San Diego, CA (May 20, 2007) – 2006 USRF International Rugby Academy of New Zealand grant recipients, Scott La Valla and Taylor Mokate, joined 24 other up and coming US rugby players at the recently completed IRB U19 World Championships in Belfast, Northern Ireland.The United States finished 3rd in Pool B having defeated Russia, Romania and Zimbabwe in pool play before losing to Italy in the Pool B semi finals. The team finished on a high with a convincing 24-5 victory over Georgia in the Third Place match.La Valla, who was the captain of the team, and Mokate, both credit the mental toughness learned at IRANZ as helping them finish strong at the end of the tight matches.“The insight provided at IRANZ and most importantly I think, the instruction they give you on mental toughness, has carried with me through every game I have played in since,” said La Valla, who started every match of the tournament in the second row for the US. “In Northern Ireland, as we became increasingly weary and tired, the ability to focus while training and playing was more and more evident by the last game. I cannot express how invaluable that trip to New Zealand was.”The USRF congratulates Scott, Taylor, coaches Salty Thompson and Mike Engelbrecht, and the rest of the players and management of the US U19 team on a job well done.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.