D1A Flavor on the Eagles

D1A Rugby: D1A Flavor on the Eagles

HOUSTON, Texas — The USA Men’s National team certainly has a D1A flavor to it this summer.  Three players on the 28-man roster for the Eagles’ test match against Ireland on June 8 were playing in D1A just a few weeks ago. A total of five Eagles on the roster have played in D1A at some point in their careers.

Cam Dolan (loose forward/wing, LIFE) and Nick Wallace (prop, St. Mary’s) actually played against one another in the D1A National Championship game on May 18.  Army flyhalf Will Holder also made the Houston squad.

Two Eagles that competed in D1A are Seamus Kelly and Blaine Scully, both from Cal.  They won the first-ever D1A (then College Premier Division) National Championship in 2011.

While five D1A alumni made the Houston squad, there were five more that were in the Eagle mix.  The National Team camp in Georgia in April had five D1A athletes participating.

2012-2013 D1A student-athletes Jordan Bouey (prop, St. Mary’s), Dean Gericke (center, Arkansas State), Zack Walker (wing, LIFE) got a look as did D1A alumni Shaun Davies (scrumhalf, BYU) and Chris Saint (scrumhalf, Penn State).

Overall, the number of D1A athletes and alumni in the mix signals that the structure, constantly improving level of play, and the commitment of D1A programs is starting to elevate to the national team, an indication that the pipeline of athletes from college to the elite level is constantly improving.

Another positive sign is that the athletes are coming from a variety of programs, not just one or two.