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03 February 2012


This is a great move - love it!
Well USOC.

Does this new passport standard apply to the Club Sevens Championship?

Sevens, Why the hell would it?? It is a USOC standard, not a USAR standard.

If the USA 7s program is making the Olympic success its main objective as a program, then this is the least controversial, most obvious move of all time.

That doesn't mean, however, that this standard will suddenly become the standard of all domestic competitions. Foreign citizens aren't eligible for the USA Basketball Team but they make up a large part of the NBA.

USAR policy is to limit non-US players on club rosters. The NBA has no such policy. My question is focused on the administration of eligibility at US club tournaments. There are limits to how many foreign players can be on team under USAR rules. Defintion of US person versus non-US is key for administration. A greecard holder who has not lived 36 months in the US counts as a US person under USAR regs but is a non-US person under IRB regs. A non Greencard holder who has lived in the US for 36 months counts as non-US person under USAR rules but would be a US person under IRB rules. Greencard holders and 36 month resident are non-US person under USOC regs. Three standards USOC, USAR, and IRB.

I vote we focus on domestic youth, and call it good. My head hurts trying to figure out the various rules between USOC, USAR, iRB.

Interesting to see how completely empty the stadium is in Wellington. Who underwrites the costs of that tournament and how much do they lose/profit? Vegas 7s kills this in terms of attendance.

Interesting article from Goff. The suggestion here is that Jack Clark had no interest in the CPD succeeding, because otherwise, according to Goff, he could have made it succeed...

Reposted from RugbyMag

Does anyone really doubt that if University of California Head Coach Jack Clark wants to make something happen – I mean really wants to make something happen – it won’t happen?

Say what you want about the hugely successful and often polarizing coach, he’s tenacious. So I have watched with interest his talk about Pac-12 rugby.

Clark has brought up the Pac-12 several times in the past few months, before and after Cal pulled out of D1-A, and before and after Cal was not admitted on late notice into the NorCal D1-AA. He’s pointed out that the Pac-12 has a network and needs content, and that the network doesn’t have football, because those rights were sold separately.

He has pointed out in an intriguing RuggaMatrix America podcast that Pac-12 competitions don’t have to include all 12 teams (interestingly, the Pac-12 soccer conference has six teams, and one of them is San Diego State).

Now comes Cal’s press release on their tour of Arizona to play the Arizona Wildcats on Friday and Arizona State on Sunday. It’s not the game previews that caught my eye, but the repeated reference to the Pac-12.

This from the release:

Arizona is a postseason contender whose head coach, Dave Sitton, has expressed his program's "strong commitment to playing Pac-12 games."

Asked whether Arizona supports the development of a traditional conference-based rugby structure, coach Sitton said, "We've been attempting to build our future schedules to make Pac-12 games a priority. We'd love to host a Pac-12 conference tournament every year and we're kicking it off with this visit by the Bears."

Arizona State head coach Gary Lane echoed Sitton's hope for a Pac-12-based build-out in college rugby.

"I'm a very big supporter of it," coach Lane said. "We already play Arizona, Colorado and Utah. It would make sense to align ourselves, like our football program, with the Pac-12. We'd support that strongly."

Obviously Cal is pushing for the competition, and it’s not been hard to find supoporters. We’ve talked to a few colleges, too, and found interest. Adminstrations and students would embrace a Pac-12 rugby league, and really the only major hurdle is money.

Now not everyone … the Pac-12 teams in the Northwest aren’t quite as energetic (or flush) as those in the south, but that, as we’ve heard, is OK. Colorado and Utah? Yeah, they might be in. Why not invite BYU into the Pac-12 for rugby? (If San Diego State can play Pac-12 in soccer …).

Conference rugby is not new. The Big 10 holds a tournament, as did the SEC. The Atlantic Coast Conference is unofficially mirrored by the ACRL. The Ivy League plays as such and plays a full league schedule.

The Pac-12, if it gets the type of TV coverage some think it can, and with the prestige of the conference as an athletic entity, could be a game-changer.

Imagine a conference that starts out with Cal, Stanford, Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, and Utah. Then as momentum grows, Oregon State and Colorado get in on the action. That’s a pretty great rugby conference, and a compelling competition for fans of college sports.

But the point is not for me to sell you on the idea, or sell anyone on the idea. The point is, somebody is already selling the idea, Cal's Jack Clark, and he's not going to let it go.

