BOULDER, CO -- After only one ETC camp, the Women’s Eagles program is already noting the benefits such a selection vehicle can provide. Both head coaches are expected to include numerous non-pool players in the next National Team assemblies for both sevens and 15s.
Head 15s coach Pete Steinberg mentioned he was able to identify several players from the late-February camp that had not previously been recognized on the international level. A number of the designated players are expected to then be included in the Women’s Eagles Top-60 camp from May 18-26 in Greeley, Colorado.
“I know Ric [Suggit] (Women’s Eagles Sevens head coach) has already marked a few players he would like to have participate in the sevens team assembly next month,” noted Steinberg. “Some of the performances from non-pool players were really outstanding.”
Steinberg also pointed out “the application process paved the way for the non-pool players.”
“Without the application process I don’t know that a lot of these [non-pool] athletes would have been selected or invited to a National Team camp,” said Steinberg.
While the camp served to spotlight future Women’s Eagle candidates, the initial ETC also prioritized materials necessary for being a Women’s Eagles player. Focus points included nutritional requirements, strength-training routines, mentality themes and general rugby skills.
“It was a long weekend with a lot of information and physical practice sessions [for the athletes],” said Danielle Miller, Seattle ETC head coach.
The USA Rugby AIG Women’s Junior All-Americans head coach mentioned “the players’ intensity was very high and the ability to remain focused was amazing. Focus allowed us to progress through all of the material.”
Most notably to Miller in leading that focus were some of the veteran Women’s Eagles.
“The returning [Women’s] Eagles were a blessing to have at camp. They led by example to keep the intensity high and refocused players towards our goals of being in the Finals in 2014.”
Head coach of the State College ETC Chris Amoratis also had a similar sentiment and is “looking forward to the March camp.”
“The veterans (previous pool-players) really pulled everything together to get all of the details across for each session,” said Amoratis. “I’m excited to see what the players are able to accomplish in the next ETC because now the non-pool players know what is expected of them and how to hold themselves at these camps.”
The next camp is scheduled for March 22-24 at each of the ETC locations across the country.
Over 128 athletes participated in the opening ETC camp. Selections for the next ETC camp have yet to be determined. Invitations for returning players will be made through March 17.
The Women’s Eagles will host matches against France from June 3-14 in southern California, and play in the Nations Cup July 26 to August 11.