Lopes’ playmaker to represent GCU and United States this weekend at AF International 7s Tournament
By: Jim Howell/GCU Club Sports Information Director (special reporting by K.J. Wylie)
The Grand Canyon University Men’s Rugby team has announced that one of its top players, Maceo Brown, has been selected to represent GCU as part of the USA Falcons’ squad. Brown is one of only 16 players across the United States chosen to be part of this prestigious event. The Falcons will compete in the AF International 7s Preseason Tournament in Manchester, England, this Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7.
This weekend has been long-awaited for Brown and his teammates, since he has been training with the squad for nearly nine months. Brown was a standout performer for the Lopes last season, and was named as a USA Rugby All-American last season. Brown was one of the key reasons why the Lopes qualified for the Round of 16 of the 2018 D1A Rugby Playoffs for the first time in their history last April. Brown is only one of five players to be a contracted member of the U.S. Olympic team.
The Falcons will face five different international 7s squads in the span of 48 hours this weekend, facing off against Spain, England, Germany, Ireland and France. The round-robin competition will not only give Brown a chance to win this tournament, but also possibly earn him a spot on the USA Eagles that will compete in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series 2019, Tokyo 2020 Olympics and World Cup 2022 events.
While his now-former head coach is ecstatic for this international opportunity for Brown, he’s also very pleased about the road that this honor could pave for Brown’s former Lopes’ teammates, and those Lopes’ Rugby players to follow.
“We’re on the radar,” said Wyper. “It’s a huge deal for the program to have a player who came through our ranks to now be on the national team. Hopefully, we can continue to build and produce more great athletes.”
Lopes’ fans will have to set their alarms to follow along with the first match for Brown and the Falcons, since they will square off against Spain at 2:40 am Arizona time Saturday morning. Fans can get scoring updates on the USA Rugby’s Twitter page (@usarugby).