The Liberty Collegiate Conference will kick off its new incarnation with an Atlantic Rugby Cup clash against the Republic of Texas All-Stars in Bermuda on Thursday.
The game is streaming LIVE on FloRugby.
For Liberty All-Stars head coach Jerry Mirro, who also is head coach at Stony Brook, this is an unconventional but intriguing way to start a new conference.
"This was a new thing for us, but once we reached out, we got a great response," Mirro said. "We got some names and we're sending invitations to the best players, and the response was unbelievable. We sent out 50 invitations and 40 were positive, immediately. Then it was a case of narrowing it down to the playing squad."
Mirro said he feels confident about his team facing Texas, but the problem will be training only for a couple of days. The key in selecting his squad was that he wanted a solid tight five.
"I kept the Binghamton boys together," said Mirro, referring to the impressive SUNY Binghamton props Nicholas Coppola (pictured below) and Ashton Assemi. "They were the best this year -- they are the real deal. Right there that gives me something to build on. We've got athletes."
in fact, Mirro picked center Chris Sweeney from Rutgers despite not seeing him play. Last week he got to scout the player and was more than impressed.
"That kid's going places," Mirro said.
Jimmy Wolfer (Saint Joseph's), Bryan Michel (Stony Brook), and Brandon Healey (Binghamton) give Mirro some excellent playmakers who are also versatile -- all three can play three different positions. Scrumhalf Connor O'Brien from Albany is a tough nut to crack, and watch out for Stony Brook lock Jed Hendrixson and UMass No. 8 Thomas Thekekara.
"We're going to play simple, tough, hard-nosed rugby, but we've got a ton of speed so we will spread the field," Mirro said.
Liberty All-Stars Roster
|First Name||Last Name||University||Major||Preferred Position:|
|Ashkon||Assemi||Binghamton||Industrial and Systems Engineering||Tighthead Prop|
|David||Buchanan||UMass||Scrumhalf / Flyhalf|
|Nick||Coppola||Binghamton||Engineering and MBA||Front Row|
|Bryan||Michel||Stony Brook||Biology and Applied Math||Fullback|
|Sean||Porrata||Brockport||Computer Science||Utility Back|
|Jimmy||Wolfer||St Joes||Scrumhalf / Flyhalf|
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