The Florida Rugby Union (FRU) Sevens Olympic Rugby Development program has announced its inaugural team to compete in the Elite Division at the Las Vegas Invitational (LVI) Tournament. The Tournament is to be held on February 12-14. The LVI is North America’s largest tournament, attracting teams from across North America and around the world. The players selected to represent Florida are extremely excited to show their talents on an international stage like this.
The 25 deep player development group has been practicing and training since early September of 2014. These sessions were open to all players in the Florida Rugby Union and were led by Head Coach Ronnie Suarez. Ronnie has assembled a highly talented and experienced coaching staff, which includes Assistant Coach Steve Braunstein, FRU Executive Director Evan Haigh, and FRU Director of 7’s Brian Richardson.
This will be their first tournament as the Florida Selects. The program’s vision is to propel Florida’s talent onto the national stage and ultimately produce future Olympians. “Florida is full of athletic rugby talent and we know it will become a breeding ground for future Eagles, this tournament is the beginning of that process” said Florida Selects Head Coach Ronnie Suarez. Evan Haigh, FRU Executive Director added “Florida has all of the right pieces to be a power house rugby state. It is up to us to put them all in the right places; the Select Side programs are a key component in that process”
The Selects recently hosted the Mexican National Team in a mini two-day tournament. The Mexicans got the best of the Selects that time; however the Selects are looking forward to the possibility of meeting the Mexicans again in Las Vegas. “Our Rugby 7s IQ has developed immensely since we started back in September. I can see that improvement with each monthly training session, the tournament with the Mexicans really helped us understand where we needed to improve. I’m confident that the boys will step up, showcase themselves, and represent Florida well” said Ronnie Suarez.
Julius Fletcher (Treasure Coast RFC)
Camilo Repetto (Unattached – FRU 7’s)
Damian Clemente (Miami RFC)
Dewayne Parks Jr. (Brevard Old Red Eye)
Ethan Baldino (Naples RFC)
Eugene Louw (Orlando Griffins)
Jeff Herron (Tampa Krewe)
Jonathan Halter (Gainesville RFC)
Justin Turner (Boca Raton Buccaneers)
Viliamu Manu’a (Orlando Griffins)
Adrian Salazar (Miami RFC)
Kevin Wathen (Daytona Beach Coconuts)
Ronnie Suarez (Miami RFC)
Steve Braunstein (Naples RFC & FGCU Girls)
Evan Haigh (FYRU/FRU Executive Director)
Brian Richardson (FRU Director of 7s)
For further information about the Florida Select side program please contact Ronnie Suarez at firstname.lastname@example.org