USA Men's Roster For Youth Olympics Named

USA Red Scores At Can-Ams

LAFAYETTE, CO. - USA Rugby has officially named 12 athletes to the 2018 U.S. Youth Olympic Men's Rugby Team and two non-traveling reserves for the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, pending approval by the United States Olympic Committee. 

Led by Head Coach JD Stephenson, the organization will strive for a convincing performance in the second-ever inclusion of rugby sevens at the Youth Olympic Games.

The Games will kick off on Oct. 6 following the Opening Ceremony with pool play competition for rugby sevens beginning Oct. 13 at 11 AM ET. Medals will be awarded on Oct. 15 with broadcast information and a full schedule confirmed closer to date. 

After naming an extended squad of 16 athletes, Stephenson and his staff spent time evaluating players' performances after the recent Can-Am Futures Sevens tournament.

"This selection process was one of the toughest we've been involved in; that's a testament to the wider playing pool and their respective programs, coaches, and staff," said Stephenson. "The level of play we've seen and countlessly reviewed has made for a long and arduous final selection. We are confident that the men chosen will represent Team USA to the fullest. I can't thank our coaching staff and those coaches we have been fortunate enough to share this journey with along the way for their time, dedication and friendship."

Headlining the squad as Captain is standout Junior Waqavesi, who trained with the senior USA Men's Sevens team and recently participated in the 2018 Youth Touch World Cup for USA U18. Also accompanying the bunch is Ty Al-Jiboori who follows in the footsteps of his older brother capped Men's Eagle (15s) and Men's Sevens' Malon Al-Jiboori.

Additionally, three players -- Lauina Falatea, Johnny Mahe and Uluamu Niutupuivaha -- all join the team from Kahuku Rugby adding a built-in comradery that will accent the entire group through the competition.

"From a preparation standpoint, we've been fortunate enough to lean on Coach Salty Thompson for some Youth Olympic Games insight having lived it in the previous iteration of the Games," said Coach Stephenson. "Our Men's Sevens staff also graciously provided a unique perspective on the Olympics, as well as technical and tactical support of our playing group and staff."

Team USA finished fifth in rugby sevens at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Nanjing 2014, where current Men's National Team (15s) player Hanco Germishuys scored a momentum-shifting try to help his side defeat Japan. 

Stephenson and his squad will assemble later this month for a training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Site in Chula Vista, CA, arriving in Buenos Aires in early October. Broadcast information and a full schedule will be confirmed closer to date.

2018 U.S. YOUTH OLYMPIC MEN'S RUGBY TEAM ROSTER

Player Name 

Program

Al-Jiboori, Tyren 

Union Rugby 

Clark, Max

Brighton College (ENG)

Cleary, Alex

Chuckanut Bay Rugby

Falatea, Lauina

Kahuku Rugby 

Green, Jasper

St. Pauls Rugby (ENG)

Kruse, Isaia

Bullard Rugby

Mahe, Sione

Kahuku Rugby 

Neff, Zachary

C.K. McClatchy Lions 

Niutupuivah, Uluamu

Kahuku Rugby 

Rodriguez, Jon

Play Rugby USA

Waqavesi, Inoke

C.K. McClatchy Lions 

Wierenga, Ben

Valley Center Rugby 

Non-traveling Reserves: Will Chevalier (Neuqua Valley Wildcats), Shane Barry (Ramblin' Jesters)

2018 U.S. YOUTH OLYMPIC MEN'S RUGBY TEAM STAFF

Head Coach | JD Stephenson

Physiotherapist | Alan Wallace

SUMMER YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES BUENOS AIRES 2018 SCHEDULE

October 6, 2018

Opening Ceremony | Time TBA

October 13, 2018

Rugby Sevens Pool Play | 11 AM ET

CASI La Boya Stadium

October 14, 2018

Rugby Sevens Pool Play | 11 AM ET

CASI La Boya Stadium

October 15, 2018

Finals and Victory Ceremony | 12:55 PM ET

CASI La Boya Stadium

October 18, 2018

Closing Ceremony | Time TBA

Youth Olympic Park


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