« On team managers | Main | Dartmouth, Brown vie for regular-season Ivy title »

14 October 2009


It should be the RSL's responsibiltiy to finance the league and subsequent member clubs, along with the club's responsibiity to find sponsors. Not easy for sure, especialy for an amateur league in a niche sport, but definitely not the responsibility of USA Rugby. It may be true that we're too big of a country to have a successful national amateur league. I hope they rebound financially and produce the next generation of great ruggers.

RSL Fan,

ahhh, somewhat agree...should the RSL find sponsors to fund it? I agree that they should have sponsors,maybe an airline, someone for the balls, uniforms, etc...i say airline for the possibility of cheaper flights. Clubs def should fund themselves. we disagree at the point of the USA Funding. I will state that my view is that US should spend the vast majority on youth, HS and college, but if the USA is going to get the majority of it's players from the RSL, they should have to pony up...

Expansion isn't mandatory or prudent.RSL should contract if anything.

If the Rugby Super League contracts it becomes more expensive for the remaining Clubs to compete. If the Rugby Super League expanded and had more regional games it would become cheaper for the participating Clubs to compete.

Scrap the RSL. The only reason it worked is because there was benefactors at clubs. That is not a sustainable model. Go back to a robust D1 regional competition with ITTs to find the best rugby players in the USA.

We need a sustainable national competition for the game to grow, whats the point of focusing on the youth if they have nowhere to play when the get older unless they have a euro passport? A 8 team national comp that plays home and aways would be a great start with a promotion relegation with D1 teams that meet criteria.

Path Forward -

You obviously can not retain read information. The best team in the history of the RSL just crashed out of the competition because they have no funds. What part of that do you not understand? An 8 team national competition will not work without money.

As a So Cal rugby fan over the last 20 years, I am disappointed to see Belmont drop out. They are doing what is best for their club and hopefully will play near the top of D1 after their restructuring.

Besides loving the game, I question what the deep pocket / benefactor types get for their money? 80 spectators (including dogs) at a RSL 1/4 final and the thanks of 45 club members would not quite do it for me to pony up $25k+ to a men's club. This is especially so when I think back to big club rivalry Saturdays in the early to mid nineties when 200 - 350 spectators (including lower side players) were present.

If I were in a position to give 25k to a rugby cause, it would more likely do some good as a start of, or a contribution to a HS or college club endowment from which they might draw seasonal operating funds. The returns would seem to be greater than what (appears from the outside and is confirmed continually on this blog) to be a thankless gift.

bombs away!

Armchair is right. Regional competition draws attention. A D1 in So Cal with the following:

LA Rugby
Santa Monica
Las Vegas
Santa Barbara

Home and away matches means 10 matches per side to determine the league champion and establish the teams going to the national tourney.

That you could market.

Finally, you short bus riders, including Nige, begin to see the light. Nige is a fool, like others who thought contracting would improve the game. The SL is a crap league right now.

Pumping HP into the SL is not a waste of funding, like the other boondoggles. It creates a better, bigger player pool, a better MNT. Within a season it could actually create a watchable (internet) league.

Expanding the SL to 24 teams would lower costs, create more exposure. It also lays the groundwork for regional based Territories again.

SL service needs to be mandatory if the League is to survive. All Eagles and Beagles should be required to be roster players (2 games). This includes pros and Collegiates. As good as Clever is and the slight improvement he gets playing overseas, the Eagles and American Rugby are the losers in all of this fly-in BS.

It hasn't done the Argies any harm - they have a piss poor league at home and all their best players are in Europe.

They invest in youth then send their best abroad - 3rd place in the world cup isn't a bad return?

Scrap the super-league and return to local leagues qualifying for a national competition.

The argie league is not piss poor by any stretch. it is quite good, one of the best amateur comps in the world.

To the new RSL leadership group-Disregarding what Nigel says is the safest path.

Path Retard, it is you who is missing the chromosome. I didn't say the RSL is the answer, I clearly stated that to help develop homegrown talent we need to establish a better domestic league. I also said we should dedicate MONEY to that domestic comp. Back to your cave herb.

