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Rugby Standouts Named to All-American Squads


JONESBORO — Three standouts for Arkansas State University’s rugby team have been named to the 2015-16 men’s collegiate All-American teams by USARugby.org.

Zinzan Elan-Puttick was selected as a member of the Division 1 first team sevens All-American team and joins teammates Kirk Pretorius and Zachary Young as honorable mention choices on the 15s team by the online publication.

“I am proud of these three gentlemen,” said A-State Head Coach Shaun Potgieter. “They are a great example of the saying ‘hard work pays off.’ Zinzan has been an outstanding player and leader of the team from the day he arrived at Arkansas State and deserves all the recognition that comes his way. We will miss his positive influence and excellent playing abilities.”

This marks the third time Elan-Puttick, a senior from Bloemfontein, South Africa, has received All-America honors. He was honored on the 7s teams in 2013 and 2014. He was recently named to the Rugby Today Dream Team in recognition of his play in the 2016 Penn Mutual 7’s Collegiate Rugby Championship (CRC) in June.

He had five tries and four conversions in pool play games. He also played a key role in helping A-State to win two national championships in 2012 and 2013 and assisted his team to a No. 1 ranking during that time span. Throughout the 2016 regular season, he led the fifth-ranked Red Wolves in scoring, conversions and penalty kicks.

This marks the third time for Pretorius, a 6-4, 240-pound junior from Pretoria, South Africa, to list as an honorable mention pick for the 15s team. He previously received the honor in 2013 and 2015.

Young, a true freshman from Gold Coast, Australia, came in and displayed his skills and excelled in his first season at Arkansas State.

“Kirk has always put in the hard work when no one was watching and has definitely earned his achievements thus far,” continued Potgieter. “He will be on the first-team All-American choice next year.

“Zach has started his A-State rugby career with a bang. He didn’t hesitate to get stuck in and showcase his rugby IQ, skills and play making ability on the pitch. He will be one to watch for the future.”

Zinzan Elan-Puttick

Zinzan Elan-Puttick

Kirk Pretorius
Kirk Pretorius

Zac Young1
Zach Young