Rugby Utah Olympic Development Academy
Developing America’s next generation of Olympic and International rugby players is a key goal for Rugby Utah.
By developing the pathways for rugby enthusiasts of all ages Rugby Utah provides the opportunities for coaches, players and referees to develop and participate in elite level rugby.
Comprised of the top players in the state of Utah the Rugby Utah Olympic Development Academy is sanctioned by USA Rugby as the regional National Development Academy for the sport. Players from the senior division and down into the youth and high school divisions can train with some of the top coaches Utah and the USA has to offer.
The Rugby Utah ODA is meant to offer the opportunity that players in this rugby hot-bed have been desperately needing. Now kids and adults will have the pathway defined to play, coach and referee at the highest possible level in the game.Kimball Kjar
Steve St. Pierre
Director of Operations
Steve St. Pierre began his playing career at Brigham Young University in 2002 where he was a walk-on. After a two-year LDS Mission to the California Arcadia Mission from 2003-05 St. Pierre returned to BYU in 2006 where he was quickly tapped as the captain of the BYU Rugby team in 2007.
Under St. Pierre’s leadership the BYU Cougars would make consecutive appearances in the National Championship over the course of three seasons culminating in the program’s first National Title in 2009 during St. Pierre’s senior year. St. Pierre was selected as a Collegiate All American from 2007-09 and was captain of the 2009 All American Tour to South Africa where the AA’s went 2-1.
St. Pierre went on play with the USA 7s National Team in 2009 and USA National Team in 2010 where he competed in the America’s Rugby Championship. During his playing days St. Pierre played with a variety of clubs including the Provo Steelers, Humless 7s and San Francisco Golden Gate.
St. Pierre joined the BYU Rugby coaching staff in 2013 and has been an integral piece to the Cougars’ forwards development. In 2015, he was tapped by Rugby Utah to lead the Halloween 7s assembly of the Olympic Development Academy program.
In his current role with the ODA St. Pierre takes over the operational aspects of the program. St. Pierre will work with Nicholls closely on developing players and coaches that can continue to assist in building up the ODA and the entire Utah rugby community.
Nicholls was born and raised in Zimbabwe. He represented the Zimbabwe u20 team in 2005 and played the next four years of his rugby at the University of Pretoria in South Africa where he also played for the Blue Bulls 7’s in the South African domestic league.
In 2010 he came over to complete his studies in physical therapy at the U of U. He played the super league season with the Utah Warriors in 2011, and was part of the team that came 3rd at 7’s nationals that same season. In 2012 Nicholls played the season with the Denver Barbarians.
In 2013 Nicholls moved to San Diego to play with the Old Aztecs club and went to nationals with them. This led to a contract at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for the 2013/14 season. He represented the USA Falcons in a number of tournaments including the Coral Coast 7’s in Fiji and NACRA tournament in Grand Cayman. In March of 2014 he returned to Zimbabwe to play for the Zimbabwe Cheetahs in Hong Kong.
Nicholls played for the Rugby Utah ODA during the team’s inaugural season in the Halloween 7s Championship assembly of the ODA. Nicholls is responsible for all player development, selection and fitness standards for the ODA team. He is also tasked with working with the Utah rugby community to involved and develop other coaches that can coach at elite levels.
Nicholls is married and the proud parent of one child and he works full time as a physical therapist.
To be announced following June 11th ODA Combine…
- June 4th: ODA Selects @ Rugby Utah 7s State Championship (Regional Athletic Complex)
- June 11th: Rugby Utah ODA Talent Combine
- June 25th: ODA @ Frontier 7s Qualifier #1 (Denver)
- July 9th: ODA @ Frontier 7s Qualifier #2 (Kansas City)
- July 23rd: ODA @ Frontier 7s Qualifier #3 (Pioneer 7s/SLC)
- August 13th: ODA @ USA Rugby 7s National Championship (TBD)*
- August 27th: ODA @ SereviTown 7s (Glendale, CO)
ODA Combine Registration
Rugby Utah is pleased to partner with USA Rugby to host this year’s ODA Combine in conjunction with the USA Rugby National Tracking Camps system.
For aspiring high school, collegiate and men’s and women’s athletes, the NTC system is one of the most direct ways to get plugged into the USA Rugby elite player pools and to be selected to your respective level of the USA Rugby National Teams.
DATE: June 11th
WHEN: Burgess Field at 8am MDT
WHO: ALL boys and girls aged 17+, collegiate, men’s and women’s division players
Since this ODA Combine is done in conjunction with USA Rugby as a National Tracking Camp event follow up registration with USA Rugby will be REQUIRED. A link for this USA Rugby registration page will be sent to you after registering below.
Pioneer 7s Qualifer Registration
Rugby Utah is pleased to partner with the Pioneer 7s Tournament to host the USA Rugby Frontier 7s Qualifier in Salt Lake City, UT.
With two parallel elite-level divisions–the Qualifier and the Men’s Divisions–the Pioneer 7s Tournament stands to showcase Rugby 7s on the eve of the Olympic’s re-introduction to Rugby 7s.
DATE: July 23rd
WHERE: Regional Athletic Complex–Salt Lake City, UT