Bruce, perhaps I was harsh calling it piss poor!
It is the best amateur league in the world, no doubt.
But it is still amateur - thats why they send their best players abroad.

Argie rugby may be amateur, but the top clubs in Buenos Aires have awesome facilities & funding, the club semi-finals and finals are televised, have attendance of 15K or more, are heavily sponsored and dominate the sports page of the largest papers. They are miles farther along from the RSL here in the USA that are watched by 6 girlfriends, 3 wives, 12 old boys and 3 dogs. Hell, their club semis and finals draw more people than an Eagles match!

Agreed, but your missing my point. The Argie league didn't happen over night.

When Les Cusworth took over as Director he got the union to allow its best players to go abroad and play in France and Italy at first, now they are all over. Before if they wanted to play for their country, they had to play at home.

They invested at the bottom of the game, and so now you have a league made up of kids who have progressed from an early age through youth rugby started by the clubs. The league has stayed amateur but it has a huge following because it built from the bottom up.

The very best players are still encouraged to play professionally abroad, but a day will come when they will be able to have a professional league at home because they started at the bottom and worked their way up.

This is what Nigel should have done when he came on board instead of chasing instant success and throwing good money down the drain.

The RSL can be successful in the future but not right now - go back to regional leagues, cut the costs and build the game at the HS level and below then in 10-15 years time you will have a much better top flight league.

The Jack posting here isn't Jack Clark, I just had to check and he's not.

Jack is a pretty common name you know!

Sorry I'll post my name in full in the future.

The Argentina model will not work in the USA. The reason is because the rugby clubs are built in the commonwealth model. Some of the rugby clubs are part of bigger athletic clubs that have downtown squash and dinner facilities, golf courses, yacht clubs, health clubs, banquet facilities, etc. These clubs are developing field hockey, basketball, swimming and other international caliber athletes. The rugby only clubs are old and have funds and facilities. The best RSL club just dropped out of the competition because one or two of the club benefactors dropped out. Saying that USA Rugby can do what they did in Argentina by investing in youth is not correct because the infrastructure and funds has been there for decades. USA Rugby needs to build an the only existing infrastructure there is for rugby, which is HS and college programs.

Some of you just don't get it, do you.

I'm not saying copy the Argies verbatim. I'm saying use the best, chuck out the rest.

Invest everything in youth rugby (be it HS, college or club). Build local leagues, and send the best players overseas.

I was just using nthe Argies as an example.

Jack is off his nut....ignore him.

The Jaguars team that the Argentina Rugby Union sent is a weak side. The club semi-finals start next week and this week there was some big final season games to determine the playoff teams. The top clubs would not release their players. You will notice from the below list that powerhouse clubs like SIC, CASI, CUBA and Hindu, which are top clubs in Buenos Aires. Most the guys named below are from the lesser rugby areas in Argentina (i.e. Tucuman, Cuyo, Cordobesa, etc) All the top clubs and players are in BA. Most the countries population is in BA.

Rodrigo Báez (Liceo RC, Cuyo), Lucas Barrera Oro (Universitario, Tucumán), César Felipe Bettolli (Tucumán Lawn Tennis, Tucumán), Esteban Bustillo (Club Newman, Buenos Aires), Martín Bustos Moyano (Córdoba Athletic, Cordobesa), Maximiliano Bustos (L’Aquila, Italy), Carlos José Cáceres Tucumán Lawn Tennis, Tucumán), Dino Cáceres Tucumán Lawn Tennis, Tucumán), Agustín Creevy (San Luis, Buenos Aires), Francisco Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic, Buenos Aires), Tomás Cubelli (Belgrano Athletic, Buenos Aires), Matías Narváez (Cavalieri Prato, Italy), Álvaro Fulco (Duendes RC, Rosario), Mariano Galarza (Universitario De La Plata, Buenos Aires), Santiago Nicolás Guzmán (Tucumán RC, Tucumán), Juan José Imhoff (Duendes RC, Rosario ), Joaquín Luchetti (Belgrano Athletic, Buenos Aires), Paolo Mac (Jockey RC, Rosario ), Benjamín Macome (Tucumán RC, Tucumán), Federico Merlo (Universitario, Santafesina), Horacio Alberto San Martín (Tala RC, Cordobesa), Federico Nicolás Sánchez (Tucumán Lawn Tennis, Tucumán), Hugo Schierano (Tala RC, Cordobesa), Leonardo Senatore (GER, Rosario), Joaquín Tuculet (Los Tilos, Buenos Aires), Benjamín Urdapilleta (CUBA, Buenos Aires)

