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Press Release

2007 IRANZ Grant Recipients Return Home

San Diego, CA (September 1, 2007) - 2007 USRF grant recipients, Hamish Roberts and Shawn Pittman are back home after participating in the International Rugby Acadmey of New Zealand's Advanced Course at Massey University in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Hamish and Shawn, both members of the successful USA Rugby U19 team that participated in the World Championships in Dublin earlier this year, valued the opportunity to improve their skills at the IRANZ.

"The experience and understanding of rugby I gained over this short week was more than I had learned my whole life," said Roberts. "Thank you United States Rugby Foundation, Salty Thompson, Murray Mexted, Andre Bell, Dave Ellis, Jeff Wilson, Eroni Clarke, Lyndon Bray, Peter Finch and Grant Fox. This was the most exciting week of my life and I will never forget it."

"I had a great time. I got to meet Richard Loe, Grant Fox, Steve Gordon, Murray Mexted, David Loveridge and many more All Blacks," said Pittman. "It was an insane experience and I would like to thank everyone that helped me get there. This is one of the most memorable experiences I've ever had."

Read personal accounts of Hamish Roberts and Shawn Pittman's experiences at the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand.

The USRF is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization established in 1963. Although its main focus is supporting youth and high school rugby, the Foundation also provides grants to coaches and referees; establishes international student exchanges and college scholarships, has assisted the United States Collegiate All-Americans and Boys Under-19 teams, and also provides grants to Safety and Risk Management Research.

For more information about the Foundation, go to its website at: www.usrugbyfoundation.org.