by Nigel Melville
Nigel Melville Direct
With just days to go to the start of the New Year, over 70 USA Rugby All American High Schools hopefuls gathered in Phoenix for their winter camp ahead of a very busy season of 15's and 7's competitions. Under the experienced eye of Head Coach Salty Thompson, all players were fitness tested ahead of daily skills sessions and scrimmages. Addressing the players earlier today I stressed the importance of players taking responsibility for their development, the importance of taking this opportunity to challenge their coaches and to become students of the game that they love.
These young players were obviously passionate about the game and making great progress as players, but one thing that our young players don't always recognize is how close they actually could be to becoming full international players!
Many years ago, when I was selected for my first full England training session at 18, having just left high school, a debate raged about whether I was too young to be considered for international rugby. On one side of the argument was the 'if he's good enough, he's old enough' camp and at the other end of the continuum was the 'he must earn his place' traditionalists!
Either way, within the next 4 years, many of these young men will be being considered for internationals election as 7's or 15's players, there are some fantastic opportunities ahead of them, and we will do everythign that we can to move them forward
In 2012 we will have the opportunity to expand the All American program further with the support of Aircraft Contract Solutions based in Washington. In 2011 ACS sponsored the High School All Americans tour to South Africa, the Las Vegas Sevens and British Columbia Sevens. In 2012 the High School All Americans will face tough international competition in the UK, experience the famous Rosslyn Park Sevens in London and tour again this summer.
With an impressive resume as player, coach and administrator, Nigel David Melville took over as CEO and President of Rugby Operations of USA Rugby, the National Governing Body of the sport in America, in 2006. In addition to his full time job promoting the sport in the U.S., Melville has launched his own blog, Nigel Melville Direct, to further the discussion and his passion for what it will take to make the U.S. a great rugby playing nation.
CLICK HERE to read more on Nigel Melville
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