USA Men’s Under-20s announce full squad for World Rugby Trophy Qualifier Series with Canada

The nation with the highest aggregate score will earn a place at the international U20 competition this July in Brazil

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CHULA VISTA, CA. – After a week long training camp, USA Men’s U20s Head Coach Scott Bracken has selected a full squad of 29 players to face rival-Canada in a two match qualification series on June 4 and June 8 at Shawnigan Lake School on Vancouver Island.

The team with the highest aggregate score from the two match qualifier will represent North America at the World Rugby U20 Trophy tournament in Brazil, July 9-21.

After splitting last year’s qualifiers 1-1 and falling 22 points shy on their cumulative score, Coach Bracken and the U20s have had significantly more time to train and prepare for this year’s games. Since last year’s qualification series, the program has met twice as a group in December’s Winter Camp and the recent preparation assembly to make final selections and ready players for a competitive Canadian team.

“After a productive camp we have selected athletes that give us an opportunity to perform well against a staunch and experienced Canada side,” said Coach Bracken. “While most of our team comes from the Collegiate ranks, Major League Rugby, Men’s Pacific Rugby Premiership and D1 are also represented. The staff and I look forward to continue improving on the progress made at our recent assembly.”

Utah Valley University’s Bailey Wilson will lead the group as Captain while 2018 Team USA Youth Olympians Inoke “Junior” Waqavesi and Lauina Falatea have both also been selected. The full group will assemble in Canada on June 1.

Both matches will be streamed LIVE on Rugby Canada’s Facebook Page at facebook.com/rugbycanada.

USA MEN’S U20s FULL SQUAD 

Name Position College/Club
Will Vakalahi Prop DC Old Glory
Jack Wiles Prop St. Bonaventure University
Jared Miller Prop Life University
Alex Lopeti Prop Life West Gladiators
Braden Looper Prop/Hooker University of Arizona
Matt Meehan Hooker Army West Point
Jack Manzo Hooker University of California, Berkeley
Sam Golla Lock University of California, Berkeley
Asa Carter Lock Arkansas State
Matt Gelhaus Lock Kutztown
Chris Noggle Backrow Santa Barbara Academy
Bailey Wilson (C) Backrow Utah Valley University
Jason Severance Backrow University of California, Berkeley
Luke Freeman Backrow University of California, Berkeley
Miles McCormick Backrow OMBAC
Chase Jones Backrow St. Mary’s College of California
Ethan McVeigh Halfback Cardiff Metropolitan University
Jake Christmann Halfback Utah Warriors
Mike Weir Flyhalf Dartmouth College
Sam Walsh Flyhalf University of California, Berkeley
Jack Wendling Center Central Washington University
Brandon Calk Center St. Mary’s College of CA
Ian Kilcullen Center Penn State University
Cole Semu Center BYU
Ryan James Wing / Fullback San Diego Legion
Eric Naposki Wing / Fullback UCLA
Lauina Falatea Wing / Fullback USA Sevens Residency Program
Junior Waqavesi Wing / Fullback USA Sevens Residency Program
Jeff Peleseuma-Breiz Utility San Francisco Golden Gate

USA MEN’S U20 STAFF

Head Coach | Scott Bracken
Assistant Coach, Attack | Brendan O’Meara
Assistant Coach, Defense | Michael Engelbrecht
Assistant Coach, Set Piece | Liam Harnett
Strength & Conditioning Coach | Michael Smith
Athletic Trainer | Santiago Aquirre
Performance Analyst | Jake Sullivan
Operations Manager | Kevin McCorry

WORLD RUGBY U20 TROPHY QUALIFIER SERIES

Streamed LIVE on Rugby Canada’s Facebook Page

Tues, June 4
vs Canada U20s
8 PM ET

Sat, June 8
vs Canada U20s
8 PM ET

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ABOUT THE USA MEN’S U20s

Under-20s or U20s (formerly known as Junior All-Americans) are athletes ages 19-20 years old who participate in a club or collegiate level rugby program. Unlike the High School and Collegiate All-American programs, there is no requirement for U20s to be attached to a scholastic program; athletes can compete with a senior club, professional team or university program. The U20s participate in formal international competitions such as the U20 Women’s Tri-Nations Cup and U20 Men’s World Rugby Trophy. The U20 program is primarily 15s, but expected to expand in to 7s as World Rugby offers additional opportunity for competition.