Friday, September 5, 2014

Brief Update and Coaching Announcement

It has been a huge month (and summer really) for Stars Rugby 7s. I apologize for the lack of posting, but when summer 7s comes nearly all attention turns to the pitch, to training, and to rugby travel.  There will be a big recap of all the action as we traveled between regional qualifying 7s action, the USA Rugby National Club 7s Championships in Seattle, Serevi Rugbytown 7s in Denver, and the Women's High Performance 7s Camp hosted at the American Pro Rugby Training Center in Little Rock, AR.

These past 3 months have been a whirlwind of 7s activity for many of players as well with several athletes attending Serevi residency camps, the HP7s camp in Arkansas, and others invited to week-long stints at the Olympic Training Center with the Eagles. Nearly every player competed at the club and representational levels at tournaments across the US - as well as a few abroad. And we're honored that Canada Star Nia Williams was named Women's MVP of the Club 7s National Championships, on her 21st birthday no less!

With all this action and travel, scouting and recruiting, our rosters are nearly set for Central Coast 7s in October and the reveal will include several names familiar to rugby fans in America. Our Tobago 7s invites were also released last week and I'm thrilled that nearly half the spots for 2 men's and 2 women's teams have already been taken. The growth and future of our program is bright.

And now the big news: Stars Rugby 7s has been working hard over the last few months in also developing coaches that can guide our athletes to the next level. We are thrilled to introduce Andy Katoa and Orene Ai'i as coaches for the Stars program:

 Andy Katoa

Andy Coaching in Aspen
Andy  Katoa  has  been  an  indispensable  resource  for  the  USA  Men’s  Rugby  7s  program  since  2007. Katoa  served  as  an  assistant  to  Al  Caravelli  from  2008–2011,  and  as team manager with  Alex  Magleby  from  2012–2013.  Katoa’s  other  responsibilities  included player  identification  and  development.

On tour with Atlantis 7s (and a few rugby legends), Argentina 1997

 As  the  Gentlemen  of  Aspen  7s  head  coach  from  1999 –2011  Katoa  dedicated  himself  to creating a strong and competitive  team. His  Aspen  7s  team   qualified  for  the  National  Championship  competition  every  year  under  Katoa’s  direction  and  in   2008  they  won  the  National Championship.

The  team  played  in  the  final  in  2009  and  lost  in  the   semi-­‐final  game  in  2010.     

With Ata Malifa and Dallen Stanford at the 'Play On' premier
Today Katoa  continues  to  build  USA  Rugby  by  coaching, recruiting  and  developing  players  for USA U-18's All American program. He is also involved with Eagle Impact Academy and coaches 7s with University of Arizona Men's Rugby.

Orene Ai'i

Name: Orene Ai'i
Nickname: Renz

Playing History:
Hurricanes - 1999
Auckland Blues - 2000,2001,2003,2004,2005,2012
Crusaders - 2002
Auckland NPC - 1998 - 2005 - 2013
Auckland 7s - 1996 - 2005
Toulon (France) 2007-2009
Toyota Rugby Club ( Japan) 2005 - 2007 - 2009 - 2012

International Teams:
Samoa - 1998
New Zealand 'A' - 2001
New Zealand 7s - 1999 - 2005

IRB 7s Player Of The Year - 2005
ProD2 Player Of The Year - 2009 (France)

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