Serevi Rugby put a wrap on its first-ever Serevi Rugby Academy on Saturday, August 20th with a scrimmage at Seattle's Magnuson Park. On the sideline providing running feedback and commentary were two of the game's legends: Fijian great and Serevi Rugby co-founder Waisale Serevi and New Zealand All Blacks' Coach Gordon Tietjens.
Tietjens had arrived from New Zealand on Thursday, just in time to join all 30 Academy participants at a Seattle Seahawks practice, after which Seahawks' Coach Pete Carroll addressed the Serevi Rugby players. Carroll also took time to compare notes on high performance with Serevi, Tietjens and U.S. National Coach Al Caravelli, who was at the Academy Thursday and Friday to assess talent. Carroll arranged for Serevi Rugby participants to sit in the team section for Saturday's exhibition game against Minnesota.
After talking to the players about intensity, nutrition and attention to detail, Tietjens put the group of elite players through two grueling workouts on Friday, driving home points from his morning lecture. Tietjens and Caravelli then joined Serevi on the shores of Lake Washington Friday evening for a Serevi Rugby-hosted event to benefit Washington State rugby.
Several camp participants, including Rocco Mauer, Tim Stanfill and Peter Tiberio, left the Academy Friday night to head to San Diego with Caravelli and the Collegiate All Stars.
After the Academy, Serevi noted "We couldn't have asked for a better week. I ran the Academy as I would for a national team and players responded. They brought their A games and showed great passion and camaraderie. Gordon Tietjens was magic on Friday. Having Al in the house added to the sense of urgency we feel around growing this game in North America. I can hardly wait for the next Academy."