« On 14 years of the Super League | Main | ACC launch unveiled, national league gains steam »

15 March 2010


Kurt - some of your finest work.

The strat plan has so many "disingenuous if not dishonest" aspects to it that it would be fair to say the whole bleeping document is disingenuous and dishonest. Would have thought 300 grand a year would afford us better ?

I can't lower my expectations any further and I am still bitterly disappointed.

Melville's strategy is to make up a strategy.

Melville's plan is to form a committee.

Melville's hope is all CIPP dues paying members are asleep.

On it goes.

Melville, I have it on good authority that Old Deerfield RFC are looking for a scrumhalf. Do us a favor and make yourself available.


About 99% of people who post on here fall under that title, including myself.

Nothing underhand or scrupulous about this lawyer
Ahoy ship mates

Count me among those who found your 7s evidence unconvincing, though I didn't comment on it. Criticizing those who point out flaws in your logic is churlish. On the other hand, you did respond to the criticism by providing more relevant evidence, so you're not all that bad.

i was a pettifogger and still am. maybe you can clariffy and make me a believer...

"In 2009's 5 tests, just less than half of all 15s caps awarded to domestic players -- 28 of 59 -- were from non-RSL clubs."

I assume that this would include overseas "Americans" (not knocking it, I am all for it) and pro's (Clever, Emmrick, Z, etc). I have no idea what the numbers will actually tally to be, but those guys are obviously better than RSL standards, as they play in foreign comp day in and day out. Also, I am sure there are a few college kids on the roster, kids who might play SL when they are out of school. To count them against the SL is a tough sell because they, for the most part, can not play SL due to school obligations.

The most fair way to bash the RSL and it's standards are to compare it to D1-D3 players that are in the Eagles pool. Something tells me that there will be a lot more SL players than the other divisions, but i could be wrong.

Disagree hammer, I think college students being selected to the Eagles as apposed to RSL players was exactly what Kurt was pointing to.

Anytime a college student, or D1 club player beats out a RSL player for a selection spot (which happens often, the purpose of the article) we should ask questions about the value of the RSL to international player development.

just to follow up on your original post:

"United States to Australia and Hong Kong 7s
Marco Barnard (Kutztown Univ.), Mark Bokhoven (Gentlemen of Aspen Denver Barbarians), Nick Edwards (New York AC), Paul Emerick (Overmach Parma), Matt Hawkins (Belmont Shore), Valenese Malifa (Belmont Shore), Zach Pangelinan (OMBAC), Leonard Peters (Gentlemen of Aspen), Tom Saunders (Kansas City Blues), Shalom Suniula (Pearl City), Kevin Swiryn (captain Old Puget Sound Beach), Zach Test (Loughborough Univ)"

so, 2 players are university, 1 born abroad the other playing abroad.
1 Pro.
1 Belmont Shore, who were SL until this year.
3 non RSL clubs, 2 of those players from former SL clubs.
4 SL players.

In conclusion, of the 8 domestic players, playing mens rugby in the US, 4 are from the 16 or whatever RSL teams, 4 are from the REST OF THE TEAMS IN AMERICA! On top of that, of the 4 in the "other" catagory, 3 of the players play for former RSL clubs. Maybe the RSL can not get credit for developing those players, but it probably deserves some credit for developing those clubs.


i agree to an extent. There are 2 college players named, 1, Marco Barnard, is SA born and will be well ahead of most American players at his age. He is an excellent player and a bit of an anomaly (for us in America). Test is someone we have been hearing about for years and plays in college overseas. I would think that the better overseas colleges are better than most of our RSL teams. That is not a knock on the RSL, more the overall quality of play in America.

As far as a d1 player making it over a RSL player, I touched on that in my above post, which was sent before i read your reply. I just looked at the USA website, there are over 100 D1 clubs in America (i counted 106, but I have been known to he off by a few), I would be ignorant to think that there arent plenty of good players on those clubs. Pearl City is an example of a great club (although i think i read they dropped down) who cant join the SL bc of location. The point is, out of 100 D1 teams, 4 players were selected (as stated above, 3 of which are on former RSL teams). From the 16 or so RSL teams, 4 players were selected.

If you are a scout, based on those numbers, you would have to see 25 D1 teams play before finding a selection. The same scout would have to see 4 SL teams before finding a selection. I think the RSL has done a good job narrowing the field.

Also, the RSL is self funded, maybe USA rugby should consider that before anyone expects this to be the eagle pool. Like my initial post on the last thread, it is my understanding (and i have nothing to do with the RSL) that this league was formed so that good teams will have good games week in and week out.

Having been involved with coaching and managing the ITT"S, NA4, and the ARC ,its seems the :hierachy: who ever they may be ,miss an important point-THE PLAYERS!
Most players want to play at the highest level they can manage. To test themselves against their peers.This has been taken away from them in most parts.A team selected by unknown selectors was tossed into the ARC,after Canada had been using the system correctly-4 teams. The USA U 20 team was not entered into a funded IRB competition-were the players consulted? Its not about us ! have we forgotten the thrill and anticipation of playing rep rugby? Its about providing our players with the best opportunity to play the game at "THEIR" highest level.

I sense that what is more to point here is the complete lack of real representative rugby within the United States for men's club members.

