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19 November 2009


RSL is/was not unlike many top leagues in the world. Guinness (England), Top 14 (France), Top League (Japan) and Super 10 (Italy) all have clubs with benefactors that have deep pockets. Some have individuals and others corporations the cover the annual debt of the club because their ambitions are more costly than their revenues. Other teams in the league may live off their revenue (gate, concessions, sponsors, broadcast fees, etc), but can't pay for the top players. The problem with the RSL is that ever team needed a benefactor or huge base of people donating money to the club. No substantial revenue from sponsors or broadcast rights meant that the league was doomed from the beginning. The writing was on the wall for a long time. It was only a matter of time before the benefactors lost interest. The only shot the RSL has is if a big sponsor or broadcast deal is struck and revenue can be shared amongst the teams, but the popularity of rugby as a sport and the quality of the RSL product make that impossible. College and high school rugby are the only entities that can draw crowds.

"it's also legitimate to ask why its test-centric strategy should not be accountable for the state of the so-called top league."

Because it was going to fail anyway. Can we throw in dumb business model? I heard Belmont Shore was actually paying players, which to me has to rank as one of the dumbest notions I've ever heard of. A non-professional league with no state of getting people pay to watch paying players. It's not like they would get a return for their investment within the next 10 years. They're not on FSN West or FSN West 2 getting money from TV. Sponsors? There's no fans, so what sponsors could they get. Go look at Belmont Shore's game highlights on Youtube, there's as many people there as there are at Division II games in the U.S., friends and family. Say crap about tests all you want, but they actually get people to pay to watch the sport, something that no team in the RSL except the ridiculous notion of Charlotte, which stupidly charges spectators $5 to watch, is able to do on a large scale.

Amateur clubs like these that rely on sugar daddies to write welfare checks were never going to make it big.

All the RSL teams I say drop down to Division I, and USA Rugby's interests can focus on the only thing that will actually improve rugby's position in this country: the colleges. The Inter-Territorial Tournament for clubs, sorry, is a money drain that is not worth the return.

The ITTs were primarily paid for by the territorial unions and the individuals selected. It wasn't a financial drain on USA Rugby. The only real financial drain on USA Rugby is the keeping of the office in Boulder including salaries, and the national teams. All the money pretty much goes to those two categories of expenses. Any costs they throw around for the tournaments are mostly to fly their people to the event and maybe a small fee (compared to the revenue taken from the member base in CIPP fees) for the use of the field.

The IRB came in after the Arnot mess and said simply spend and do whatever it takes to get the Eagles competitive on the world stage so we (IRB) can tap into the massive USA corporate sponsorship and broadcast revenue. It is that simple and everything the IRB hacks say (Melville, Roberts, Latham, etc) to the contrary is pure lip service. That is what this college association putting their feet to the fire is so awesome. It will be interesting to see how they wiggle out of this one. We are literally paying a guy (Melville) to spend hours of time to deal with members that he really has no desire to listen to or assist. He would be much more pleased to have college rugby shut up, pay the CIPP fees, go to a balloon park for a championship paying all the expenses and shut the F up.

This is where Eagle test matches are played? Some county park?


Kind of ghetto to me.

The ITTs were primarily paid for by the territorial unions and the individuals selected.

Than it's a drain for the territorial unions. If the territory wins the ITT for example, what does it realistically receive back in return? It's not like they have any money, compared to the territories USA Rugby is rich. Are lots of fans going to instantly start paying to watch local rugby matches to cover club expenses if a territory wins the national title? Are more people going to start playing rugby to see if they can one day play for USA Rugby South? The argument is a complete red herring.

Honestly, a couple months ago the blogger states what a dumb waste of money from the IRB the Americas Rugby Championship is, and now he says shame on USA Rugby for not putting any money into the inter-territorial tournament. How are the two any different. In one you have 7 teams made up of amateurs that are available to play, in the other you have 4 made up of players at a higher level since there's less slots available. The guy that writes this blog annoys me incredibly because he b*tches about everything but never states the solution with the money that is available. Every post of his is always riddled with personal emotion and logical fallacies.

After seing wtf's comment I took a look at the website for the park where the Eagles will play Uruguay. Assuming the Eagles are playing in the main facility it is a pretty good looking place to play a test match. There are 5,000 seats which is about right for the Eagles at this stage.

