By: K.J. Wylie/GCU Staff
Talent combined with hard work never goes unnoticed.
Voted on by the coaches from around the country, Grand Canyon University’s Austin Taefu has been named as an Honorable Mention selection to the USA Rugby Honorary Men’s Collegiate All Americans Sevens team. Taefu is the only player from GCU Men’s Rugby to make the list and be recognized for the amazing season he had this year.
Taefu played a major role in the Lopes’ best 7s season in school history. The team made it the semifinals of the National USA Rugby 7s Tournament, finishing in fourth place.
While he is only a sophomore with two years of eligibility left to play, Lopes’ Head Coach Cam Wyper believed Taefu was destined for this achievement.
“He has been one of our best guys all season,” said Wyper. “Making All-American was never his goal coming into this season, but with hard work and consistency, this is a benefit that has come out of that.”
Grand Canyon entered this season with massive shoes to fill when one of their best players from 2016-17, Nick Kwasniewski, decided to forego his senior season to turn pro. While Lopes’ 2017-18 team captains Darrien Pickett and Cam Dodson were certainly up for the challenge, Wyper was pleased to be able to also rely on Taefu.
“Austin is like the quarterback for our team,” said Wyper. “His ability to set others up and remain consistent every game was huge for us all season.”
Being selected for such a prestigious award means a lot to Taefu. It’s also part of a much larger goal.
“I want to do everything I can to keeping making this list, but my ultimate goal in mind is to play professional rugby,” said Taefu. “Coach Cam set one of my goals for this summer to remain in great shape, so I’m working every day at keeping that up.”