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28 February 2011


So forgive this newbie, as I lack the Eagles touring knowledge, but I don't get the direction of the NA4, ARC, Churchill Cup, USAR, etc. I watched the NA4 in Columbus a few years back. It was played at the OSU field where there was/is no permanent seating. I think they brought in bleachers for the event, but it was just poorly put together and did not have an international feel. I think there may have been a couple hundred people in attendance.

Is it not a possibility for the U.S. to create a 4 Nations Cup, tournament, whatever with (USA, Canada, Russia and.... maybe Japan) It just sounds more appealing than playing in the Churchill Cup against some of the same teams and other countries B-teams (which for some reason they call an A-Side)

Or is there any possibility of the U.S. and Canada ever joining the Six Nations? granted we'd get our ass handed to us in 90% of the games for the first (probably) 5 years, but at least there would be a marketable product to watch. Attendance for those games in the U.S. Im sure would be much better than what the Churchill Cup produced. You cant get sponsors with something like the NA4 or CC. You need to play teams like Russia, Canada, England, Ireland...etc... NOT the Saxons, Canada West, Ontario Blues, Argentina XV... Im mean seriously... Do these people have no concept of marketing?

Again maybe my thoughts on this are "pie in the sky" and are due to lack of knowledge, but please enlighten me on why we are unable to create a successful yearly tournament that involves the U.S. National team.

To Matt's point, why haven't we (the US) been playing Canada in some sort of annual cup for the past 34 years...one where it is a home and away situation? I realize that right now Canada may not have any interest as it appears they might have passed us by for the time being. Maybe the IRB will let us and PI countries plus Japan and Canada start a Pacific Rim tournament, now that would be a novel idea (tongue in cheek)


Eagles in the 6 nations? HAHAHA!

Let's take a look at that. 6 nations is the second most profitable rugby tourney in the world behind the RWC. Crowds of 80K+ at matches in England & France (Ireland when they played at Croke Park) and huge TV audiences. Do you really think they are going to have the Eagles play? The Eagles get blown out by their A sides (sub top 30 players as the top 30 make up the full international side). Do you think they want to ruin their tournament by including the Eagles where they would play at some MLS stadium in front of 5 to 10 thousand with no real TV revenue? Laughable.

@7 Nations - Like I said "pie in the sky"... I realize we'd get blown out by all except maybe Italy and even then they'd probably beat us by 20, but we need big names to play to get interest from sponsors. and playing the Saxons wont cut it. So if not 6 nations we need something.

And not to harp on it, but if we were to join that league I would think they would make most of our matches away games and the home games would get probably would be held in larger soccer stadiums... (Italy's stadium holds 32,000) With the proper marketing, sponsors and leadership, playing England, Ireland in rugby in the US for something meaningful would quadruple the number of fans in attendance. Could you imagine having Ireland play the U.S. on St Patty's day weekend in New York or Boston? The promotional value on that would be insane. AGAIN, I know we'd get beat, and beat badly, but we need something other than the crap rugby being served to us right now.

I like playing Russia as that seems to be a natural rivalry (politically and athletically) Playing Japan and Canada doesn't have the same ring to it as playing some other 6 nations teams, but its better than trying to sell tickets to the US v Saxons game... they seriously need big names and countries to play in order to bring in revenue, sponsors, etc. So whatever you might think, we need to play better rugby teams to get bigger and better ourselves.


Are you like some HS kid cooking up these pie in the sky dreams?

Italy lost to Ireland in the final minutes, they were out classed by England and gave Wales all the could handle. Italy would, and will in the RWC pool match, beat the Eagles with relative ease. Also, the FIR (Italian Rugby Union) insists on putting the 6 nations matches in Rome in small stadiums. If they had those matches in the north, which is the home of Italian rugby, they would be getting huge audiences. Italy played the All Blacks in San Siro stadium, one of the great football stadiums of the world, in Milan and it was a sell out with 77K+ people. The Eagles couldn't get 77K people in a stadium regardless of where they played and if the tickets were free. Also, the two Italian Magners League teams get 4K to 8K people at matches and are televised on Sky Italia regularly.

The Eagles are where they should be, which is firmly at the mid to bottom of the tier 3 nations. So, they are getting what the deserve when it comes to international rugby tests. Actually, they are getting better matches than their tier 3 counterparts like Portugal, Georgia and Namibia. Those teams get no invites to tournaments. And before you start saying the Eagles aren't tier 3 and shouldn't be compared to Portugal, Georgia or Namibia, look at the results of the MNT from the last few years.

@Matt & @7nations

If anyone should be upset, it is Canada. They have earned the right to be in a better international competition. They are 32-13-1 against the Eagles since scores have been kept, and obviously superior. Have been in every RWC and even made it to the quarter-finals in the 1991. Overall RWC record of 6-1-13 compared to the Eagles with one win in 5 appearances in the RWC.