When you have an idea like that, you often need someone to right herd with a singularity of purpose. So watch ... this will happen.


It sells out within 15 minutes every year but it's more about the party than the games themselves. As with any 7s tournament no matter the attendance, the stands will never be full as people pick and choose which games they want to watch while getting beer, spending time in a fan festival area, etc. the rest of the time.


JC animatedly sold the CPD a whopping 18 months ago to only drop out after 1 season. If you guys are not lucid enough to know the JC game - promote progressive ideas and hubris while cynically serving his own interest to remain above the fray by being solely varsity - than you're an idiot.

Kurt, Thanks for actually reporting on this. I queried Pat & Alex for three months prior to the team announcement (even to the point of posting a link to USOC's Citizenship Policy) and they didn't even include a single blurb in an article about this issue. Just another reason why independent blogs are so beneficial. Keep up the good work, sir!

How many teams will go to the Olympics from our region? Brazil obviously gets a nod for being host nation. Does that leave two or three slots open? If there are only two then the Eagles are in for a real scrap to find a slot. The 0 - 5 performance (shut out in 3 games) in Wellington really suggests that this is a very weak Eagles team.

At the end of this IRB 7's tournament some hard questions are going to have to be asked; including whether or not a change is needed at the top. Al has done a good job but this program has really plateaued and is regressing at the moment.

The Olympic dream will remain just that unless there is a very quick turnaround - and one wonders if this team has it in them. Moral victories mean nothing at this stage of the game.

If the Eagles fail to qualify for 2016 where will they stand with regards to funding from the USOC.

My point is that if the CRC or Vegas 7s had this amount of empty seats (and if you watched Wellington, you would see that the stadium was at times almost completely empty) then everyone on this board would be posting how the event was a failure, USA 7s was losing tons of money, rugby in this country is a disaster, etc.

Cal 82 Arizona 0. Reports of Cal having a down year seem to have been premature. Also have to wonder about the viability of that PAC-12 league. So far Cal is beating the PAC-12 191-0 this spring. The league would probably be quite competetive outside of Cal, though. would be interesting to see how quickly the other teams could raise their level of play if the conference was started and had sponsors and TV, etc. Probably pretty quickly...

Yea. They are prematuring all over the faces of the Pac-12

Laughed out loud at that one.

If Cal put 82 points on Arizona in a shutout, I predict they will put at least 100 on ASU on Sunday. Gary Lane will blame the ref.

Pools for Vegas has USA with Canada (awesome performance at Wellington tourney this weekend), Fiji (do the math) and Argentina (Caravelli being from Argentina doesn't give us an advantage as they have better players).

I predict day one in Vegas the Eagles go 0-3 with at least 1 blowout.

By my count Eagles are 6-15 in the 4 IRB Series so far. With basically the same group of core players. We had the lonest leadup camp of all time prior to this tournament and went 0-5. I don't see how we go anything other than 0-3 in the pool round in Vegas. Something needs to change. I'm willing to give the residency program a little time to work, but our results in Scotland and England should be significantly improved over this weekend's debacle.

Cal 59, ASU 7 Final

ASU played tough. It was 17-7 (Cal) with only 20 minutes to play, but Cal's fitness showed in the last quarter.

Interestingly enough, although the Olympics requires actual citizenship to represent a country, unlike with international rugby they allow athletes to switch countries.

17-7 with 20 minutes to go? If true, that is incredibly impressive. But, as always, unless you are as fit as Cal, you will never have a chance for the upset.

Man, how has no one re-posted what are brilliant President/CEO has posted on his blog: http://nmdirect.blogspot.com/2012/02/intensity-with-swampdawamp.html

INTENSITY. The New Rugby Anthem. Get excited!

I posted a comment on that blog; I wonder if it will be approved. In case it is not, to paraphrase:

Wow, that was embarrassing. Does USA Rugby leadership think that a combination of music that sounds like a bad imitation of The Cult, lyrics as trite as anything sung by Rebecca Black, and a video full of fights and illegal tackles that could easily cause quadraplegia is just the thing to get Americans excited about Rugby?

Very good atmosphere for college rugby. A nice crowd (approx. 500) for Super Bowl Sunday, actual stadium setting (at the ASU soccer stadium), professionally lined field, national anthem, proper PA announcements, ticket sales ($5 tickets) and ASU merchandise sales. It looked and felt like an actual college sporting event, well done ASU.

