BOULDER, Colo. – Following an audit of the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans, USA Rugby announced Thursday an overhaul of the program, evolving from an end-of-season, single-assembly team to a year-round identification, monitoring, and development structure for future Eagles.
“There are a handful of quality institutions that have produced the majority of our Collegiate All-Americans over the years, and subsequently our senior Eagles,” said USA Rugby Director of Performance Alex Magleby. “And there is no wonder there–great coaching, superior DTEs, and in most cases some level of rivalry or parity in the local competition.”
The MCAA program will aim to help instill these ingredients where possible across the collegiate game by providing clarity on national team and All-American physical, technical, and tactical benchmarks; annual periodized training plans and technical development blueprints; and regular testing of potential All-Americans to measure continued growth.
“College coaches across the country need to be more involved in this process–we will look to provide better information and tools for this to occur, together with the new All-American staff, to help deliver better training environments to these potential future Olympians and World Cup standouts,” said Magleby.
The identification of All-Americans at earlier stages of the season will be key to helping these athletes close the gap more quickly with the international game. All-American student-athletes will continue to be selected based on performance in conference play and national championships. Athletes will have the opportunity to prove their abilities in National Recruitment Camps throughout the country this May and June. Standouts will be placed in the All-American national training squad and afforded a chance to make All-American honors through the summer camp and tour program.
Athletes identified this spring and summer returning to college next year will be provided individual performance plans in line with their collegiate coaches, monitored through regular testing with their club coach, tracked through competition, and will have the opportunity to attend regional national training squad camps during the 2015 -16 cycle. Intake of new athletes to the All-American national training squad will occur again this fall and spring/summer 2016.
Identification of the 18,000-plus males playing collegiate rugby will be led by the All-American staff in collaboration with the Eagle Eye Scout Network. More information on the Eagle Eye Scout Network and dates and locations for the National Recruitment Camps and summer All-American assembly will be announced in due course.