COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – The Olympic Training Center plays host as 43 rugby players from across the country arrive for the national team’s four-day selection camp. The camp will determine the roster for the team’s upcoming European tour.
Following a highly successful developmental camp in June, head coach Peter Steinberg and his staff narrowed down its selections to reveal the player pool to be finalized for the November contests.
“The focus of this camp is quite different,” said Steinberg. “Where the June camp was about development and providing high-level competition, the September camp is about selecting the squad that will face Italy and France in November.”
The Eagles are slatted to play Italy Nov. 18, followed by two matches against France, Nov. 21 and 24, respectively.
Only 30 of the athletes will be selected for the touring squad.
“The schedule is a challenge , and if we’re going to meet our expectations for all three tests, we’ll need all 30 players to be ready to perform at an international standard,” said Steinberg
With three full international test matches to be played over the course of a week, the man at the helm will certainly test the depth of his roster.
“With the amount of time and travel we have between matches, we have to put a focus on our recovery,” said Steinberg.
Knowing the schedule that awaited the team, Steinberg implemented the rigorous timetable ahead of time to help prepare the squad.
“At our camp in June, we put the players through three intense games over the course of a week and practiced the recovery strategies we’ll utilize in November to make sure we’re able to perform in every game ,” mentioned Steinberg.
The following days of the current camp will be used to challenge the players mentally. The four-day assembly will test the pace at which players can learn in-game strategies.
“We’ll only have five practice sessions in Europe before we play Italy, so one of our goals for this camp is to install our pattern of play and to establish our identity as a team,” said Steinberg.
Follow the team’s progress during camp on USARugby.org, or on the USA Rugby Facebook fan page!
Helen Rose Meisner
San Juanita Moreno