2005 Collegiate All-Americans Named, Set to Tour New Zealand

(Boulder, Colorado) 7 July 2005 -- USA Rugby today named its 2005 Collegiate All-American team, and announced that its finest university players will visit New Zealand in August.

Ten of the 33-man squad earned repeat honors, including BYU center Salesi Sika, Cal Poly-SLO flanker Tony Petruzzella, and Air Force hooker Mike Hobson, each of whom has also won senior international honors. The other repeat All-Americans: prop Blake Burdette (Utah), scrumhalf Joel DiGiorgio (Cal), prop Cyrus Dorosti (Cal), flyhalf Sean Foley (Truman State), center Tim Naylor (Harvard), scrumhalf Michael Petri (Penn State), and hooker Tony Vontz (Cal).

Later this summer, the All-Americans squad will assemble for training and play a two-game schedule against Massey University and Wellington’s Old Boys University Rugby Club. The All-Americans last visited New Zealand in 2003, and four from that team have gone on to earn Eagle honors.

“The 2005 All-American team is full of athletic potential. We will now focus our efforts on exposing these players to a high-performance rugby environment. Competing in the storied rugby culture of New Zealand is always a tremendous experience for the All-American team,” All-American coach Dave Hodges said in announcing the squad.

Established in 1987, the All-Americans have become USA Rugby’s leading high-performance program by assembling the best collegiate players and challenging them to excel at a higher level. In recent years the All-Americans have toured Ireland, South Africa, and Canada as well as New Zealand, in the process gaining invaluable international experience.

Seven 2004 All-Americans have advanced to become Eagles, and 13 of the 18 players who represented the USA in June’s win over Canada were current or former All-Americans, including number eight and captain Kort Schubert.

The class of 2005 has been identified based on merit over the course of the 2005 college championship season as well as standout performances at last month’s National All-Star Championship in Boulder, Colorado. It includes Cal fullback Andrew Blair, MVP of this year’s all-star tournament, and promising flyhalves Joseph Connolly (UCLA) and Ed Haigh (Washington). Also new to the roster is Arkansas State flanker Jarvis Albury, a small-school standout following in the footsteps of Matt Huckaby.

“Andrew Blair was outstanding, hitting the line with pace, running great angles, and kicking his goals,” said All-American assistant coach Ron Bowers.

“Massey and Old Boys will be more difficult matches for our players and we look forward to the opportunity,” Bowers said.

Hodges, who recently retired as player-coach for the Llanelli Scarlets, was himself a 1989-90 All-American at Occidental College before going on to captain the United States. Bowers, of Ohio State, was a 1991 All-American at center for the Buckeyes.

2005 All-Americans
Forwards: Jarvis Albury (Arkansas State), Chris Biller (University of California-Berkeley), Blake Burdette (University of Utah, Adam Casias (Air Force Academy), Cyrus Dorosti (University of California-Berkeley), Douglas Graves (Arkansas State), Mike Hobson (Air Force Academy), Joe Killefer (Dartmouth College), Jake LeGros (Ohio State), Brian Lemay (Air Force Academy), Andrew Lindsey (University of California-Berkeley), Brian McClenahan (University of California-Berkeley), Scott Nielsen (University of Utah), Tony Petruzzella (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Rickus Pretorius (University of California-Berkeley), Louis Stanfill (University of California-Berkeley), Tony Vontz (University of California-Berkeley)

Backs: Peter Black (University of Utah), Andrew Blair (University of California-Berkeley), Joseph Connolly (University of California-Los Angeles), Joel DiGiorgio (University of California-Berkeley), Ryan Donnelly (University of California-Berkeley), Sean Foley (Truman State), Ed Haigh (University of Washington), Andrew Hanks (University of California-Berkeley), Dutch Jones (Clemson University), Dominic Mara (Penn State), Tim Naylor (Harvard University), Mike Palefau (University of Southern Utah), Mike Petri (Penn State), Ed Pitts (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Jason Pye (University of Utah), Salesi Sika (Brigham Young University)

Honorable Mention
Forwards: William Brazier (Fairfield University), Loren Brown (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Phillip Eichten (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Chris Giles (University of Utah), John Gureckis (Air Force Academy), Riley Hanson Smith (University of Washington), Andrew King (University of California-Santa Barbara), Wilmer Lord (Georgia Southern University), Daniel Malloy (Ohio State University), Kevin Peterson (Ohio State University), Michael Poelman (Brigham Young University), Ronald Rosser (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Alejandro Verdaguer (Framingham State College), Richard White (University of California-Los Angeles), Zachary Winter (San Diego State University)

Backs: Dave Anderson (University of Utah), Jean-Sebastien Cagnioncle (Harvard University), James Gillenwater (Vanderbilt University), Wes Hanson Smith (University of Washington), Kevin Hartley (University of Tennessee), Curtis Huckaby (Arkansas State University), Andrew Locke (United States Military Academy), Cameron Mauritson (California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo), Volney Rouse (Saint Mary’s College), Chris Sanford (Louisiana State University), Jack Turner (Arkansas State University)