The 2013 Americas Rugby Championship was a good one for the USA. The number three ranked rugby nation from the Americas finished the tournament in second place after defeating Canada and Uruguay in non-internationals in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
As the matches were non-capped the teams taking the field were officially of the A variety, in other words it was Canada A and not the senior test team. The USA version was called the USA Selects and achieved much better results than had been the case in previous editions of the tournament. The difference in the 2013 tournament was that Canada had more players missing due to players having been signed by clubs abroad while the USA players also happen to have been better in 2013 than previously.
One such example is Californian back-rower Danny Barrett who scored an impressive solo try after breaking clear following a turnover near the half way line. Upon recieving a pass Barrett handed-off a would be Canadian tackler and then ran to within metres of the try line before using his size in a similar manner to that of Jonah Lomu in 1995 or 1999 to get over the try line and score in the 57th minute.
An All-American on several occassions, Barrett is a graduate of the University of California (CAL). He played rugby for the Cal Bears before playing for San Francisco Golden Gate this year. He has also played Sevens for the USA including at the World Cup earlier this year in Moscow.
The performances of Barrett in the Americas Rugby Championship suggest that he is certainly a player to keep an eye on for the future. He stands a realistic chance of facing the New Zealand Maori next month in Philadelphia and also representing the USA Eagles in Europe. After hosting the visiting Maori All Blacks side in a non-international the USA will play away test matches against Georgia in Tblissi and Russia in London, England. Barrett could very well be in the squad and make his test debut.
With the USA having produced some highly gifted back-rowers in recent years the addition of Barritt is very good news ahead of the Rugby World Cup qualifying fixtures against Uruguay next March. Barritt joins the likes of Todd Clever, Scott LaValla, Samu Manoa, Taylor Mokate, John Quill and Lou Stanfill to give the USA riches in the position and forcing more than one to play second-row. With both age and height on his side Barrett looms as a future international blindside flanker.