Three USRF Grant Recipients Chosen for US Rugby World Cup Team
San Diego, CA (August 23, 2011) – The United States Rugby Foundation congratulates three of its past grant recipients, Scott LaValla (pictured, photo courtesy of Numina Photo), Shawn Pittman and Kevin Swiryn, for being selected as part of the 30-man roster to represent the United States at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.Versatile forward Scott LaValla has made great strides since he was selected as one of the USRF’s 2006 Development Grant recipient winners (along with Taylor Mokate who played for the USA 7s team in 2011). Scott’s experience at the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand (IRANZ) Student’s Course paved the way for future US Age Grade selections; US Collegiate All-American honors; being the first American to captain Trinity College in Dublin; signing a professional contract with Stade Francais; being named captain of the US Men’s National Team for its midweek match two weeks ago against the Glendale Raptors; and now, his selection to the 2011 US Men’s Rugby World Cup Team.Prop Shawn Pittman was just 19 years old when he was named a USRF 2007 Development Grant award winner. He too has represented the United States at the U19 and U20 age grade levels before he made his US Men’s National Team debut against Uruguay in 2008. Shawn has earned 13 caps for his country, including all three test matches in the build up to the Rugby World Cup. Shawn now plays professionally for London Welsh.Winger Kevin Swiryn was a Collegiate All-American at St. Mary’s when he was chosen as the first ever USRF High Performance Grant recipient in 2008. The choice was a good one as he was named the MVP of that IRANZ High Performance Course and he has continued to gain accolades ever since. He returned from New Zealand to shine for the USA 7s team. That led to his selection for the US 15s team where he made his debut against Ireland in 2009. Kevin has now played 12 tests for the US and has scored six tries, including two in the Eagles most recent match against Japan. Kevin plays professionally in France for Agen.“The US Rugby Foundation congratulates Scott, Shawn and Kevin for their success in rugby and for being named to this year’s US Rugby World Cup squad,” said USRF Executive Director Brian Vizard, himself a member of the 1987 and 1991 US RWC squads. “All three of them have made us very proud and we wish them and the rest of the Eagles the best of luck at this year’s World Cup.”USA EAGLES 2011 RWC SQUADForwards:Inaki Basauri (Perigueux), Chris Biller (San Francisco Golden Gate), Todd Clever (Suntory Sungoliath), Pat Danahy (Life University), Eric Fry (Las Vegas Blackjacks), JJ Gagiano (Univ. of Cape Town), Nic Johnson (Unattached), Scott LaValla (Stade Francais), Mike MacDonald (Leeds Carnegie), Brian McClenahan (Olympic Club), Mate Moeakiola (Bobigny 93), Shawn Pittman (London Welsh), Hayden Smith (Saracens), Louis Stanfill (Unattached), Phil Thiel (Life University), John van der Giessen (Unattached)Backs:Paul Emerick (Life University), Tai Enosa (Belmont Shore), Colin Hawley (Olympic Club), Nese Malifa (Glendale), Taku Ngwenya (Biarritz), James Paterson (Otago), Mike Petri (New York Athletic Club), Blaine Scully (Unattached), Junior Sifa (Nottingham RFC), Andrew Suniula (Chicago Griffins), Roland Suniula (Boston Rugby), Kevin Swiryn (Agen), Tim Usasz (Nottingham RFC), Chris Wyles (Saracens)The US will be in Pool C at the RWC along with Australia, Ireland, Italy and Russia.The Eagles schedule of pool matches is:Sunday, September 11 against Ireland at Yarrow Stadium in New PlymouthThursday, September 15 against Russia at Yarrow Stadium in New PlymouthFriday, September 23 against Australia at Westpac Stadium in WellingtonTuesday, September 27 against Italy at Trafalgar Park in Nelson .