Here is the scoring breakdown from Calrugby.com

The Scoring Timeline vs. Arizona State:

17:00 Danny Barrett 5

24:00 Seamus Kelly 5, Alex Aronson 2

28:00 Jake Anderson 5

Halftime: California 17, Arizona State 0

53:00 ASU 5, 2

61 Jake Anderson 5, Alex Aronson 2

65:00 Jake Anderson 5, Alex Aronson 2

68:00 Seamus Kelly, Alex Aronson 2

73 Paul Bosco, Alex Aronson

77:00 Jack O'Berine, Alex Aronson

80:00 Ahmed Chehade, Alex Aronson 9 Final Score: California 59, Arizona 7

People can say what they want about Gary Lane, but he's doing some good things at ASU. Would love to know how he got the University to agree to let the rugby team use the soccer stadium.


There are a lot of teams using Athletic Department facilities. The fact that ASU did it is hardly an accomplishment. The performance is worthy of credit, but you have to wonder how much of that is the work of Salty Thompson.

I have plenty of bad things to say about Lane, but I'll give him a ton of praise for everything about this. Not that, as DD points out, others don't also deserve credit, but Lane's in charge and everything about this looks good.

The release and lineups from the CalvUA and CalvASU indicates, Cal made 6 changes from the team that beat UA. So it looks like ASU played well against a Cal mixed team and lost by 52 points.

What other Division 1 colleges get to play their rugby games in their varsity soccer stadium? BYU is one. Maybe UCSB? Any others? I know one prominent team that was slated to have one of the National Guard games of the week on ESPN a few years back and the University refused to let them use the women's soccer stadium (hence, no game). So yeah, I give someone associated with ASU's men's rugby program (Lane, Thompson, whoever) credit for this. I know that when I tried to get the same access for my team, I was laughed out of the room (six years in a row).

Cant u tell us what team?

I think this is a giant step forward for US Rugby. We need to focus on our own development. The US has yet to tap vast amounts of talent contained within its own borders.

You know what else should be a requirement for the Olympic Sevens program... that you know how to play rugby sevens, your fast and you know how to open field tackle. Currently I'd say 2 or 3 of the guys on this team would meet all the requirements.

JC giving props to the Pac AZ schools..."It was fantastic to see how college rugby is being grown at U of A and ASU. We were hosted at great facilities, two class stadiums, with the type of event packaging college rugby needs to take the next step. Anthems, PA, scoreboards, good officiating - it was impressive."

So come to think about it. Utah uses Rio Tinto, MLS quality stadium. UCLA uses a great on campus soccer/rugby stadium. Stanford has a great rugby stadium. Cal will get Witter Field back next year. Together with the AZ schools the Pac has the best collection of playing facilities of any conference. If the plan is to grow college rugby, then along with quality of play, facilities are the next most important issue. Especially since facilities are tied to campus support.

Someone just burned Nigel to the ground on his blog.

@college fan

But I thought the CPD model was best for college rugby? That's what Lord Jack said a year ago..

Nigel the coward took down his post about the song Intensity that was to ignite the passion of Americans for rugby. What a knob!


What a knob indeed. If you don't want people to comment, take down the facility to do so. Unless they are using offensive language , suck it up and take the heat.
Or head back to England...

Let's give him some credit. He didnt delete the comments. He deleted his own blog post. He seems to have done so in response to the last comment I saw which said that the USAR ceo shouldnt be giving an ounce of publicity to a "promotional" video which sends all the wrong messages about our sport.

What the clip shows is that Rugby is a tough and highly physical sport.

That Lingerie Football League is doing well. Went from a local TV channel in my area to basic cable on MTV2. Maybe Nigel can work out an indoor women's rugby league where they wear tube tops and Daisy Duke shorts.

@WCR, Does any American who knows the bare minimum about rugby doubt that it is a tough and highly physical sport? Is that really a weakness we need to strengthen? That too many people think rugby is soft? I'm not sure it is.

If one of rugby's biggest problems in the US, is that the average non-rugby person thinks rugby is "football without pads" and is more violent than most sports, then is a promo video showing "that rugby is a tough and highly physical sport" going to help anyone?

I would say no. Not at all. Maybe in other countries where rugby is an accepted and legitimate sport option for everyone. Here, where rugby is fighting to gain common acceptance, we need to emphasize the skill, teamwork, fitness, and strength needed to play the game. We don't need to hide the toughness aspect, but we shouldnt promote it as the number one draw to our sport, because it isn't at all.