They have their financial house in order without even getting the IRB handouts. Their internationals are televised in Canada, and they get healthy crowds. Their overall record playing internationals is 80-104-4 or a 43.6% win percentage compared to the Eagles with a 55-102-2 and a 34.39% win percentage.

Come on IRB give Canada the real spiritual home of North American rugby some love.

So the College Premier League is now the College Premier Division (CPD)? Disaster. Just HAVVVE to have that word premier in there to give it a nice foreign/non-ncaa feel.

Maybe the name change is because someone already bought the domain name - http://www.cplrugby.com

That person was:

Malko, Anton
[email protected]
368 Hill Street
San Francisco, California 94114
United States
(917) 691-2390

And the phone number is listed as a mobile phone contact for the following:

University of California Athletic Media Relations Office
349 Haas Pavilion / Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: (o) 510-642-7813, (c) 917-691-2390 / http://www.calbears.com

Guess Jack Clark thought there was some real sponsorship money coming and figured Cal could cash in on selling the domain name to those sponsors or USA Rugby.


The name has to do with not having all the teams in what is now D1 be called D2. It is a joke. Half the teams in the CPL or CPD can be beaten by D1 teams, and some have fell to D2 teams already. Other CPL or CPD teams have been getting smashed by near 100 to 0 scores by top CPL or CPD teams. The bottom CPL or CPD teams are getting crushed 50 to 0 by mid-level CPL or CPD teams.

The bottom line is that Todd Bell and the boys have a mess on their hands. They let in 31 teams and it is obvious they are not the best 31 teams in the country AND the bottom teams are miles from the top! What does this all mean? The league is a bust and DOA even before the first match.


The Eagles have won twice in the RWC, both times against Japan (1987 & 2003).

To your point about Canada being superior to the US, your right. Does that earn the right to better competition? No. They have played better competition on a regular basis and haven't anything to show for it in the past 15-20 years. For that matter they haven't really been impressvie lately either when playing other Tier II competition, beating up on Belgium and Spain before losing to Georgia (just like the US) and squeaking by Portugal last fall.

Canadian Rugby - 1991 RWC Quarter-Finalist

If Argentina getting into the semi-finals means entrance into the Tri-Nations, then the Canadian team deserves a place in a better competition.


While I think the conference system is better than a CPL or CPD I do think we're roasting it too early though.

In 1988 the English league system started - its took 20 years to get right and there were teams that were up and down for a decade until it all leveled out.

If they can get it right with 1900 clubs playing in leagues over 12 different levels, I think we'll sort out a 31 team division with a little time.

@7 Nations - Dude I get it. I know the Eagles aren't good and that we don't get the crowds other countries do... I've already said this. And if you want to wallow in mediocrity and except that, then that's fine. And I know that we are a bottom of the barrel Tier 2, top Tier 3 team... I'm not debating that. But sitting back and waiting for our part-time athletes to compete with professionals should be the laughable joke. And to expect them to do any better with no money, while also having to maintain a full-time job is unrealistic.

For us to compete, we need to professionalize. For that to happen, we need investors and sponsors. For that to happen we need to play big names on a consistent basis and we need to get better. And Nike, Miller, Ford, AllState, etc. aren't going to throw big time dollars at small time opportunities.

I think that rugby has a chance right now to make a move in the U.S., but that move will fail if we keep playing teams like the Saxons (Churchill Cup), Canada West (NA4), etc. And if you look at this from a financial angle, "IF" the 6 Nations were to expand, what market has the most potential? It's North America. There is no debating that. We just need a good product on the field and we need to expand the fan base. Rookie Rugby is helping do that. Expanding High School Rugby is doing that. Rugby in the Olympics is going to do that exponentially. If we can keep expanding the fan base, we will keep growing events like the CRC and Las Vegas year after year, which could lead the way to a better 15's team.

My overall suggestion is to get into a bigger and more competitive 15's competition. Maybe the U.S. getting into something with Canada, Russia and Japan might be a good start. But the ultimate goal has got to be something like the Six Nations. If not, you're wasting my and other fans time.

I should be the target fan base for USAR. I'm an former college football player from a small school, I cant stand watching baseball or basketball. I love the physicality of rugby. I love the complexity of 15's and the speed of 7's. I don't mind going to a rugby game and actually cheering for my team instead of sitting in the stands pissed off because I think it should have been me out there.... But what I and other Americans like me don't like is watching a 2nd rate competition or in our case sometimes a 3rd rate competition. Do you think the Las Vegas event would be even half as big as it was if the U.S. national team was in a 7's tournament with the Saxons, Italy A, Canada East...etc.... NO it would not. Americans want to watch the best leagues possible. period. That's why Las Vegas keeps growing and that's why I'm sure the CRC will continue to grow this year.

