Matt Ryan is another member of the Stars program who connected with us via social media via the Facebook page and had a pretty stellar resume to back up his desire to play high level 7s. Besides a rugby background with roots in Kentucky and at Xavier University, Matt is a Captain in the United States Army.
Each year the Armed Forces participate in Serevi Rugbytown 7s as well as in exhibitions at the Collegiate Rugby Championships 7s . The All Army Rugby 7s Team, for whom Matt has been selected for, has produced several players currently training at the Olympic Training Center as a part of the World Class Athlete Program.
I had the chance to watch the Armed Forces Cup live this year and Army easily took the title and advance to the semifinals of Rugbytown 7s - all while playing 2 extra games including early morning Friday matches, as compared to the "regular" teams participating. Their success is all the more impressive when you consider their team does not train together regularly and some are not even in the same state, let alone the same country for most of the year.
Beyond All Army 7s, Matt has sought out high performance rugby opportunities between his deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. He attended the Serevi Rugby Camp in College Park, Maryland this past April (as detailed in this Rugby Today article) and was then extended the offer to attend their Men's High Performance Resident Camp in Glendale, CO this summer.
It was an easy decision to extend Matt an invite for our Central Coast 7s tour and, between other
military duties, whichever tours he can make. He's been a fantastic ambassador for our program in recommending players across all the branches of the Armed Forces to our side as well as those he's observed at various camps.
Here's more on Matt:
- Continued playing in college at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- Graduated in 2008 and began active duty service in the Army as a Second Lieutenant.
- Played at Fort Bragg, NC after return from Iraq deployment in August 2010.
- In July 2013, played for All Army 7s during the inaugural Military Memorial Cup, winning the
- Deployed to Afghanistan from August 2013 to May 2014.
- Attended Serevi Men’s High Performance Resident camp in August.
- Currently the Vice President and co-captain of the Fort Drum (NY)
- Excited and thankful for the opportunity to travel to Australia with Stars Rugby. Looking forward to meeting my new teammates, working hard, and the challenge of playing against some of the best talent in the world.