It should be noted from the outset, that the RSL was never meant to be "representative" in nature. It was simply a group of clubs who wanted better competition week in and week out.

Whether you follow a more "American" or "Commonwealth" model for the game, a key element to both is selection to representative teams for higher level competition.

The demise of the ITT competition was tragic. While I will be the first to admit it had its faults - which I saw first hand with my involvement with the Southern California Griffins for three years - it was a great opportunity for players to be in a setting of simmilarly motivated and skilled players.

The competitions which replaced the ITT's - the NA4 and the current ARC - have proven to be expensive failures. Why?

I would suggest that to represent your territory actually means something. Playing with guys you bash heads with every weekend and then get to REPRESENT your Union in competition, this is the hallmark of our game. Yes, all rugby is tribal and that is part of the allure.

The make-believe NA4 teams had none of this and has now been relegated to the dust-bin. This was the same problem with the Australian Rugby Challenge of a few years ago.

The ARC is probably headed in the same direction.

The IRB must be tiring of these "high performance" let downs.

Real representative rugby must come back to the USA. As Kurt notes, the players have historically funded these competitions (in So Cal, there was limited funding from the SCRFU) but the players still had to make it happen. And they will moving forward.

It is not the best solution to have players self-funding the rep team, but pragmatically, it is where we are at right now. Some things, unfortunately, do not change.

It is working for the National Seven's program, where the club championships and ITT Championships, being only weeks apart, gives Al Caravelli and his staff the perfect opportunity to see what is out there and invite players who have earned the opportunity to attend the National team camps.

The fifteen-man game deserves the same. Yes, it is logistically more difficult than Seven's, but this can be overcome.

I challenge the administrators of the game to bring back representative rugby - for the players, the next generation of coaches and referees and team administrators.

The Collegiate ITT's are still a successful program; run a parallel Men's ITT with it and then have a final match between the All American's and the USA Club XV team. Just a suggestion.

If you build the field or competition, the players will be there!

We're not the only nation with a scheduling problem. France routinely runs afowl of the Top 14 schedule, which runs into the June Test window. Many top players are not released for the first test of France's June southern hem. tours due to the Top 14 Championship. With the already super-short super-league, it isn't black and white that the SL can chop a week off of the schedule without monetary help from sponsors.

Here is the truth.

Nigel Melville has poured through millions of dollars in free IRB HP development funds, while at the same time killing off all forms of domestic rep rugby, except the college NASC, which is funded by the players to the tune of 75%.

Melville poured through these funds with a lame approach to the NA4, followed by a far worse approach to the ARC.

Name one area of a rugby CEO's job description: technical, competitions, sponsorship, events or general management and leadership, where Melville hasn't been somewhere between poor and terrible.

Totally agree with Ray Viers-it is about playing with people You respect from other clubs at a rep level. Thats where you watch who wants to step up and play at an even higher level.


So how do you guys think the $300,000 per year CEO is doing with this stuff?

What should we expect from a guy who has made personal compensation of well over a million dollars while domestic rep rugby and the dreams of our players has been scraped over the last 3 plus years?

I liked the ITT"S,we used to pick our national team from this event. It was expensive for TU's and players.The NA4 could have been great but was not marketed well-mid summer games in Columbus Ohio!ARC no thought and micro managed. We had a U17, U18, U 19 and U 20 USA team,2 were dropped because of lack of international games. Who have we played lately ,NZ uni and canada u17 with our u18 team. ALL americans no internationals.Whatever I think of Nigel,I do think he gets bad intel. He was picked as CEO and Director of Rugby ,whose fault was that? Don't see Miller or Barron coaching! Nigel is a very very good coach and rugby guy , I wish he just stuck to that.He once did a presentation about a house with 4 rooms,we think we are in rebirth but i think we are denying we are in the confusion room!

fact: Take only active RSL players into the MNT, we'd still be ranked between 15 and 20.
fact: Being an All-American does not prepare anyone for a test match against a tier 1 international team.
fact: The two best Collegiate programs in the country would get all they could handle from a middle of the road RSL club in late April.
fact: Our high performance strategy is useless
fact: Rugby athletes like Marco Bernard are a dime a dozen. He could be capped 20 times or he could never be capped in 15s. He could simply captain his local D1 club on Saturday or captain the ARC just the same, we'd still be ranked between 15 and 20.

we are constantly reminded of nigels 300k salary which is ridiculous how about eddie osullivans 250k which is even more ridiculous when anyone on the eagle staff could produce the same results for 50k and maybe just maybe we could use the other 200k for the players , thats a novel idea actually give some financial suport to those who deserve it , not some guys who is just looking for the next job and spends half the year in ireland


Some people are not letting the grass grow under their feet.

This is exactly what needs to happen. National Premier League and a series of traditional conference competitions below. We now have two, the Ivies and the ACC. Who's next, step up.

No room in college rugby for LAU's or TU's going forward.

You'll notice from that link that they say they are not a breakaway league - that way they don't have to worry about insurance or referee's.

But you can be sure that once these new leagues get established, and they find their feet, if they don't get good support from USAR, then it isn't going to be long before they start asking questions why they still belong to LAU's, TU's and USAR.

Take note USCRA!

Very cool things happening in college rugby.

I agree.

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