I remember when soccer took off in the USA and they used this promotional video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=05_cyzbQ8sc

The Eagles just might end up with a team of players all with US passports and a coach with a non US passport.

Al has clearly lost the team. They are done with him and it will be hard for him to come back. It doesn't help that the pressure has understandably gotten to Al. Throwing the players under the bus while suggesting his plans and coaching are good is a huge mistake.

Even the easiest pool in the history of the series in LV won't help them. This Eagles 7s team is in trouble and needs to be rebuilt.

are you assuming or do you know?

Wow. Read Caravelli's comments on rugby mag and am shocked. Seems he has reached the end of his rope as eagles coach.

The team was really bad in NZ. My mate was texting me with lots of "ha ha ha's". Told him to sod off!

Hope we don't end up with new foreign coaches for the 15's and XII's!!!

Good eagles!!!!

Based on the below tweet from Nigel tonight he is enjoying my son's college level CIPP fees.

USA Rugby @NigelMelville
Tier 2 meetings tomorrow to agree an international fixture schedule, 2013-16, dinner with Japan, Georgia, Samoa, Russia and Tonga tonight!

Caravelli to the sevens team; "it's not me, it's you". All you need to hear.

Let's be fair here. Idk if Caravelli is the best man for the job. But coaches can only do so much. Players have to make their tackles, they have to make their passes, and they have to avoid dumb, high-risk decisions. Any time USA has played poorly, those 3 things were the 3 biggest problems.

So sometimes this type of reason is valid to explain defeat. If it always happens, then we need to start analyzing whether the coach is developing players in the right way to get those 3 things done. Whether he is "putting them in the right position." And maybe we are at that point.

@Enough is Enough: You're right, let's not meet with all the other Tier 2 nations to make our national team better with more competition. What good would that do? Please put your head back in the sand. Japan, Georgia, Russia, Samoa, and Tonga. Pretty long flights for them, must be important.

At some point, the coach needs to take full responsibility. The coach needs to own the performance of the team. There isn't a time when the coach can blame the players and not share in the blame. Al knows this, but his recent words are an attempt to escape the reality of the situation.

Al has had many seasons now as the chief of Eagles 7's. He decides all things, his staff, every player selection, training schedule, style of play, team culture. Al has had full authority for many years.

Early in his term Al's complaint was not enough team speed, then it was not enough tournaments. Well he has had years to develop and select the player he wants, build the depth he wants and the Eagles have been given the great opportunity of participating in the IRB series. Lots of free participation, with the host tournament paying for the Eagles' cost. The Eagles look to be out of the series with a few more 0-5 showings. This is an important point, because for awhile an argument could be made that although not great the Eagles were improving under Al. This is no longer the case as the Eagles are seriously in decline.

Al isn't going anywhere this season. The firing of Todd Bell aside, Melville is without the spine to make drastic changes, much less engage in hands on managing. But once this season is in the books, those in the know highly doubt Al will be seen as the right coach for the job going forward. He has done a decent job and should be appreciated for his contribution.

As for who might be best to take the next stage, it would have to be somebody who can get the players attention, a coach with some presences. This was never Al's strength. He hasn't come off as a leader of men. More like a guy playing the part of a coach, like an actor on stage.

Keep in mind that a fresh start is also required from time to time. Al schtick has just grown stale with the players. Throwing them under the bus, has hasten what was probably going to happened anyway.

EOS left without even saying goodbye as the Eagles coach. Al should be thanked when this comes to an end this Spring.

If the Eagles have a strong performance in Vegas, everyone will forget about what Al said about the team this week. Face it guys you're not in the changing room and don't know what the team thinks of Al. Personally, I think it isn't a bad tactic to throw the team under the bus after a crap performance when the turn around is short and the team is playing on their own soil. Al did the right thing and lit a fire under these guys just before they are to perform on the home stage. I expect a very strong performance from the Eagles this weekend.

I too believe Caravelli's time as coach of the team is coming to an end. The USOC isn't going to put up with these results now that their money is in the picture. The USOC wants a medal in 2016 and right now the USA isn't even a solid bet to qualify.

He did a great job pulling the team together during a miserable time period for the squad and getting them back to core status. Where he has struggled is in recent years as more and more teams have gone professional. Even now as the Eagles are professional, they are still falling behind.

Caravelli should be thanked for his massive contribution to the 7's side. However, it is time to move on with a coach that can take this team to the next level. I do believe that Caravelli still has value to the program as a whole. He is passionate about 7's and could be used in some sort of scouting or recruiting role.

