Eight A-State Rugby Players Receive All-America Honors
JONESBORO — Eight Arkansas State University rugby players have been selected by USA Rugby to the 2014 Men’s Collegiate All-America teams that honors men’s college rugby players from the across the nation.
Three forwards were named to the first-team All-America list, including junior Connor Cook of Waihaloa, Hawaii, sophomore Harry Higgins of Brisbane, Australia, and senior Shaun Potgieter of Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Steyn Benade, a graduate student from Hermauns, South Africa, received honorable mention forward honors. Sophomore Gavin Brown of Indianapolis, Ind., is named to the honorable mention All-America list as a back.
Players honored as members of the USA Rugby sevens first team include senior Dylan Carrion of Plano, Texas, senior Zin Zan Elan-Puttick of Bloemfontein, South Africa, and sophomore Tom Haussrer of Auckland, New Zealand, while Potgieter is a sevens honorable mention pick.
"I am proud of these players who have received recognition as All-America athletes,” said head coach NeMani Delaibatiki. “It is a great feat for the club, especially the players who are selected. It’s always an honor to receive such accolades, and we as the Arkansas State rugby family are proud of what these guys have accomplished.
“It promotes our university, our rugby team, and most importantly, these players who get a chance to represent themselves and their families on the biggest stage of collegiate rugby in the country."
In June, Potgieter, Cook and Higgins were named to the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-America team (American International Group MCAA) by USARugby.com and participated in a three-game touring squad schedule against Cambridge and Ontario.
Arkansas State, a two-time sevens national champion in 2012 and 2013, advanced to the spring title race before dropping a 34-27 semifinal loss to Life University on the road in May.
In all, 15 Arkansas State rugby players have been selected to the 15s All-America team and three to the 7s squad.