Cal's Kelly selected to U.S. National Team travel squad
WEST POINT, N.Y. - Golden Bear rugby captain Seamus Kelly has been selected to the U.S. National Team's traveling squad for its three June internationals.
The USA Eagles face Canada in Kingston, Ontario, on Saturday, June 9, at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT; then play Georgia in Glendale, Colo., on June 16 and Italy on June 23 in Houston. The three-time All-America outside center reported to the Eagles assembly at the U.S. Military Academy 24 hours after the Bears won the bronze medal match at the Collegiate Rugby Championship 7s in Philadelphia.
"It's a dream come true," said Kelly after his final collegiate match of the year in the locker room at the CRC 7s immediately after learning of his selection. "You play a sport to reach its highest level. I couldn't be happier and I think I'll find some additional reserves down deep."
Kelly joins six former All-America Bears on the traveling roster, including fellow back Colin Hawley, a 2010 co-captain with five international matches in 15s, including one at the 2011 Rugby World Cup, under his belt. Kelly will also reunite with fellow Xavier High School (N.Y.) alumnus and scrumhalf Mike Petri, and head coach Mike Tolkin, Kelly's coach at Xavier.
Rounding out the seven-player group of current and former Cal players are Derek Asbun, a 2011 co-captain and Oxford Blue in his first national team assembly; Chris Biller, a 2009 co-captain and most recently a member of Northampton in England's Premier League whose 16 international appearances include three matches at the 2011 RWC; Eric Fry, a 2010 co-captain who played his sixth international against Australia at the 2011 RWC; Mike MacDonald, a 2004 co-captain and the United States' all-time leader with 65 international appearances including three RWCs; and Louis Stanfill, the back-rower from 2012 national club champion NYAC and 30-match, two-RWC international.
Kelly is one of only three collegians on the squad; the other two are BYU scrumhalf Shaun Davies and Army back Will Holder.
"Seamus is a very special young man and rugby athlete. His work ethic and desire to well represent his team is best of class," said Cal head coach Jack Clark. "These attributes together with some very real talent is the exact package the national team needs. I believe Seamus will be on the national team from now until he retires."