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21 August 2007

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All very interesting. However, imho, the objective to set forth should be more than reaching the quarterfinals in the RWC in 2011 or 2015, etc. It should be regularly giving the Canadians a pasting and beating the Southern Hemisphere teams as well as the Home Nations. Americans think big. If the key to success lies in structure and improving skills, ie in giving future generations of young ruggers a competitive environment, it is also true than a sea-change is called for in the mentality of American rugby. You can't inspire young American ruggers by telling them that someday they, too, will become an Eagle who'll beat a 2nd-tier nation and make a good showing, but lose, against the best teams. You tell them that someday as an Eagle he'll eat kiwis for breakfast, wallabies for lunch and dine on springboks in the evening. What I'm saying isn't unnatural or weird. This is thinking like an American.

Amen old Boy. Thinking big is part of who we are. There's no need to stop that practice in regards to rugby.

Old Boy, we are in agreement with the bigger vision objective, but how do we get there? It will not be a straight line from where we are at present.

Kurt has suggested a beginning blueprint, which is more of a new way to think about the process.

What jumps out, is no one at USARFU was an American athlete in High School or College. This is why we are heading now the Commonwealth model.

flankermobile, please elaborate on what you mean by:

"no one at USARFU was an American athlete in High School or College"

Do you mean a rugby player, an NCAA and Varisty athlete?

Yes sorry, I mean having experience as an American athlete. Most of the decision makers (board, chairman and ceo), didn't educate in the US. They would not have experience in the American sporting model that Kurt is referencing.

Thus, we are using the Commonwealth model, which is what they know, and may all be well and fine. But its not an American approach and it may not take advantage of our strengths.

flankermobile - I understand and appreciate the attention to detail,knowing "what exactly" and "how exactly" should American rugby proceed. As proferred in the above article, stress is placed on taking advantages of the strengths inherent in the American organization of top-level sports.
As things stand, the top-down "Commonwealth" approach known and practiced by the Antipodeans and Britons who run US rugby invariably has limits. The varsity model is thus all the more interesting. But I think we collectively recognize what a gargantuan task it is. American rugby basically has to compete with the football and the other major sports for the hearts and minds of future athletes. For sure, the more recreational/weekend warriors the better because it expands the grassroots. But as I see it, the only way to entice future world-class elite athletes in America to dedicate their sporting life to rugby is by inculting in them the idea that they will be the best in the world.

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