Friday, August 08, 2008

Lucky talented Yankee young-uns

The Oympic Games are kicking-off, but these young American boys are living their own athletic dreams. Gotta love the work Viz is doing to develop the sport of rugby union in the United States. Great job, and congrats to the selected kids. The education will doubtlessly be an amazing learning experience and something they will never forget for the rest of their lives.

USRFF Names 2008 Developmental Grant Recipients

The United States Rugby Football Foundation is pleased to announce that Hanno Dirksen, Kevin Kimble and Cameron Dolan have been selected as this year's Developmental Grant recipients entitling them to participate in the Advanced Player's Course at the International Rugby Academy of New Zealand.

Hanno Dirksen plays his rugby in Atlanta for the U19 Trojans. The 17 year old back has represented the US at the U17 and U18 levels. Hanno showed his versatility at last week's North America 4 competition with outstanding performances at wing, flyhalf and center. He was so impressive that he was called into the USA National Team assembly in Charleston, SC for the upcoming Clermont-Auvergne match. Read more about Hanno.

Kevin Kimble is an exceptional athlete from New Rochelle, NY who will be attending Penn State in the fall. Kevin played for the US U17s and U18s and was player of the tour for the U18s when they toured England playing Bedford, Northampton, and Doncaster last year. "Kevin is a backrow player with an enormous workrate and unlimited potential," said USA U18s coach Mike Diamantopoulos. Read more about Kevin.

Cam Dolan is from Florida where he excelled playing not only high school rugby but senior men’s rugby this past year. Cam also spent time playing rugby in England in 2007 and was a member of the USA U17 and U18 national squads. "Cameron is big, strong and athletic second rower with a bright future in the sport," said USA Rugby High Performance Director Matt Sherman. Cam has been offered a scholarship to attend Life University in the fall. Read more about Cam.

This is the fourth year that the USRFF has sent promising high school players to New Zealand to participate at the IRANZ's Advanced Student Course. Four of the six who've received Developmental Grants, Scott LaValla, Taylor Mokate, Hamish Roberts and Shawn Pittman, represented the US at this year's U20 World Championships. LaValla and Pittman also played for the Falcons at the recently completed NA4 competition.

"We are pleased to continue sending some of the country's promising young players abroad to help develop their game," said USRFF Executive Director Brian Vizard. "Hanno, Cam and Kevin were all highly recommended and I'm sure they'll do themselves and the U.S. rugby community proud."

The USRFF would like to thank David and Eileen Hovey for their generous contribution in making this year's Developmental Grants possible; TravelCorp for providing the domestic airfare; and USA National Team coach Scott Johnson for allowing Hanno to take time off from the National Team assembly to attend IRANZ. The player's leave today and will return on August 15.

To learn more about the United States Rugby Football Foundation or to make a contribution, go to or call Executive Director Brian Vizard at 619-233-0765.


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