Matt Brennan of Lake Forest Park and Ian Wright of Renton have been selected to represent the United States in international competition. Here’s the full press release below:
SEATTLE, WA (February 9th, 2013) – USA Rugby has selected two Seattle-area high school athletes to represent the United States in international competition as members of the USA Rugby High School All-Americans (HSAA). Matt Brennan of Lake Forest Park, and Ian Wright of Renton were among 24 players selected from a pool of 120 elite athletes gathered at the USA High School All-Americans camp in Tempe, Arizona Dec. 26-31, 2012.
Brennan, a student-athlete at Shorecrest High School in Shoreline, plays for the Seattle Vikings Rugby Club. Wright, a student-athlete at Liberty High School, plays club rugby for the Liberty Patriots.
Both Brennan and Wright will play for the HSAAs in the International Elite Division of the Las Vegas Invitational 7s Tournament Feb. 8-9 in Las Vegas, Nev. One HSAA team will be selected from this competition to play in the Rosslyn Park 7s in London, England from March 18-22, 2103 – as well as the HSAA tour to face the Argentina and Uruguay national teams in July, 2013.
Six other Washington players were invited to the national trials. Each remains in the pool of players being considered for future international rugby competitions. They are:
1. Wilson Vasukilakeba, Mariner High School (Everett, WA), Seattle Vikings
2. Anthony Fleck, Ferndale High School (Ferndale, WA) Chuckanut Bay Steamers
3. Jonny Reid, Sehome High School (Bellingham, WA) Chuckanut Bay Steamers
4. Scott Dean, Liberty High School (Issaquah, WA) Liberty Patriots
5. Brian Nault, Shelton High School (Shelton, WA) Shelton
6. Titi Lamositele, Sehome High School (Bellingham, WA), Chuckanut Bay Steamers
The eight players made their way to the national team trials through their participation in the Washington State Loggers, the regional high-performance program for select club players in the U17 and U19 age groups. In addition to being top rugby players, Brennan, Lamositele and Nault were each selected high school All-Conference football players 2012, attesting to the continued rise of popularity and competitiveness in high school rugby in the Northwest.
Steve Brennan, head coach of the Washington Loggers boys 7s program, said “We’re extremely proud of the performance from these eight young men. As they’ve stepped-up to the level of international competition, the mental pressure and physical demands placed on young players is tremendous. To have two players from Seattle selected to wear the USA jersey is a testament to the work that’s been put-in by these young men, their clubs, coaches and families.”
The selection of Brennan and Vasukilakeba to the national team trials caps-off a big year for the Seattle Vikings, as the club won the 2012 Washington State 7s Championships in both the U17 and U19 age groups. The players resume training with the Seattle Vikings in February, as the club prepares for its regular spring season, before touring to play in Ireland and Wales in April.