for Belfast on July 19. The tour will run through July 29. The squad of 28 players has been drawn from 15 states and will be coached by John Banarhall (West Point assistant coach), Darrell Knowlton (Culver Academy and Bethel College), Scott Bracken (High School All-Americans and the Claremont Colleges), and EIRA Director Salty Thompson. Anne Micinski of Indiana will serve as the trainer.
The team will face a demanding schedule and will also visit the Giant's Causeway and the Titanic Museum in Belfast.
While this is an Eagle Impact Rugby Academy tour, it has received verbal support from USA Rugby and also signals a spirit of cooperation between EIRA and Atavus. The Seattle-based company has sponsored two players who would have otherwise been unable to afford the trip, and Atavus is also sponsoring the Giant's Causeway and Titanic trips.
"We believe that cooperation like this between rugby entities in the U.S. is a very healthy thing, and we thank Atavus for their generous support," EIRA President Robin Reid said.
EIRA Squad to Ireland
|Ayden||Augspurg||Sophomore||6'0"||225||Prop||Parkhill United||Kansas City||Missouri|
|Mateo||Gadsden||Junior||6'4"||198||Wing||Back Bay||Costa Mesa||California|
|Jasper||Green||Junior||6'4"||185||Full-back||St Paul's, London||San Francisco||California|
|Kaipono||Kayoshi||Junior||6'0"||187||Lock||Granite Bay||Granite bay||California|
|Christiaan||Mosconi||Junior||5'6"||150||Scrum-half||Back Bay||Aliso Viejo||California|
|Zachary||Neff||Junior||6'0"||187||Lock||C.K. McClatchy Lions||Sacramento||California|
|Sean||Nolan||Sophomore||6'2"||175||Fly-half||Back Bay||Laguna Beach||California|
|Quinn||Sheppard||Junior||6'3"||200||Lock||C.K. McClatchy Lions||Carmichael||California|
|Sidney||Shoop||Junior||5'6"||135||Scrum-half||South Greenvill||Fletcher||North Carolina|
|Alex||Vaca||Junior||5'8"||180||Center||Santa Monica||Santa Monica||California|
|Inoke||Waqavesi||Junior||5'8"||180||Center||C.K. McClatchy Lions||Sacramento||California|
|Michael||Weir||Junior||5'10"||149||Fly-half||Doylestown Rugby Club||Schwenksville||Pennsylvania|
|Larry||Williams||Junior||5'11"||215||Hooker||Clayton Copperheads||Clayton||North Carolina|