USA Rugby U20s do the hard work ahead of the Junior World Rugby Trophy in Salt Lake City.
No sooner had I seen my team, Belmont Shore win the D1 Mens Championship then I was off collecting members of the USA Rugby U20s team from the airport to start preparations for the JWRT.
This All-American USA Rugby team won their series against Canada 2-0 in two hard fought games. The boys showed great heart to comeback in what were a couple of very physical encounters against our northern neighbours.
Rugby is all about physical, mental and technical aspects of a players performance and during the build-up to the tournament each element was evaluated and improved. Fair to say there was lots of physical work in the heat and altitude of Boulder and Steam Boat as these pictures show. Awesome effort from all. Even an old man like me got involved in the action!
There was also a chance for the boys to meet the team at USA Rugby Headquarters and see the work going on behind the scenes to inspire America to fall in love with rugby. We also got to train against the USA Eagles Mens Senior side as they prepared for their clashes against Georgia and Italy in the Summer Series.
Great effort from both players and coaches, above and beyond, means we go into this tournament ready for action.
Thanks go to USA Rugby, Cameron Falcon, Will Magie, Justin Goonan and Ben Cowin for the pictures.
Next stop Salt Lake City for the Junior World Rugby Trophy.
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Check out the LineoutCoach Guide to the Junior World Rugby Tournament
Gavin Hickie, USA Rugby U20s Forwards Coach, is a former Ireland A & 7s, Leinster and Leicester rugby player now based in California and taking rugby to the USA. He writes for RugbyMag.com and other publications when not coaching for Belmont Shore and blogging on lineoutcoach.com