The team has been professional for 2 months. You guys are a joke.

No doubt the players will want to play well in LV and they have an easier pool to do so in. The players will be geared up for a massive effort and this may disguise the ailment, but there are more tournament ahead and the team is sick in the old fashion way, not the new good sick way.

Last thing, when some hear comment about the Eagles at the 2018 Olympics they hear Mora yelling "playoffs". The Eagles need to defeat Canada and Argentina to qualify. We just lost to the Cook Islands. Maybe we will see how easy it will be for the Eagles to qualify for the Olympics this weekend in LV.


the Eagle 7's pool/team has had a series of practices and camps since August, and yet all they have is 3rd place in a weakened Pan Am tourney coupled with they have actually have played worse in these last two tournaments after an intensive 2 week camp in chula vista. either the players aren't responding or the coaching is not effective with the talent pool, most likely a little of both. suffice to say something must change and in a hurry. this is big boy rugby, results are scrutinized and justly so.

The Eagles talent pool is shallow and weak. No Eagles Head Coach, 15s or 7s, will do well until there is a much larger and more skilled pool of US players. These elite players will come through the SBROs, College Conferences, and the new GUs. Sadly under Nigel's "leadership" USAR has alienated all of these organizations and there is no player pipeline and no national development effort fed by the regions. US Rugby needs a long term developement plan that includes the clubs in the SBROs, College Conferences, and GU's. Only then will we have the players need to win at the international level. A new coach without a greatly improved player pool will lose many more games than he will win.

Is that you Jim Jones? Talk about drinking the kool aid. SBRO's, GU's, college conferences will mean better player development? Based on what? A hunch that if we segment the dysfunction/apathy/poor organizational leadership among more groups that things will fix themselves? Wake up. Focus funding and keeping happy senior clubs aka the rich uncle/aunt that keeps ungrateful kids like the college game and the SBROs fat and happy through our CIPP and volunteering to coach and ref. We're already funding enough dead weight for poor decisions - we don't need to pay someone to be out of touch running a GU!

SBRO's, GU's, college conferences don't mean better player development now, but that is where the next national team players are going to come from. They need to focus on more than organizing their league. They need to run elite development camps and identify talent for the national player pool. There needs to be a vision for elite player development and it must include the players from the SBRO's, GU's, college conferences. If the regional quality of play in the SBROs, college conference, and GU gets better, the national player pool gets better.

Wait until the USOC figures out that NM is blowing smoke up their backside. That he doesn't have and can't do 1/10th of what he says is USAR's abilities.

If the USOC wants to support Olympic swimming they go right to the universities and academies where the athletes live and train. They develop individual relationships with athletes, coaches and universities.

USAR sees the USOC as their lifeline and it isn't going to work out that way. In fact, once NM can't deliver what he promises. A FEW MORE TIMES, the USOC will change the focus of their support.

When pursuing medals there is no space or time for the bullshit that it USAR. The USOC will find the places and people they need to make the sport or rugby work, cycle after cycle.

Nige, Kev and the rest of the band. You have lost HS rugby. You are now losing college rugby. Soon the USOC will be gone. The tit you are sucking from the IRB will also dry up with the results you are giving them. You turned the opportunity of a lifetime into the collapse of the NGB.

jesus... @USOC... you are a complete tit.

You really are the worst kind of rugby person. He who thinks he knows all... but knows little. How has USAR "LOST" HS rugby? By creating, sanctioning, and supporting SBROs? The SBROs are doing work for USAR that makes sense. It's a win win situation!

How do you know so much about the USOC? Sheer speculation, thats how. Get a life

Aside from looking like something similar to the other sports on campus the conference system hasn't done anything new or good for our club. Our LAU / TU dues used to go to a rep side that always had a few of our players, and now that is gone. The nearly dozen coaches in our conference can not agree on where our conference dues should be spent and some of the ideas are self serving or just dumb. I am not alone and conference college rugby is not working for many teams based on my discussions with coaches across the country.

Colleges coaches being unable to work together to improve the quality of rugby is a much bigger problem than anything going on at USAR. The colleges are the core of the national elite player pool. If college administration and cooperation does not improve, the elite player pool will not improve and Eagles will not improve.

If a college conference cannot decide on where to spend the dues, then don't charge the teams until you do. Let the money be spent on them. $1,000 can be spent on new equipment for a team.

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