The Giltinis development team, the Rising Stars return to action this weekend against Californian counterparts San Diego Legion Academy.
The roster sees a number of new faces largely due to the success of partner clubs Santa Monica and Belmont Shore who have both qualified for their respective club national ‘Final 4' series.
A number of Giltinis Academy players will also be participating in the Collegiate 7s Championship in Georgia while Zach Bonte is called up into action with our senior team.
The team included a number of new faces from Giltinis Partner Academy programs, none more so than Rhinos High Performance Residence program in Sen Clemente, which houses Global 7s talents pursuing a career at the top level of the game.
The Rhino Academy fosters a competitive training and academic environment where athletes learn and apply core life values such as respect, honor, discipline, integrity, teamwork and accountability, along with a significant focus on “coach development and education," which aligns well with the Giltinis community philosophy in growing the game in California.
This week will see the Rising Stars call upon USA talents Jared Amasio and long term Rhinos player Moses Sepulona, along with Christian Du Toit (South Africa), Timon Vign (Netherlands) and Brock Gallagher (Canada).
This will add to the Giltinis growing contingent of players who’ve found their way through the Rhinos High Performance Pathway such as rookie sensation Cyrille Cama (below) and Kahanu Koi, amongst other Academy Players.
"The success of our partner clubs like Rhinos is great to see,” said Head Coach David Clancy.
“All of us from the LA Rugby community and the Giltinis organization share a common purpose of making California Rugby a real international hot bed for talent. We look forward continuing to build on the success of programs like Rhinos, Belmont Shore and San Diego Legion Academy.
"While this team will be missing some familiar faces who played within Giltinis system in 2022, with many players taking part in the College National Championships, it is still rich with talent, which demonstrates the programs in place at Rhinos and other rugby programs across the region."
“I'd also like to wish all our Giltinis Academy players representing their college teams at the nationals and Club’s this weekend the very best of luck, we will be cheering on our players representing UCLA, Cal State Long Beach and USD.”
“We'd like to think our Academy players go back to their clubs as better players and have all contributed to their clubs success thus far. That success gives us an opportunity to cast a wider net and look at more talented players from local partners such as Rhinos, who also bring learnings to the Giltinis."
Giltinis Rising Stars Team v Legion
1 Shoichiro Nishinaga - UCLA
2 Sammy McMillan - UCLA
3 Adonnis Lee Johnson - Santa Monica
4 Rory Corr - UCLA
5 Sam Peri (captain) - Santa Monica
6 Will Sherman - UCLA
7 Timon Vign - Rhinos
8 Isiaih Maeva - Oceanside
9 Aidan Konja - OMBAC
10 Kahanu Koi - Giltinis Academy
11 Josh Williams - Belmont Shore
12 Joshua Williams - Azusa Pacifica
13 Dayen Joyce - Mira Costa
14 Connor Hannon - Unattached
15 Dakota Reistud - Belmont Shore
16 Logan Tatum - USD
17 Omondi Pierce - Santa Monica
18 Ephraim Teo - Belmont Shore
19 Mitch Suzuki - Belmont Shore
20 Brock Gallagher - Rhinos
21 Christian Du Toit - Rhinos
22 Jarod Amafio - Rhinos
23 Moses Sebulona - Rhinos
24 Rory Jones - Santa Barbara Academy
25 Cormac Saint - Cal Berkeley (incoming freshman)