It looks far better than the field that the Eagles played in against Canada in Canada this past year.

I believe that the match will be webcast ....

I am sure Nigel Melville is negotiating a great deal for all the college kids to play at another sterile multi field complex far away from their fans in front of some curious neighbors and their dogs. Oh, and the kids pay their own way and USA Rugby pockets whatever cash the National Guard throws at them for the event. F@KC Nigel! Go back to England and go on the rugby dole speaking to shower curtain salesmen at conventions like the rest of the ex-rugby internationals that failed at rugby administration or coaching.

Park looks cool from Google Map bird's eye view....

So will the aftermatch function be held at McDonald's or the Golden Rice Bowl Chinese restaurant? Both are immediately east of the park and would significantly reduce logistical costs if the players walked there in their blazers and kit bags. Do they get changed at Larkdale Elementary school? A good place to generate some pre-match hype would be to have several of the key players from both squads sign autographs at the huge Swap Meet that is southeast of the fields. There they could mesh with the ideal demographic USAR should be targeting: local gentry sporting mullets who won't or can't spend money on legitimate retail products whose primary dietary intake consists of funnel cakes, blueberry flavored ICEE's, and footlong hotdogs smothered with chili and cheese.....

Sorry, Golden Rice Bowl and McDonald's are immediately "west" of the park.

I don't want to be responsible for misguiding the three people who read this site AND will be attending the match.....

There will probably be two AYSO sanctioned matches on the neighboring pitches and one pick-up match on whatever field isn't taken. Eventhough there may be more people watching those events, that's not the rugby game. Look for the pitch where a Pom, a Mick, and a Kiwi are trying their best to sing the USA National Anthem.

SD Hitman - Keep the posts coming, you are on a roll! I have only been to Florida once to play with my club, but you have captured my experience to a tee!

Keep commenting on another great USA Rugby decision !!!

Just a thought, wouldn't it make sense for USA Rugby to coordinate Test Matches with current domestic events that are in place.

Have the RSL Finals as a curtain raiser for the Test match. Creates a great atmosphere for the highest level of amateur rugby and brings in additional fans for the Test match. Kinda seems like a no brainer. The same could be done with Collegiate championships or big 7's tournaments.

Perfect opportunity for USA Rugby to get it right with this summer's tests. Schedule the Late June/Early July Test for July 4th weekend in Wilmington, NC to coincide with Cape Fear 7's. There will be more rugby players in Wilmington that weekend than any other spot in the US, why not hold a night match there after the tournament and capitalize on the fan base that is already there.

FYI this was actually done in 1997 and the 6,000 seat stadium was sold out and created a true home field advantage considering the stands were full of players who had been playing all day in addition to the fans that would typically makes such a trip.


It was done as recently as 2005, albeit it was somewhat backwards: Eagles V Wales then RSL final.

You the man Hitman.

Congress make a stand this weekend, or resign!

The dissolution of RSL might actually be a good thing. City-based teams that are made up of the best local players could then be created. Local clubs could be the feeders.

Yesiamahooker -

Are you picking up the tab on this league with city based teams? Who is going to do the admin for each team? The reason the ITT's existed is that each union took apps for coaches, verified players, payed for as much as the could (kits, travel, etc). The city based idea needs basically owners that will fund and administer each team. The would still have to rely on the local clubs to coach the players, which means they need to play in a league beside the city based league to be ready to compete in the city based competition. Unless you know 8, 10 or 12 guys across the country living in the right cities that want to drop 7 figures to start a professional rugby team in their city, and they all want to do it simultaneously.

RSL final was staged after a test match in 2006 too. But the union refused to allow the teams to use the locker rooms, compounding the fact that most fans left and thereby achieving little by way of making the final feel special.

The 2006 RSL final was a far better game than the international game that preceeded it

ARN is reporting the break away college group has sent a letter to Congress. First off, isn't that like sending smoke signals in a forest fire. Second, wait until Congress, made up of TU reps, understands the break away is the end of their TU.

If you think TU's are getting squat done now, wait until they lose the ability to rip off the colleges and find out how much the TU will do.

The LAU's and TU's shouldn't have anything to do with HS and college rugby. They should be there for club rugby and nothing else.

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