USA U20 captain Will Magie says there’s more to come from his team after their two-game sweep of Canada in May.
“It is great to get two wins away,” said Magie, who plays flyhalf for the team. “Many of the Canadians had been together since January and for us to only have 5 or 6 days of prep before the first game and then only one training session in between, and to win both games shows how talented a group we have. We are also a very close-knit group, we all get along and that showed on the field. Not many teams could come back from 21-0 down after 15 minutes and win.”
That close-knit feeling has extended to much of the squad spending extra training time in Colorado to prepare for the Junior World Rugby Trophy. Magie said the team knows things aren’t just going to roll for them.
“We are confident, but we know games at the JWRT are going to be a lot harder and we have to step up to that level,” said the Leeds University flyhalf. “But we know we can do this. We have a lot to work on still.”
Among those, their exits, as they call them – getting out of their own 22 without a lot of drama or giving up tries. That was an issue against Canada, and almost sunk them. In the end, committed cover defense secured their second victory.
“We can always work on out set piece and defensive systems and these are the principles of what we base our game plan around,” said Magie. “What you will see from us is a lot of aggression and a high work rate. We are all excited about the tournament and there is a really good vibe amongst all the players and coaches.”
The Junior All Americans will convene in Steamboat Springs for a pre-tournament assembly at altitude, and then move on to Salt Lake City for the JWRT.
Junior World Rugby Trophy schedule.
All games are to be held at Murray Rugby Park Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the gate on game day. There are four games each day.
18 Jun, 14:00 Chile v Russia
18 Jun, 18:00 USA v Tonga
22 Jun, 16:00 Tonga v Russia
22 Jun, 18:00 USA v Chile
26 Jun, 16:00 Tonga v Chile
26 Jun, 18:00 USA v Russia
18 Jun, 12:00 Japan v Zimbabwe
18 Jun, 16:00 Georgia v Canada
22 Jun, 12:00 Georgia v Zimbabwe
22 Jun, 14:00 Japan v Canada
26 Jun, 12:00 Canada v Zimbabwe
26 Jun, 14:00 Japan v Georgia
7th Place Playoff
30 Jun, 12:00 4th Pool A v 4th Pool B
5th Place Playoff
30 Jun, 14:00 3rd Pool A v 3rd Pool B
3rd Place Playoff
30 Jun, 16:00 2nd Pool A v 2nd Pool B
30 Jun, 18:00 1st Pool A v 1st Pool B