In line with USA Rugby’s Olympic Development Plan (ODP) to establish a nationwide network of Sevens Academies to provide year-round training, preparation and competition for prospective athletes, the Empire Rugby Olympic Development Academy (ODA) and New England Rugby Olympic Development Academy have announced they will begin operations in New York and the Boston area respectively in June 2013.
The Olympic Development Academies are independently operated entities that cooperate with USA Rugby based on a set of key deliverables. They are designed to accelerate the development of up-and-coming players not yet playing at the international level but who have the potential to do so.
Director of the Program, and overseeing both Academies, is Sean Horan, who administers the NRU 7’s series and has had considerable success coaching both the North-East territorial select side, as well as perennial National Championship challengers Old Blue RFC. He will be assisted in coaching responsibilities in New York by IRB Level 3 coach, Stephen Lewis, who recently coached Nigeria Sevens to within one score of the upcoming World Cup, and former USA 7’s Eagle Marcus Respes, while in New England the coaching duties will be led by Middlesex’s Joshua Smith, former USA 7’s Eagle John McGeachy and Oliver Julyan of Brown U, and Kane Budd of Mystic River. Further coaches will be added and it is anticipated that the Eagles coaching staff and other guest coaches will be present on a regular basis.
“We intend to offer ambitious athletes the best possible environment to develop their potential and challenge for a place on the national team and 2016 Olympic squad. This will involve not only the best qualified coaches, but the latest in strength and conditioning, and nutrition advice as well as access to top-class facilities”.
Admission to the Academies will be by open try-outs, to be held in May 2013, where any rugby players or other athletes in the Northeast area will be encouraged to participate. “We will be looking at any and all athletes in the area, irrespective of how much, or where they have played, as our mission is to identify and develop international and Olympic players within our geographical area”. “We are very grateful to both the Empire and New England Rugby Unions for their initial financial support which will allow us to start this program” Horan noted, as all of the Olympic Development Academies are required to be self-financing.
Players in the Academies will be required to train three nights a week, two with their club and one with the Academy, and compete in around 50-60 games per year. The combined Northeast Academy team will also compete against the other six existing regional Academies, Serevi in Seattle, San Diego and Chicago, Tigers in Long Beach and Columbus and Glendale in Colorado, to provide players with the best possible competition in their quest for international recognition.
Interested players should contact Sean Horan at
, Stephen Lewis at
or Josh Smith at