June 07, 2013


 Over 125 athletes from all over the Northeast area attended two open tryouts on Saturday, May 25th for the newly formed Sevens Olympic Development Academy at Columbia University’s Baker Field, and again in Malden, Mass, on Sunday May 26th.

 The Academy is dedicated to identifying, developing and preparing Sevens players with a view to placing athletes on the USA Eagles men’s national team and the USA Olympic squad for Rio in 2016. The Empire GU Academy will combine with the New England Academy to form a Combined Northeast team to compete in various regional tournaments over the year, such as the Serevi Sevens in Glendale. As departing USA Eagles coach Alex Magleby said this week, “ In line with the intent to mirror USA Eagles rugby protocols, the athletes were tested in 5 areas (with best scores in parentheses), 10 meters (1.6), 40 meters (4.79), the vertical jump (34.7), Illinois agility test (12.86), yo-yo (20.6) as well as ball-handling skills, before playing a series of trial scrimmages in front of the Academy coaching staff.  In addition to long-term NRU All-star coach Horan, the two Academies will be overseen by Steve Lewis of Old Blue RFC in New York, and Josh Smith of Middlesex RFC in New England.

 Director of the Academy Sean Horan commented on what was a highly successful weekend, “I am delighted at the high number of athletes participating today, and also with the diversity of clubs and universities who will now be represented in the Academy.  The turnout was superb and we achieved our aim of identifying some athletes who may otherwise have been overlooked, or who come from a non-traditional rugby environment.”

 Further to Horan’s comment, over 24 clubs or universities throughout the Empire and New England Unions are represented in the inaugural selections listed below;  

Brandon Beloin, Boston Rugby
Erik Brierley, Boston Rugby
Jon Cali, Middlesex Savages
Jared Collinson, Middlesex Savages
Tucker Cutter, University of New Hampshire
Vincent Daley, Middlesex Savages
Matt Donahue, Saint Anslem College
Dimitri Efthimiou, Northeastern University
Chris Frazier, Northeastern University
Michael Hunnewell, Boston Rugby
Drew Jacobs, Middlesex Savages
Adnan Kawuma, Middlesex Savages
Jon Kokinda, Middlesex Savages
Patrick Magunga, Providence College
Michael Mahoney, Middlesex Savages
Diego Maquieira, Northeastern University
Evin O'Driscoll, Mystic River
Jesse Pearce , University of Rhode Island
Terry Quick, Boston Rugby
Korey Rahrle, Saratoga Stampede
Aaron Reich, Northeastern University
Joshua Reid, Boston Rugby
Alex Rollins, South Shore Anchors
Michael Rudzinsky, Mystic River
Brian Stannard, Seacoast Rugby
Nick Vettese, Middlesex Savages
Duran Vota, Boston Rugby
Kevin West, Middlesex Savages


Fitzjames  Adams, Old Blue
Sam Anderson, NYAC
Jordan Badia, Claremont College
John Baer, Old Blue
Joseph Bronzo, Boston College
Shane Dempsey, Salve Regina
Kyle DePew, Old Blue
Nick Evans, University of Tennessee
Daniel Freed-Pastor, Old Blue
Alex Hodgkinson,  Syracuse University
Justin Hundley, NYAC
Joe Karlin, Village Lions
Robert Keehn, White Plains
Derek Lipscomb, Old Blue
Cory Petermann, Morris
Robert Pletcher, Drexel University
Sean Rafferty, Long Island
Kyle Semrau, St Johns Fisher College
Michael St.Claire, SUNY Stony Brook
Gareth Stoppani, Old Blue
Jordan Torres, New York Rugby
Elliott Wangaard, New Haven