Dan Metcalf is living the dream – the rugby dream.
During his four years of playing the glorious game, he has visited England and Canada, played for state titles and won his share of accolades. He captained his country’s team, and is now on his way to a premier rugby university. What more can a young man ask?
“My goal is to play for the Eagles, and to play rugby professionally,” Metcalf said by phone on his way to orientation at Penn State University.
Dan just finished touring Ontario with the USA Rugby high school All Americans. The team went 1-1 on its tour. Metcalf captained the team during a 27-26 loss to the Ontario U-18 side in the first game. In the second game, he did not captain the team, but scored two tries and was name man of the match in the 46-29 USA win.
“We had 16 new faces on the team, and we all came away with a great experience,” he said. “And it was awesome to score and win man of the match.”
The 6′ 5″, 245-pound second row/back row is no stranger to the All-American team, this was his third year with the squad. Not bad for a kid who discovered rugby almost by accident.
“My friend went out for the team and knew I loved football,” Metcalf said. “He loved it, and he asked me to try it for a week. I absolutely fell in love with it.”
Metcalf played for Dallas Jesuit High School for four years. He continued to play football, but gave up baseball to focus on rugby.
Now he embarks on his next great adventure in rugby – college. He starts pre-season camp at Penn State on August 13.
“I looked at West Point and the Naval Academy,” Metcalf says. “Penn State is a good fit. The coach is a good guy and a great scrum coach. I am going in to work hard and hopefully good things will happen.”
Penn State alum, and USA scrumhalf, Mike Petri just signed with the Sale Sharks in the Guinness Premiership in England, so the school has a reputation for top rugby.
Metcalf is used to working at a high level. He says his time with the USA Rugby set up has given him and his fell All-Americans a high-performance attitude. Things like proper nutrition and training are stressed through seminars and other meetings.
Metcalf sees a need for more rugby players to give back to the high school game in Texas.
“We have room to improve and grow, and I think the alums need to come back to their high schools and get involved,” he said.