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09 July 2012

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Red Card
You have way to much time on yer hands...

Not really, considering he didn't write it. That is a piece by This Is American Rugby that was posted on RugbyRugby.

What's with the repostings?
Anyway, I think it's a major stretch for USAR to say that the 1920 and 1924 Olympic teams played a significant role in the growth of rugby in the USA since the sport was darn near wiped off the map by football soon after the '24 Olympics. Only a few huddled immigrants in New York and San Fran continued to play rugby until the 1960's, which seems to be the first big expansion of rugby in our time.
The 1920 and 24 Olympic wins are a great piece of our history, but required an archaeologist's effort to dig up the facts.

OUCH!

A good reason why the 1920 and 24 USA Olympic Rugby teams did nothing to grow the game in the USA is because at the time Olympic Rugby was a JOKE! None of the major nations were participating aside from France who pretty much had to because they were hosting the games. The only reason why the IRB or USA Rugby is shining a light on this period of rugby is because of Olympic 7s. The historical reality has all be spun into marketing propaganda.

Some more B.S. from Melville...

http://talkingrugbyunion.co.uk/international-teams/melville-lays-out-blueprint-for-success-for-usa-rugby

What's such BS about that article?

Rugby is growing in the USA. Excellent. It's not like they reported anything the US rugby populace didn't know.

You can hate on Melville all you want. Fact is, USAR has more people than ever playing. He's not the only guy to thank, but it's measurable growth.

The current state of rugby in the USA, or any credit for growth of the game in the last 60 years, can be attributed to the USA winning the gold in the Olympics in 1920 and 24. As noted above it wasn't even a recognized competition by the majority of the rugby playing world, and if 7s wasn't now an Olympic game it would still be a footnote in the history of the game.

What is responsible for the growth of rugby from nearly zero to where we are now is the college game, which started to grow in the 50s and exploded in the 60s. Those who graduated with a love of the game started men's teams of which many are still with us now. Unfortunately this explosion of rugby on college campuses wasn't under the banner of "high performance" and supported by university athletic departments, but rather under the "high jinks" banner where dirty songs and inebriation where paramount goals.

This is the DNA of rugby in the USA and nothing short of a huge turnaround by university administrators to recognize rugby as a NCAA sport will change things quickly. Otherwise, rugby will spend the next 20 to 30 years to undue a half century long party called college rugby.

EDIT

"can NOT be attributed to the USA winning"

I've been asked about that several times for Pre season games v rabo direct , S15, and premiership sides to play a NYAC side, a ny all star side, RSL side etc. It can be tough to pull off because of 7's, player availability, lack of ability to prepare, and pro club's finances.

Some want commercial viability, others want sparring partners to beat up on. Most ask for the allure of NYC and the facility of NYAC, or a university such as West Point. I've never been able to pull it off. I am certain many other clubs have also been approached with similar ideas.

I've only had it in discussion form, never in formal proposal form.

It is a good idea, and there is interest virtually every year, it's just timing, money (less of an issue than you'd guess), and time to prepare properly. It will happen somewhere within next few years I'd think.

Red Card, know you you're stealing, don't you?

Towards the end of the last century there was a tour by a premiership side to NorCal. It might have been a develpmental side but I remember the article in Rugby Mag (the paper not the website of today) because it mentioned Martin Johnson was running touch and the touring club had a visit with the 49ers coaching staff to get a feel how they conducted business day in and day out. It was early on in the professional era. It also mentioned that Martin Johnson was a huge football fan and loved the 49ers.

RedCard: you're doing no one a favor by reposting someone else's work. Either just link to the article with a comment or keep it to yourself.
Cake: I vaguely remember that. It was after England won the 2003 World Cup in Australia. I don't remember the touring side, but I did see on ESPN or something that Martin Johnson visited the 49ers. Interesting trivia bit from Wikipedia:
"Johnson briefly played American football for the Leicester Panthers as a tight end or defensive end. In 1989 he was approached by former All Black Colin Meads to try out for the King Country side in New Zealand."

Here's the article on Johnson visiting the 49ers:
http://observer.guardian.co.uk/osm/story/0,6903,543952,00.html

@hulka

STFU

One of these days I will dig out my rugby mags and be able to give dates of these stories.

Beagles, what's up with your crush on me?

Hulka, you probably made practice the requisite number of times one week and earned the position he thought was his right by being more talented than anyone else but that he failed to display at the practices he did not attend.

Nice sentence Grant. I'll assume you are 10 years old.

@can't have your cake and eat it to0...

If Martin Johnson was involved it would have definitely have been Leicester Tigers.

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