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16 February 2012


OK, own up, which one of you hacked into Kurt's account and wrote something nice?

Congratulation Mike Tolkin. You should be careful what you wish for. Mike, you now work for the weakest manager in world rugby. Melville will sell you out to save a fingernail. Eddie's Eagles XV budget will now get sliced 4 ways with men's and women's 7's and XV's. The other tier two's have really sharpened their focus, the competition will only get tougher to win the matches that use to be the easy matches. The hard matches are beyond reach. It will get harder without the best backs in the country which will all play 7's full time now.

Get really for Nigel to run your team, from a safe personal distance from the blame.

Less authority, less budget, fewer good players and better competition. Oh my, congratulation.

"As 15s requires more player types than 7s, and as national coaches lack sufficient time to both train and also prepare for opponents, it is not practical to pretend otherwise. In proposing 'scouting combines' to replace territorial teams, Boulder has implicitly acknowledged as much."

Wasn't this site just complaining about the move from ITTs to combines?

The best way to support Tolkin is for the Clubs and their conferences (HS, college and senior)to go out and recruit and develop hundreds of elite players for Mike to chose from. If the clubs fail at player development, the Eagles will fail.


that's an interesting comment. I've never heard this before.

Congratulations to Manoa. He is a beast on the field for Northampton. Good to know his World Cup (absence) gamble paid off. Now I hope the Saints release him during the international window!

There are many different roads to success in rugby. Not every player will travel the university rugby pathway so we must keep an open mind concerning elite player identification. Starting players young and in the right environment is key to fostering development. We need more programs that take players from U8's to senior level rugby to provide such continuity. To echo Sevens sentiment above, it is duty of the clubs in the US to identify unique talent, foster it, and train those players to go on to the next level and compete internationally. The more Americans that are successfully placed overseas, the more overseas clubs will trust the American player brand and offer contracts to like suited individuals.

Nice guys finish last in the dis-function which is USAR. Tolkin will be glad he elected for a "leave of absence" verse a career change. I always wish the Eagles the best of wishes, but what a fu*ck up situation. Melville and this Board couldn't offer less support if they tried. You got to laugh when Melville says he wants Mike to build on Eddie's success. Really? One of the worst win lose records in USAR history.

Wondering how many college and senior clubs have a tradition of developing and supporting Eagles. Clearly SFGG and Cal. Glendale and Utah recently. NYAC, Olympic, Belmont, Boston, Life, BYU, OMBAC. A few others. Are there even 20 clubs producing Eagles?

Certainly not the Village Lions.

"Sevens" actually has all of his comments saved and then formatted into ad libs so he can modify them to the minimum degree so that the comment has some modicum of relevance. Like the one above probably goes like this:

"(INSERT SOMETHING ABOUT TOPIC'S SUBJECT) is for the Clubs and their conferences (HS, college and senior)to go out and recruit and develop hundreds of elite players for (MENTION TOPIC AGAIN TO SEEM RELEVANT). If the clubs fail at player development, the Eagles will fail."

I wonder how many of the clubs which produce Eagles are fed-up of USAR and Melville.

And now for the more serious comment:

Ideally, there should be fewer than 20 teams producing Eagles.

Much like the Premiership, there should be only 10-12 teams where the best players play, and they should be in the same competition.

The more players in the Eagle pool playing in the same competition gives those players an advantage - better weekly competition. If all players (not currently in college) in the Eagle pool were required to play professionally or in the RSL, it would aid development enormously.

In Wales, there are 4 teams, France has 14, Italy has 10, Currie Cup in SA has 8 (16 if you include the lower division), ITM Cup in New Zealand has 7 (14 if you include ITM Championship). These are the leagues that produce most, if not all of their teams international players. Why would we want 20 or more clubs producing a roster of at most 30 players?

Zip it Hampshire!

Logical thought has no place on here!

Italy has 2, Benetton and Aironi. The majority of their national team players are at one of these clubs now playing in the Pro12. Its a great step since 8 years ago most Italians (or emigrant Argentinians if you will) played in France. The Super 10 now functions like a minor league. Anyway, that just points to the fact that concentrating the talent in a smaller pool does help development.

How many Clubs are interested in developing players for the next level of play? Most Clubs are focused on their own win-loss record and social events, not always in that order. Few clubs make elite player development a priority. SFGG is very supportive of their players moving on to European pro leagues even if it hurts their own roster at home. How many other RSL clubs make sending players to pro leagues a priority? How many D1 clubs would be happy to see players leave their club to join a RSL team? Do D2 and D3 Clubs encourage players to move on to higher level of play? Clubs tend to act in their own local self-interest which holds back the development of the national player pool.

When did it become the club's responsibility to get a contract for a player to go overseas? I do know of a few people involved in clubs ACTIVELY seeking professional opportunities for their players, but it is simply not their responsibility nor should it be.

It's the player's job seek a contract or to move up divisions and to the RSL if he would like to play at the next level. If the club tries to stop them, then shame on that club.

Can you name a club that has tried to stop player movement to a higher level club or is your straw-man argument just that?

And yes, I know of the player transfers deined between Aspen and Glendale, but those were denied by the competition, not by Aspen.

@ Sgt Hulka

What planet are you on?

Northampton are obligated to release England players in the international windows. They will not allow Manoa to play for the USA much - the reason he is there is because they wanted him as a stand in while the world cup boys were away.
He has played better than they thought and held his own after the RWC - but I don't think you'll see him in a USA shirt much, if at all.

Good interview this week on RuggaMatrix. Alex talks with IRB Head of Development, Mark Egan. He actually talks $$ on how much USArugby is bringing in... pretty interesting. not super detailed but way more than we've ever heard from Boulder. And he pretty much confirms talks about a Pro 15's competition in North America. Sounds like its coming soon. Good stuff. Its towards the end of the podcast. First 40 minutes is Vegas and women's rugby stuff.


Tolkin is a winner who doesnt need or expect boardroom miracles, you win on the pitch not in the boardroom. Who is Nigel Melville's equivalent in any other nation? Dont know and dont care, he's not holding the ball. Tolkin will get what he needs and knows who and how to ask for it. I wish him the best.

In June when the eagles play their games this summer, Northampton will be in their off-season so no reason for Samu should be available for national play... Of course, he could also elect for a break from rugby.

On a related note, if the giant Gorgodze plays for Georgia I will travel to wherever that game is played just to see him. He is an absolute beast, maybe the biggest beast in the world game!

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