So again I get what you're saying... we suck, we're no good, we have no money.... blablabla. What I'm saying is... I don't care, that's the same crap that I've been hearing for the short time I've been following the sport. We need to change that. there is to much potential for us not to.

One and two day Tournamnet rugby is the only format that has ever made money in the US. USA Sevens is the best example on the international level. Dozens of Sevens Tournaments around the country are proftiable even though they are not at the elite level. Even Fifteen Torunaments make money but not with the 80 minute format. Most youth rugby programs are sevens format. Full 80 minute rugby can't make money in the US. Churchill Cup is the best example of losing money on 80 minute fifteens. USA Eagle 15s matches lose money. No Club in the US makes money on 80 minute Fifteens, they only make money on tournaments. Commercially, 80 minute rugby is pig and it will always be player funded. 15s will continue to exist because players will pay for it.

7s need to coninute to grow and then 15s might have a chance commerically.

Matt - you may think your comments are original...but they are not.

Sames things have been said since the 70's.

Move on son, nothing to see here.

Rookie Rugby? Hah. Lacrosse is the alternative game of our children these days.

Matt - go start a youth sevens program if you want to do something productive.


Skinner - First of all I never said my ideas were original. Secondly, it seems as though the same responses keep being said to the same ideas as well.... cant do this, cant do that... heard it before, done it before... give it up... move on ZzzzzzzZZZzzzzzzZZZZzzz. Just throwing out some ideas old man. Sorry if you heard them before.

And I already volunteer with a youth rugby program in Ohio and I run my alumni society for my college team. I do as much as I can as I'm sure so do you.

"Canadian Rugby - 1991 RWC Quarter-Finalist

If Argentina getting into the semi-finals means entrance into the Tri-Nations, then the Canadian team deserves a place in a better competition.


Canuck to compare Argentina with Canada is a laughable offense. Yes Canada made the quarters in 1991 but I think everyone in the room might agree that was a different era of rugby, as in it was during the amatuer era. Since that time Argentina has been to the quarterfinals (1999) and semi-finals (2007) with a third place finish in 2007 to boot. They've taken the same approach, staying amateur at home while exporting their best players overseas. Since you make results in the RWC as your benchmark in your arguement, Argentina has gone 10-8 for a 55% winning rate in the RWC since 1991 while Canada has gone 3-10-1 with a 21% winning rate. I don't think a 21% winning rate is going to get you into any of the top level competitions in the world. So be happy that Canada might be the second or third or fourth best Tier II country and hope for a renewed PAC Rim competition involving the Islanders and Japan.


DOA: You are FOS. There are a few D1 teams that could beat the bottom 5 teams in the CPL, but those D1 teams were invited to play in the CPL but decided not to because of cost issues.

Participation in the CPL/CPD is, and likely always will be, voluntary, regardless of school size or notoriety. And, should current D1 teams want in at the end of this, the first, season, they'll have a chance to play their way in.

That said, it's become clear that USA Rugby doesn't have enough skin in the game to successfully recruit big-name sponsors for the competition. Since the net profits go to the teams, what's in it for USAR? They'd much rather focus their efforts on things that bring in dollars that they can keep.

The CPL/CPD teams need to seriously think about getting involved in recruiting sponsors or it ain't gonna get done. Any of you believe differently?


"And if you look at this from a financial angle, "IF" the 6 Nations were to expand, what market has the most potential? It's North America. There is no debating that."

You obviously don't know a thing about European rugby. For the suits that run the tourney the most attractive country is Spain. Biarritz goes to the Estadio Anoeta in Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain (32K) to play their biggest Heineken Cup matches, and Perpignan is using Barcelona's 1992 Olympic stadium (55K) this year for their Heineken Cup quarterfinal against Toulon. If Barcelona FC's famous Nou Camp stadium was available the match would have been played there, which holds 99K. However, the most tantalizing reason for Spain is the interest Spanish Football teams have taken in rugby as an ancillary revenue stream for their football clubs. They only have their toe in the water, but clubs like Barcelona are assisting in the marketing of cross-border games by releasing films of their football stars doing the haka as a build up to rugby in Barcelona. NOTE: Cross border marketing of rugby is easy between Spain and France because of shared language and culture. In San Sebastien the people are and speak Basque like their French neighbors. In Barcelona it is Catalan. The Spanish are sports mad and the TV revenue is potentially massive. Spain is in the RWC this year and if they can build to a reasonable level, they are in with a shot.

@ Show Me

You don't know jack about the CPL. The teams are locked down for at least 2 years. It was in the contract to join the league. So there is no playing in. Some teams will most likely jump ship after one year. Look at Claremont who has been beat by UCLA, Arizona and University or Arizona by huge margins, and those teams are mid-table teams at best.

