Cal Five on National Team Most from Any University
HOUSTON – Five former Golden Bears – outgoing captain Seamus Kelly, U.K. professionals Blaine Scully and Eric Fry, and 44-cap-holder Louis Stanfill in the Starting XV, and U.S. Olympic Committee contract holder Danny Barrett in reserve – are in the lineup for Saturday’s 5 p.m. PT international test for the U.S. National Team vs. Scotland, with TV coverage on Universal Sports from BBVA Compass Stadium. The five California alumni comprise largest contingent of any single university on the national team.
“I’m really proud of these young men,” said Cal head coach Jack Clark, who will join Saturday’s pageantry with his induction into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame. “Developing student-athletes to their fullest potential is within our mission. It is an important report card for our rugby program and the athletic department as a whole. Continuing to have such a significant representation on the national team is validation of our approach and systems.”
Kelly, an outside center from Queens, N.Y., and the first three-year captain in Cal rugby’s 132-year history, prepares for Saturday coming off his six-try, six-match stretch leading the Bears to the 2014 Collegiate Rugby Championship last weekend in Philadelphia. Kelly graduated this spring with a degree in Political Economy carrying a 3.36 GPA into his final semester and left the University as one of the most decorated rugby alumni in school history. The 2013 College Player of the Year and four-time All-America selection has already contributed to eight matches on the U.S. National Team, most recently playing all 80 minutes in a March 29 win over Uruguay to qualify the USA for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The next-youngest Bear in the lineup in Barrett, a back-rower from Pacifica, Calif., who just completed his first circuit with the U.S. National 7s Team and is poised to earn his first full international appearance against Scotland, currently the No.-10 ranked team in the world.
They will join Scully, a Sacramento, Calif., native and wing on the Leicester Tigers in the U.K. Premiership with 16 internationals under his belt; Fry, a prop from Davis, Calif., with 22 international caps and a 2014-15 contract signed with the Premiership’s Newcastle Falcons; and Stanfill, a lock and back-rower also from Sacramento and, like Scully and Fry, a Rugby World Cup veteran, having represented the U.S. at the 2007 and ’11 quadrennials.