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Sunday, August 10, 2014

Ten Texans included in Arkansas St Rugby 2014 recruiting class

Coach Delaibatiki (top left) and the bulk of ASU's 2014 recruiting class
Jonesboro, AK - Arkansas State Rugby Coach NeMani Delaibatiki (formerly of Bay Area Rugby Club in Clear Lake, TX) has announced the Redwolves' 2014 recruiting class. Ten of the 27 incoming recruits are Texans. Nine of those Texans are former Rugby Texas competitors. 

Several of the Texas recruits made their mark this past Spring in the Rugby Texas competition. Garrett Soileau was memorable at the Rugby Texas HS Rugby State Championships in Katy, TX as he made brutal stops from the post position at the breakdowns of his opponents and displayed a couple of rumbling carries. Tanner Pope was every where for Katy Rugby on that day, as well. His workrate attracted the attention of every college coach at the stadium as it seemed that Pope was in attendance to 60-70% of the rucks and mauls in his games. Neil Maestri cannot be forgotten. This Katy goose-stepper seemed to find seams and half-seams to slip through for two days straight at the HS State Championships. When he wasn't finding in-goal, Maestri was putting away his teammates for the same purpose.

Coach Mani issued the following statement:
"Arkansas State University will be losing 13 players from last season due to graduation, and eligibility. Captain and All-American Shaun Potgieter is part of the this class that have done so much for ASTATE Rugby, and our young guys will indeed have huge shoes to fall, but it's a challenge I welcome as a coach, and I am sure the players will be up for it as well.
"Welcoming a class of 27 would seem too large for an incoming class, but we believe this is a great way to build our program for the next few years to come. The mindset is to always maintain the level of competitiveness that Arkansas State Rugby is known for regardless of how many seniors have graduated, or how young the team may be. We will have a young squad this season, but that's never an excuse to not compete, and we will continue to work to make sure that we maintain or top the level of competitiveness that Arkansas State University is known for. That I welcome as a coach and (is a challenge) our young squad is looking forward too as well. The mindset we hear a lot is that this might be a quiet year for you guys because of the large senior class leaving with a handful of former All Americans, but that's the mindset we never welcome here at Arkansas State University, because regardless of who puts on the game day jersey, we will still showcase Arkansas State Rugby. Players might be different from last season, but the level of intensity and heart needed to play for our school and ASU rugby is still the same, and we expect nothing less this season. I cant wait to get started this season with this group!"

Name Home City /Country Position Freshman / Transfer from Others
1.       Noe Pena Houston, TX Centre F
2.       Nicholas Abreus Houston, TX Wing F
3.       Pedro Alvarez Houston, TX Flyhalf F
4.       Zach Mohr Clinton, IA Openside Transfer - UNI
5.       Blace Walser Oklahoma Centre Transfer  - OSU OSU Varsity Wrestler
6.       Chandler Carney Nashville, TN Wing, Fullback F
7.       Christian Schulze Plano, TX Centre F
8.       Jackson Shevlin Lake Travis, TX Scrumhalf F
9.       Ian Crawford Chicago, IL Prop Transfer  - Lindenwood 
10.    Garrett Soileau The Woodlands, TX Prop F USAR Stars & Stripes 2014
11.    Reed Wigglesworth Jacksonville, FL Prop F
12.    Nate Bozin San Francisco, CA Prop F
13.    Jaime Togores Madrid, Spain Blindside, 8 F Spain U18
14.    Ryan Knuppel Dubai, UAE Flyhalf F
15.    Siaosi Finau Euless, TX Centre Transfer - Angelo State Football Trinity HS Football
16.    Semisi Filikitonga Maui, HA Wing F
17.    Nemia Qoro San Francisco, CA Utility Back F USA U20
18.    Michael Jackson Omaha, NE Wing F
19.    Tanner Pope Katy, TX 8 F
20.    Neil Maestri Katy, TX Centre, Wing F
21.    Joshua Goldsmith South Africa Flanker F
22.    Davis Strobel Charleston, SC Hooker F
23.    Tim Forney The Woodlands, TX Wing F
24.    David Snead Glendale, CO Utility Backs Transfer Glendale Raptors
25.    Dylan Boast Atlanta, GA Flyhalf F USA South U19
26.    Judah Obueghi Atlanta, GA Lock F USA South U19
27.    Jordan Fleming Tennessee Utility F

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