USRF Development Grant Recipient Cameron Dolan
Named Captain of USA Men's U20s Team
San Diego, CA (April 13, 2009) - The USA Men's Under-20s National Rugby Team heading to Nairobi, Kenya to compete for the 2009 IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy will be captained by 2008 USRF Development Grant Recipient Cameron Dolan. That announcement was made when coach Salty Thompson named his 26-man squad last week. Dolan, a Life University freshman, also played for the US U17s in 2007 and the US U18s in 2008.
"It is and honor and a privilege to represent my country in a sport as great as rugby," said Dolan, who can play at lock or #8. "This is my third year representing a USA side and it gets better every time I step onto the pitch with the crest over my heart. This team is full of leaders and I know that when we take the pitch in Kenya, every single one of us is going to leave everything on the field."
Coach Thompson likes what he sees in his young captain. "Cameron is developing into a very good player and is prospering in the high performance environment at Life University. He's a young captain for the 20s but has the poise, presence and demeanor to set the example. He’s part of our u20 squad that shares many leadership roles. For example, Ryan McTiernan will back up Cam as pack leader. Ryan is a vocal, passionate guy who holds teammates and himself fully accountable for their performances in a positive way. Both Ryan (NYAC) and Cam are super league players with bright futures."
Thompson also mentioned wing Zack Test as a player to keep an eye on as he recently returned from Hong Kong and Adelaide where he served duty for the US Sevens Team. Test literally burst onto the international sevens circuit with three tries in Adelaide and the sort of performance that got a lot of attention. He is also the most capped player on the squad having made a debut for the U19s against Canada in 2006, and played a NAWIRA qualifier and two World Juniors (Belfast and Wales).
The team departs for Kenya on Thursday, April 16 and will play matches against their three Pool A rivals: Cayman Islands on April 21; Namibia on April 25 and Kenya on April 29. The Pool B bracket consists of Romania, Chile, Korea and Papua New Guinea. The tournament concludes on Sunday, May 3 with the winning side advancing to the 2010 World Juniors Tournament.
Dolan is confident the team will perform. "This tournament means a lot to the boys. I expect us to take it hard to the Cayman Islands in the opener as we need to step on the pedal early and not let up. We had a great camp this weekend. We know what we have to do and Salty has us prepared to do just that. I don't expect us to bring back anything less than gold."
Thompson also had faith in his young team. “This U20 squad is mobile and the most balanced team we’ve produced at this level. They have the ability to win ball and use it effectively. We have upgraded with more pace in the front row and the squad has the sort of depth we missed last year. The caliber of opposition in the World Trophy will not match our opponents in Wales last June but the Caymans, Namibia and hosts Kenya will provide a sizeable challenge to this largely uncapped 26 man squad.”
The USA Men’s Team for the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy includes:
Name Position Club
Joseph Baker Flyhalf Penn State University
Tim Barford Hooker Texas A&M
Jared Braun Hooker Peninsula Green
Dustin Croy Wing Glendale Raptors
Andres Diaz Flanker Texas A&M
Cameron Dolan Lock/#8 Life University
Taivalu Enosa Flyhalf Tempe Rugby Club
Zach Fenoglio Prop Loyola Marymount
Cullen Glennon Hooker Louisiana State University
Andrew Hanske #8/Flanker U of Wisconsin-Madison
Matt Hughston Center East Carolina University
Alex Hunt Flanker Boston College
Brian Hussey Scrumhalf Miami Rugby Club
Aaron Jenkins Prop Ohio State University
Nick Johnson Prop Metropolis Rugby Club
Robert Johnson Fullback Blackrock College (Dublin)
Ryan McTiernan Lock New York Athletic Club
Niall O’Keefe Center Blackrock College (Dublin)
Chris Saint Scrumhalf Penn State University
Barry Sheehan Flanker Garryowen (Limerick, Ireland)
Mike Shepherd Prop University of Indiana
Kyle Stroman Lock University of Indiana
David Tameilau Lock San Francisco Golden Gate
Zack Test Wing San Francisco Golden gate
Brett Thompson Fullback Tempe Rugby Club
Peter Tiberio Center University of Arizona
Salty Thompson Head Coach
Michael Engelbrecht Assistant Coach
Bill LeClerc Specialist Coach
Andy Byrne Manager
Frankie Germany Trainer
Eric Test Doctor
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.