Moon’s Mancini, Woodland Hills’ Wolford selected for USA Rugby training camp
Two members of the West Pittsburgh Foxes Rugby Club are heading north for a major event.
Moon rising senior Sofia Mancini and Woodland Hills rising senior Vanessa Wolford were invited to the USA Rugby Girls High School All-American East training camp this week in Ontario, Canada.
At the East and West camps, staff will evaluate performances to select players for the December winter camp, which includes full internationals against Canada’s U18s.
The West camp was earlier.
The High School All-American U18 program is a development platform for players looking to one day reach the senior national team.
It will be Mancini’s second USA Rugby event this year.
In May, she was among players who assembled for the NextGen Sevens competition in Ontario.
“I hope to take away better footwork skills, agility training techniques to beat my defenders and, of course, more rugby knowledge,” said Mancini, 17.
The 5-foot-3 Mancini was invited to the winter camp in California last December.
Wolford, 17, will be participating in her first USA Rugby event.
The 5-foot-11 Wolford said she hopes to gain more knowledge, meet new people and get to play with women of a higher experience.
“It will help me (to go with Mancini) because we have been playing with each other on many teams and we know each other well,” Wolford said.
West Pittsburgh Foxes coach Rocky Nurss was happy for both players.
“It’s exciting for Sofia to get this second call up,” Nurss said. “It’s a clear sign that her performance, skills and approach to the game are all in line with what USA Rugby is seeking in young elite athletes.
“We were so happy to see Vanessa selected. In Western (Pennsylvania) rugby circles, it has long been a case of finding ways to keep the ball away from Vanessa.
“It’s great to see that reputation has grown to a national level.”
Karen Kadilak is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.