Friday All Americans head coach Alex Magleby will be choosing his team to face New Zealand Universities, and it will be a tough job.
The former Dartmouth All American and 7s and 15s Eagle told RUGBYMag.com that the level of rugby ability in camp is the highest he’s ever seen in an All American assembly. The players have shown up in shape and ready to work.
“It’s a tribute to the work done by all those college coaches out there,” said Magleby, who has only one of his Dartmouth players, Nate Brakeley, on the squad. “We don’t do it here. They do it every day during the college season. Our job here is to put the players in a training environment that is more challenging than the games, and develop international rugby players.”
Magleby said making the Eagles should not be the goal of these players; being a great Eagle should be.
“We talk about being a podium player, which means being one of the top three in your position in the world. A swim coach will look at his team and figure if he has 70 percent of his team on the podium, he will win the meet. I want the USA to have 70 percent of their players podium players. It’s an audacious goal, but I want players to think beyond just making the Eagles.”
Magleby said all the players, including the small number of DI (as opposed to College Premier Division) players have impressed and slotted in just fine, thank you. He will treat all three games in this three-week series as test matches. He will select to win.
“Right now we’re concerned with playing our game on Saturday and nothing more than that,” he said. “We know New Zealand Universities will be a strong team, but really we need to focus on ourselves. The guys are doing a really good job taking everything in, and working hard. We have a lot of leaders on this team, and they are a great group to work with.”