If you want to see what amateur rugby looks like in Buenos Aires, here is a link with videos from various Top 14 matches - http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/scrum/#ui-tabs-15 - the CASI v SIC video is from Saturday Oct 17 and that is a real rivalry with huge support from each club.

This is a better link to vids of Top 14 rugby from Argentina - http://espndeportes.espn.go.com/videohub/video/clipDeportes?id=null&categoryid=834498&cc=3888

Build local leagues, put your cash into the youth/HS/College game and send your best abroad.

10-15 years time the USA might get 3rd place at the world cup as well?

Does the possibility exist that there is a relationship between the RSL clubs that have dropped out for financial reasons and their reliance on the importation of foreign players to fill out their side? If that's the case, it might be a better investment of a benefactor's money to spend it on recruiting outstanding American college players who would relocate to one of our RSL cities and play for the their chosen club for 10 years and then stay involved as a coach/referee/administrator.

Aspen, & Belmont won SL Titles with foreign players. Life is full of foreigners and those guys are 24/7 committed. The Olympic club is stacked 3 deep with the best college players from a Cal pipeline and lost on the first day at sweet 16 this year. They got smashed in the SL and their best is finishing 3rd in Div 1.

Benefactors want to win now. How much vision do they need to show? About 10-12 weeks.
The 5 foreigner rule is the real issue. Drop it back to 2 foreign players and that would mean another 50 American players in the SL competition.

Drop the foreigner rule to....

Do other sports have that rule?
USA Rugby must be the most backwerdazz organomoronozation in the world.

1. Get the best players, available, in the world playing rugby in the United States ASAP.

2. If Pros or Collegiates want to get capped, they must play in the SL (two game minimum).

Those two policies alone would improve the SL by 20%.

To improve it another 10% take HP funding, dump 1/3 into SL, 1/3 into production, 1/3 into youth.

Another 10% improvement would be fire Melville immediately.

Another 10% would be remove the entire Board of Directors, immediately.

See I solved it, we are 50% better in less than two minutes. We just beat Fiji and we didn't have to play a game.

Look how smart I am. Even with my extra chromosome I solved USArFU problems in two minutes.

Not true that the O-Club is stacked three deep with Cal players. They have several good Cal players, but to be accurate, they're not stacked one deep with Cal players.

You will also find several really good Cal players at the NYAC.

Glendale and Life have Cal players, and over the years several at OMBAC. Looks like Golden Gate gets a good one this year as well.

I know the conversation is well and truly over, but anything great is built from the ground up. Simply, building a top level competition - however configured - will not be a permanent solution. Junior rugby is the birth ground for all great players, and the top league will naturally mature as a result of work done at a junior level. I wish there was a rugby club my now two year son could join when he is in 4th grade. That is the age I started in rugby back in Australia. As afr as I know there isn't one.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Comments

  • Gainline.us values readers' thoughts and wisdom. While correspondents are encouraged to use given names, aliases in combination with a valid, publicly accessible email are acceptable. Profanity will be edited and unverifiable identities unpublished. Thanks to all who write in for helping to advance our collective understanding of American rugby, as it is and could be.

Corrections & Amplifications

  • Gainline.us values accuracy and fairness. If we fall short of the goal, we promptly correct errors or oversights. Strikethroughs denote text which has been replaced. *Asterisks* denotes text added after the initial post.
My Photo