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13 June 2011


Let's hope that he means that he's been doing the CEO role for 4 years, not that he's been applying for the RFU CEO job for 4 years!

The current Board has no strategy, so that should be a quick discussion.

This man and the USARFU is completely infuriating. He needs to resign now. Having him in a leadership role while his head and heart are somewhere else pining for another job isnt good for anyone. Besides that, you would think he would want to leave now... because after the World Cup and he shows the entire rugby world that his leadership has led to the United States getting embarrassed on national television, who in the hell is going to want to hire him.

Even if Nigel goes, who replaces him?

Chuck Norris...

Ass kickin' needs to begin

Jack Clark, back in the saddle. He could then hire Tommy Boy to take the reigns over and send Eddy back to the land of potatoes.

JC for 100-150k. I'd do it in an instant.

While we're at it, how do we go about getting rid of all of the "yes men" on Congress that voted to keep Melville and Roberts around?

Ah... screw it. Time to dissolve the whole group and start over. Since they took over they have wasted millions of $$$ (paid by HS and college kids) on the Eagles while people at the grassroots have done the job of growing the game with a hand tied behind their back.

Only now, as they prepare for another winless World Cup, have they changed their tune and are trumpeting youth rugby.

Their legacy will be a pock mark on the history of rugby in America.

Problem - I dont think it matters and I honestly think Chuck Norris would seriously do a better job.

Youth and college are important, but there still needs to be a high performance player pathway to the national team. RSL teams are not the answer as they are only concerned with winning RSL games. Solution is regional Academies developing players from multiple clubs.

regional academies. 2nd worst idea behind having the top colleges play in the RSL. Who is going to pay for these regional academies? Who is going to build them and what are the players going to live on while they are there?

We have 20 regional academies already built and they just need support. They are called college rugby programs. Top internationals enter in their early 20s. Most college students exit college at 22. Perfect transition.

Club and players will have to pay for regional Academies. Where does anyone think money is gong to come from to develop rugby in the US? By saying collegs, you are assuming colleges want to foot the bill. Sponsors will come in eventually, but not in the near term. Players in lacrosse soccer, football, and basketball spend millions of dollars every year out of their own pockets to attend top camps and academies. Rugby has been run on the cheap and it shows in the quality of the game in the US.

College rugby program are a good start but they will never create players who can compete on an elite level. Players need to play with top players from multiple colleges and clubs. Pathway is from college to acadmemy to pro to national team.

More Nigel news:

So what is the chance that JC or any other qualified candidate would work under the conditions that Melville works under. No Board, no money, no plan. Melville has been poor no doubt, but there is no way JC or anyone capable of doing the biz is going to accept this job without the authority to do it.

This Board will hire another overseas dude needing years to get up to speed, just watch.

Agreed, I doubt JC would take the job. But Im sure there are a few other guys out there that would be willing and able to take on this challenge. I dont know who... but they should start looking now.

Either way, I hope the next guy they get is an American. I think we are more than capable to lead ourselves. Again I doubt we could do any worse.

We certainly don't need to waste money, but what American, raised in the current system would know anything about running a succesful rugby program for the US?

Dan Lyle?

"Sevens" is a mole.

I can think of about half a dozen that could do a better job than NM. But the problem is that ultimately, it is not NM that is the problem. Its KR and the board. It takes an eternity to get anything approved by these muppets. Having a board make decisions how a professionally organization is run, hamstrings it from the start. Unless you are a Wall Street bank that uses a board system to line its own pockets.

Wait a minute?

Dan Lyle is the obvious choice but there are a couple of problems:

1. Prying him away from Prusmack and USA Sevens.
2. He wouldn't last 2 minutes with KR - he needs autonomy to run the union and make decisions when one is needed without waiting for the board to to yes or no.

USA Sevens LLC should acquire USA Rugby

This just in... USA Rugby sells itself to USA Sevens LLC in order to finance trips to New Zealand for an expanded 22-member coaching staff. Roberts goes on air to promote his plans for a Los Angeles based Super 15 squad, that doesn't actually play a single game in America and doesn't have any American players on the roster. Says that this will guarantee that the Eagles reach the quarterfinals in 2015.

In all seriousness, USA Sevens LLC is smart enough to stick to business and not avoid the pitfalls of running a governing body.

Our biggest problem goes beyond getting Lyle to make the switch. It lies in the Board that de-balled congress of any power and filled it with members that wouldn't dare oppose Roberts for fear of losing their seat at the table.

Could we be far from our own civil war and the creation of a rogue union?

USA Sevens LLC are good at what they are doing and have done well so far. But lets not forget that they are a money making organization and will by its very nature cut the things in rugby that don't make money.

