Men’s U20s Selections and venue confirmed with World Rugby Trophy Qualifiers on the horizon

Eric Eichorn
Eric Eichorn

One month away from the World Rugby U20s Trophy Qualifiers, USA Rugby Men’s High Performance Pathways has selected 33 up and coming players across collegiate, development and Major League Rugby clubs to represent the USA against Canada in June.

The two-match qualifier series will take place June 6 and 10 on the campus of USC Upstate in Spartanburg, SC and streamed live on FloRugby. The June 6 match will be free admission to all spectators, while the final qualifying match will require tickets, starting at only $20 per entry.

With the U20s Trophy competition a pillar in the long-term preparation of international players, this squad will assemble in Charlotte, NC for an extended training camp on May 15, following a series of virtual sessions with coaching leadership in advance, reviewing various aspects of on and off field preparation. Dartmouth Men’s Rugby Head Coach, Kyle Sumsion will lead the team as a few dive into their first experience on the international stage and journey towards the 2031 Rugby World Cup here on home soil.

Commenting on the selection process and how this squad was scouted, USA Rugby Men’s Pathways Manager, Brendan Keane noted, “We’re confident in the group we have committed this summer, as players were identified through recommendations from college coaches, 2022 Talent Identification Camps, video review, the 2022 Junior National Team Winter Camp and players who have moved up in age from the USA U18s in recent years. We’ve had the opportunity to cast a wide net and assemble some top talent. The staff have been in contact with players in the pool over the last couple of months to track progress and current status, ultimately moving from a pool of 45 players to the current roster.”

Men’s Eagles Head Coach and General Manager, Scott Lawrence added, “Myself and the senior national team staff will be fully engaged with this group of coaches over the next few weeks, as we inch closer to these pivotal two games against Canada. We’re excited to see talent unfold and keep a close eye on these players as we kick off the 2027 cycle and beyond.”

A large majority of the players are fresh off their own Men’s D1A playoff journeys and championship appearances, alongside some Major League Rugby prospects and two members of this spring’s USA Hawks program in Aiden Christians and Animae Amiatu.

USA Men’s U20s Player Pool | 2023 World Rugby Trophy Qualifiers
Aidan Christians USA Hawks
Aki Pulu American Raptors
Animae Amiatu San Diego Legion / USA Hawks
Braemar Murray Stade Toulousain
Cade Crist University of California - Berkeley
Cameron McApline United Kingdom
Cole Frank Clemson University
Connor Devos Lindenwood University
Corbin Smith Hartpury University
Cormac Saint University of California - Berkeley
Declan Dolan Penn State University
Dom Besag St. Mary's College of California
Dylan Fortune Lindenwood University
Gabe Riordan Dartmouth College
Gabriel Hayden Canterbury RFC (UK)
Hayden McKay Young Glory (Old Glory DC)
Henry Duke Unattached
Holden Hahn Charlotte Cardinals
Hugh O'Kennedy Trinity College - Dublin
Leon Best Life University
Logan Ballinger Life University
Luke Schaefer Lindenwood University
Ollie Cline Central Washington University
Osi Nauer Utah Warriors
Parker Wall Indiana University
Rand Santos University of California - Berkeley
Sosaia Pongi St. Mary's College of California
Solomon Williams University of California - Berkeley
Steffan Crimp Cardiff Metropolitan University
Strider Fountaine BYU
Tommy Hannon Indiana University
Trevion Reed Queens University
Will Sherman UCLA

USA Men’s U20s Trophy Qualifiers Staff

Kyle Sumsion | Head Coach

Colton Cariaga | Assistant Coach

Elvis Seveali'i | Assistant Coach

Neethling Gericke | Assistant Coach

Matoko Noudehou | Performance Coach

George Janke | Performance Analyst

Zach Fornier | Physiotherapist

Gary McMahon | Team Manager

Keane continued, “We are fortunate to have the support of MLR and other donors who are helping to make this the most robust preparation a USA U20 team will have in years. We are also thankful for our partnership with the United States Performance Center in Charlotte, providing state of the art facilities, training and medical support as well as helping to secure the match venue. In concert with all the work going on within USA Youth & High School, NDPs, College, MLR, and other growing USA Rugby High Performance Development programs, this will provide the launchpad for these players and others coming through the development pathways to reach a Rugby World Cup Quarterfinal in 2031.”

The Men’s U20s are in tandem fundraising for program expenses, as well as fueling the trajectory of the National Team. Please consider donating to the USA Men's U20s here with Vertical Raise, where all contributions will help fund player travel, lodging, proper nutrition and player welfare services.

USA Men’s U20s Trophy Qualifiers Schedule
USA vs Canada | June 6

Kickoff 6PM ET

Spartanburg Regional Field at County University Stadium | Spartanburg, SC

Watch Live on FloRugby

USA vs Canada | June 10

Kickoff 6PM ET

Spartanburg Regional Field at County University Stadium | Spartanburg, SC

Watch Live on FloRugby

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