Jack Clark cooked this league up and sold it via the ARN podcast. Many of the teams that are in it just jumped in like lemmings, and many others who are historically top 10 teams in the country had no choice but to get into the league after the sell job by JC.

USA Rugby had this league dumped on them and they haven't done anything to make it better than the old D1 competition. Matches are going to take place in less than a week and there is no website to even see when and where the matches are going to be played.

The CPL is DOA!

7 Nations - thanks for the Spanish insight - very interesting.

Matt - thanks for your work with youth.


WTF - that is AWESOME

@7 Nations - I appreciate the schooling you have given me on Spanish rugby, but I thought one of your main reasons for the U.S not getting into the 6 Nations was because "The Eagles get blown out by their A-sides" ...basically saying we couldn't compete.

And now what you're telling me is that Spain, a team that has made the world cup one time, didn't win a single game in the ENC last year and who is a worse ranked 15's club than the U.S. has a better chance to get into the 6 Nations because of what now... cross border marketing, the Spanish are sports mad, the TV revenue is potentially "massive" and Spanish football teams have taken a likening to rugby because it provides extra revenue for them... have I got it? As Tom Hanks once said... "I dont get it"

That's pretty much my argument for the U.S. getting in. We are a sports mad country, US (TV ratings for Soccer World Cup was 15.5 million) the potential for marketing and tv revenue is huge compared to Spain, and our fan base is starting to grow...

Do you really believe that Spain is a better market for the Six Nations to expand to? Or do you just like to argue?

Either way, I'm done arguing with you. I'll just agree to disagree with you.

DOA is laughable. What a useless POS.


Your lack of knowledge about European sport is shocking for a guy trying to have a debate about the 6 Nations tourney.

When I said, "For the suits that run the tourney the most attractive country is Spain" you should have instantly have known that like the IRB, FIFA, RFU, FA and every soccer and rugby association/union in Europe the old guys in the blazers run the show and logic be damned.

It is also obvious that you don't know a thing about Spanish sports or culture. So, let me lay this out for you like I would for my 5 year old son.

Spanish Football = NFL + (NBA+NHL+MLB)

FC Barcelona is one of the top 5 wealthiest football clubs in the world along with their rival Real Madrid. FC Barcelona already has a rugby club under their umbrella.

So, when they are working to promote rugby and looking at a league to generate revenue they mean business. It would be like the NFL saying they are getting into professional rugby in the USA.

Oh yeah...go get a passport and see the world.

Interesting to see that the US is ranked better in Rugby, #16, than in Soccer, #18. Soccer has millions playing the youth game, varisity, status, ample TV coverage, and a professional US/Canada League and many players in overseas professional leagues. What soccer has, poeple say Rugby needs. But where would that get US rugby..to #18? Clearly something is missing in soccer and a lot more is missing in Rugby.

The big difference between soccer and rugby is that with soccer a kid in the ghetto can learn the skills to get noticed and developed into a great soccer player. It doesn't work that way in rugby. You need more than a ball and a wall to kick it against.

Soccer may be easier to play initially but it is a challenge to play at a high performance level. It it was easy, US would be number 1 in Soccer. A kid playing soccer doesn't get to the international level without professional quality development. US Soccer has huge resources and tV coverage yet US soccer still fails to be competitve internationally. Even if Rugby gets everything soccer has, why would anyone think the US would improve in world rugby rankings?

CPL or CPD - the guys laughing right are those in the new conferences, especially those like the ACC boys that don't have CPL teams who might come crawling back
They have even got sponsors and a website - its a miracle.

No need for a website - the internet is just a fad so we shouldn't waste to many resources on it. I'm going to send Boulder a telegraph to make sure they realize that...


William Webb Ellis and the lads at Rugby School found that Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg invention was sufficient for them!

@7 Nations – Thanks for letting me know that soccer is the most popular sport in Spain… and for letting me know that the old guys with the money are the ones who make the decisions… just brilliant!

You’re either one of the most arrogant Americans I’ve ever had the chance to talk to about rugby, or you’re a “know it all” foreigner… My guess and hope is the latter. Either way, it’s sad you fail to recognize the flaws in your own smug logic.

All you really needed to say to win the argument is “Spain is closer”… But thanks again for the worldly lessons professor. Why would I travel the world when I have you?

“Oh yeah...go get a passport and see the world.” Bwhahahahaha I love it.


Soft suburban white kids are playing soccer in the USA. If the game took off in the ghetto we would have a dozen players in the mold Pele, Maradona, etc.

With the CPL starting this week it is time to thank the founder of the league who granted just this one interview>


@7 Nations?

"Spain is in the RWC this year..."

I think 1999 called. They said you ought to short pets.com.

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