"Could we be far from our own civil war and the creation of a rogue union"

Dude, wake up. Youth and Collegiate rugby have already conducted their own silent secession. Governing boby? check. Leadership structure? check. Buy in from the teams, coaches and players? check. Only thing left is to aquire the revenue stream and its done. While others have been consumed with Eagles losses, these groups have built their future.

So the Collegiate All-Americans should be the Eagles?

Maybe Cal should be the Eagles. I would really like to see the Cal boys take on one of the iffy Teir 3 teams the Eagles struggle with, Cal vs Portugal ?

So, if the high schools and colleges have already bought into the concept, why are they still paying millions of $$$ to Boulder?

I agree the infrastructure exists for them to break from the union, but who fires the first shot and actually stops paying the taxes?

Once it does happen, the floodgates will open.

My guess is the first shot will be fired by the Southeastern Rugby Conference or the Atlantic Coast Rugby League. Rest assured, the finger is on the trigger...

Didnt the USCRA try to do this? And didnt most people on this board crap on them for it? The CPD bowing down to USAR was a bad day.

The first shot needs to be taken by JC... Its the only way to get everyone in College Rugby to follow.

The CPD Final had what... about 10,500 people in attendance? With the average ticket sold at $20 a pop... thats $210,000... after you rent the stadium and pay for ESPNU to broadcast the games, and any extra expenses that come up, there should still be a nice chunk of change left for the CPD. Word is, nobody in the CPD has seen or heard any details on any of that money yet. If thats not enough reason for JC to take the first shot, I dont know what is.

Target acquired... Cannon 1 ready... FIRE!

Dues should be collected in each region and spent in the same region.

Cal and the Collegiate All-Americans would not be competitive at the international level. Doubt they would be beat the team ranked 50th in the world.

There needs to be a player development pathway from college to the international/pro level. Regional academies funded from regional dues is a possible solution. The US needs hundreds of players at the elite level, not the handful we have now.

Just want to point out that college lacrosse flourished for years and continues to flourish with barely any international play and a pro league most players have no aspiration to play in. This whole "players need a pathway or else they wont have any motivation" or whatever is nonsense. College rugby should be the goal and the level of rugby players aspire to play at. Once we accomplish a very high level of play at that level, THEN a pathway to international/pro rugby will be able to be done the right way

I'd like to see a combined team of BYU, ARK State and Cal play the Eagles. I think Eagles lose.

College players would get smashed by pro and super league players... Dumb argument.

This academy talk is pretty far fetched.

The problem is that kids from HS who translate to future Eagles (they are good enough athletes) are athletes in other sports. You can have foreign, american, academies, plans, CPD, USCRA, ACL, ETC!

But if a kid has to choose between getting college payed for and a chance at a professional career vs. pay to play (Club, NASC, National Team) they will walk away from rugby 99/100 times.

Call Life or Cal the official academy and award scholarships to go to school there through USAR High Performance. Or Colorado and have the Boulder staff take it over.

Whatever. The point is whatever made up pathway they have will not work when a kid enters the black hole of college rugby. 18-22 is a crucial age to train like a test player and build a physical base for a rugby career. Right now the ONLY team that offers that in college is Cal. Not the service academies and not BYU.

"Daily Training Environment".

I wouldn't even argue if we awarded 3 scholarships a year to kids we thought could translate into Senior Eagles to Cal.

Is it fair? No. But if we want to compete it's what needs to be done.

People pay to play a much more in other sports. Look at all the money spent on camps and academies in soccer, baseball, football, and lacrosse. Rugby players need to spend more more and stop expecting a college or sponsor to foot the bill.

anon, why not two academies? Cal in the West and somewhere in the East. I do believe Life trains every day though.

US should have Academies in every region to run developments camps and selects sides. Academies need not have facilities year round but players should be mentored year round when they return to their home clubs.

You Americans take a very institutional approach to the whole problem. There is a simple way for a player to get better: play lots of high level games. The US has some great athletes playing rugby right now, probably better than Canada, and yet the number of games an elite level player is involved in is very small. Consider:

Pat Danahy played maybe eight competitive games this spring and one or two preseason before the Churchill. Luckily, LIFE played in the RSL East (which had to be the best or second best league in NA this year, the other being the CDI. For RSL skeptics, the speed, athleticism, and physicality in the East was incredible this year) and made the playoffs. Troy Hall, if he hadn't gotten hurt and had NYAC still not made the playoffs, would have had only six league games and maybe one competitive preseason game. Meanwhile, Canada's Man of the Match against France, Chauncey O'Toole, played eleven competitive games in the CDI (which is either a little better, the same, or a little worse than the RSL), some preseason games, and two rep level games with the Rock against Canada A and Salta. That's double what Troy would have played and 1/3rd more than Danahy. Plus he's playing a more competitive fall schedule AND has the CRC in the summer. Over time, especially in your early 20s, these experience compounds. If you're not playing RSL and you're playing with a top D1 team outside of Cali (and even in Cali), you probably will have less than five competitive games all year.

