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The Future Of USA Rugby Is Bright

The USA Rugby Men's Collegiate All-Americans took on the Glendale Raptors after two weeks of camp. And they outclassed them on the field. With a few players from the MLR season and a number of depth players, the Raptors were out of sync and had no chemistry with each other as they lost to the All-Americans 55-10.

From the start, the All-Americans were on the front foot and never stepped off the gas. Life University winger Harley Wheeler was the MVP of the day. He used his vision and speed to find the holes in the Glendale defense and score three tries.

Deion Mikesell, who started on the other wing, raised his stock as well. Even though he only ended the game with one try, Deion made numerous plays through his time on the field to help his team. His speed caused problems for the Raptors. From defense to offense, Deion has the skills to be in the MLR next season.

Duncan Van Schalkwyk also had a standout match. He was nearly perfect on the day from the tee and used his legs during the course of play to put the All-Americans into advantageous positions. With numerous teams needing a consistent #10 or a good back up, Van Schalkwyk will be on an MLR roster.

Two other players who stood out were Chance Wenglewski and Maciu Koroi. Wenglewski caused problems for the Glendale scrum during his time on the field. Wenglewski played for the Austin Elite Academy this summer and looks to continue his growth as a rugby player. 

Maciu Koroi was only on the field for a short period before coming off with an injury, but his short time on the field was impactful. He made thunderous tackles and had brusing runs when he had the ball in his hands. Koroi's name is one to watch for the future.

Plenty of players made an impact, but Wheeler, Mikesell, Van Schalkwyk, Wenglewski, & Koroi stood out the most. It's a matter when, not if we see these players in an MLR jersey & potentially an Eagles jersey as well.

Following the match, USA Rugby announced the First Team All-Americans. The All-American First Team is as follows:

1. Chance Wenglewski, Lindenwood
2. Alex Maughan, Life
3. Matthew Harmon, Life
4. Malcom May, Penn State
5. Jamie Berrisford, Life
6. Conor McNerney, Navy
7. Wesley White, Lindenwood
8. Maciu Koroi, Life
9. Sean Yacoubian, St. Mary's (CA)
10. Duncan Van Schalkwyk, Life
11. Harley Wheeler, Life
12. Mitchell Wilson, Life
13. Zachary Young, Arkansas State
14. Deion Mikesell, Lindenwood
15. George Phelan, Life

The future of USA Rugby is bright and we should be excited about the path ahead and the growth of the game of rugby in the United States.

~Josh Fredlund (Photos by Josh Fredlund)