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25 February 2007

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Hi Kurt –

Please see some facts below in response to your recent article, some of which contradicts or, at a minimum, may balance certain items in the article you posted and subsequent commentary. Do feel free to post this publicly. I have copied USA Rugby TU Presidents on this email, as well, as we have received multiple inquiries in our office regarding the posting.

Yesterday’s publication on www.gainline.us questioned the Membership Status of USA Rugby Staff, Board of Directors, National Team Staff and National Team Players.

Several facts should be noted in response:

A very important fact, which was sent in writing to you, Kurt, one week prior to printing the story, is there are several USA Rugby insurance policies, coverages from which extend to Board, Congress, Staff and all National Team players and staff when operating on behalf of USA Rugby, whether they appear on the public facing membership roster or not. However, each individual Staff, Congress, Board member or National Team member is required to be registered appropriately before playing or participating on behalf of his/her home club and/or Union.

USA Rugby routinely works with clubs early in the season to provide Certificates of Insurance and International Clearances to Tour within a certain grace period before full registration is completed, as we understand the occasional difficulty with getting members together and fully registered and paid early in the season. This grace period allows teams to secure fields and facilities early in the season, and the insurance coverage is valid once full registration status is achieved.

At this, the busiest time of our year, it was determined that USA Rugby membership staff should be fully focused on managing member registrations and customer service issues from the general rugby community – those who need the USA Rugby third party liability insurance before competing every Saturday -- before completing staff registrations. Registering staff members (who are not current players) is not required by any policy or bylaw of USA Rugby, but it has been standard practice in past years. For your information, since 2007 registration opened, approximately 28,000 member registrations and 950 club registrations have been completed.

The majority of Board members were registered in December 2006 and January 2007. Those that were not previously registered were registered on 2/15/07 after verifying individual details to maintain accurate records in the system.

Each National Team member is required to pay his/her own registration fee. Each individual not previously registered and participating at this week’s Men’s National Team camp has completed a paper registration form and payment, to be entered into the queue of paper forms, or must complete registration online immediately prior to competing for his/her home club or in another USA Rugby event. Even if National Office staff creates a record for a player, payment by that player must accompany the registration.

There has been no backdating of any member registration dates. The Men’s National Sevens Team public roster list was created on 2/7/07, along with some of the players’ initial registrations for the year. Further, several of these players have earlier registration dates in January/February for their respective home clubs and, if searched individually by name in the public roster, the earlier dates are apparent.

USA Rugby released a job posting for the part-time position of Women’s National Team administrator, but that position has not yet been filled.

USA Rugby will work with each of its National Team managers throughout each year to make sure that all current players are appropriately registered, paid and fully compliant with all USA Rugby and iRB regulations.

Please contact me directly with any additional comments or questions, and please feel free to forward any inquiries directly to me and I will be more than happy to respond.

I am surprised that the bundling of health insurance item is being brought up again. I believe that the reason why they did not bundle was the simple fact that a number of individuals and clubs were willing to file lawsuits against USA Rugby for such an idea (they did not want to be payingtwice for health insurance and they did not want to be paying for someone else).

Good words.

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