Next, let's compare a CPD side and a good Canadian Uni side such as Queen's. A kid playing for, say, St. Mary's will play a full CPD slate, preseason, and maybe three or four post season games in a year. That gets him about 13-15 games about 2/3rds of which are competitive. He may play summer 7s with a club, he may have summer competitive exhibition games in the spring. The fall season is useful but ultimately exhibition. The kid at Queen's may go on tour in the spring. In mid-May, he'll play with a top provincial mens side in the ORU Marshall division and net around 12 games during the summer. He'll follow that up with training camp, a few preseason games, and then a full Uni schedule potentially netting 20+ games in a given year. Now, even if the US has better athletes (which in my experience it does) which country is going to churn out the better rugby players?

So here's a question, why does the US have so much trouble getting its top domestic players games?

Because we are obsessed with rugby being a spring sport. Rugby in Canada doesn't have to compete with American football, so they have a much larger window during which to play competitive games given their climate. Imagine how many competitive games the US could fit in if the RSL and college all played in the fall, started in September and went thru November into December - at least 10. Then have regional representative play at age grade levels in the spring with another 5-7 games. Now you're doubling the number of games the top players play. But we will probably continue to push rugby as a spring sport and will be constrained by weather.

I think it is important to get the schedules figured out. What if we keep it a Spring sport and then have representative rugby in the fall.

Agree more elite games needed. There need to be multiple games for the regional select sides, ideally an entire season of 6-10 games. And this is where everyone asks how it will be funded.


Once again a foreign program that would not work in the states.

This country is too big and has too few players to make an academy system work.

Put the effort into college scholarships. Once a US parent learns his kid can get a scholarship, things will change. Until then . .

To my mind the RSL needs to become a city based league that draws from the regional clubs.

For instance - Boston would draw on Boston RFC, Mystics, BIW, Worcester ...

The RSL should compete in a season that is different from the club championship competition. Play the club competition in the fall (or spring) and have the RSL in the opposite season. Clubs would still be active playing "friendlies" but players could be released to play for the RSL.

This would concentrate the best players into the RSL competition and create an audience for the matches. Having been to the Boston / Life game this spring it was great to see people paying to see these two clubs play. If RSL became city as opposed to club based then more people would come to the games to see their team mates play at a higher level.

As for 7's - why not have a match at the half of each RSL game?

Agreed IPlayedDrekRugby - City based teams would be much more marketable. I'm sorry but nobody other than hard-core ruggers care that OMBAC is playing Life or Old Puget Sound Beach. It needs to be Atlanta vs Seattle or San Diego. Otherwise you will never gain the full support of your city and bring in new fans. I know that Columbus changed their name from Scioto Valley to The Columbus Rugby Club. and then apparently the nickname for their 15's side is now Scioto Valley and their 7's side is 1823 Knights.... I still think they need to drop the 1823 from the name, but smart marketing moves in my opinion. This type of re-branding needs to be done across the board.

Call it city based teams or Academies but the idea is the same. Teams from multiple clubs train in development camps in a single city for a regional team that competes in multiple games against other city based academy teams. Agree that the brand names of the existing RSL clubs do not mean much outside of the rugby community. City based names would be easier to market.

Most of the current RSL teams do have "city based" names.

Dallas Harlequins, Denver Barbarians, Utah Warriors, Chicago Griffins, Chicago Lions.

New York Athletic Club, New York Old Blue, San Francisco Golden Gate, and Boston are fairly close to the standard. Each can be subtly tweaked. New York Athletics, New York Blues, SF Golden Gates, Boston Massholes.

Life University is something else, but something that people can get.

OPSB is the only team name that is genuinely outside the US sporting mainstream.

Unfortunately these will not help the growth of the game - the "City based or academies" will concentrate their effort on the first 15, that's it.

We need to first coordinate through our local Union a talent ID program, using the top people we have in our Unions.

We need to put caps on their participation, let's say two years tops. This will ensure we keep getting people thru the pipeline.

We take this kids and put them thru multiple practices - ensuring that they are getting the correct training.

Do this over a long period of time. Forever.


Another - you need more high level games - more games, more games, again with games are the answer.

They need games that suit their level of play. The games they get are over their playing ability right now. What they are learning is how to survive a High Level game.

What they need are years of practice with good coaching & good players around them to develop their skills. Then get the games that will challenge them.

The RSL sesaon has to be different from the regular club league season. I think that is important. Making the RSL teams regionally selected will help build an audience in this way - if a Boston RSL team (for instance) has players drawn from BRFC, BIW, Mystics and for arguments sake Worcester then you have four clubs represented and players / supporters from each of these clubs interested in going to see their teammates play. It breaks down the tribal nature of the club game.

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