« Brigham Young 27 California 24 (halftime: BYU 16-10) | Main | Late-season rally lifts 7s Eagles to 11th »

08 May 2013


Scores of inaccuracies in this one (just like the false "USA had the second-most foreigners at the RWC" stat that you constantly publish)..

"In 2009, Boulder began steering top rugby-playing colleges toward self-governing conferences, out of America's traditional territorial unions, promoting the view that schools should manage themselves."
-As I recall it, the schools demanded self-governing conferences and USA Rugby accommodated them.

"But USARFU has not restructured its congress, intended to stand for dues-paying members, thereby creating a textbook instance of taxation without representation."
-Anyone half-familiar with what goes on in our rugby community would know that USA Rugby has been doing a bylaw review to restructure congress for quite some time now.

"For 30-odd years, national competitions have been USARFU's primary benefit for American teams and players..."
-Actually, liability insurance has been the primary benefit - especially for my club. Most teams never even sniff a regional playoff.

"Many US titles, such as the collegiate women's or division 2 championships, started out as unofficial events and were subsequently coopted by the union.

These days startup events no longer automatically aim to become part of USARFU,"
-In one sentence you state that the events were "coopted." In the *very next sentence* you state the events aimed to be a part of USA Rugby. Which is it?

"American International Media, which also owns and operates the USA 7s, offered USARFU the opportunity to sanction and otherwise participate in the event; but Boulder declined in order to try its own hand at a 7s competition, which came online nearly 18 months later."
-I never recall hearing this. What I was told is that USA Rugby said it wouldn't call an invitational a championship and that AIM refused to ditch the invitational format. Further, I was told by D that AIM refused to put the event in a spot on the calendar (November) that made sense for the American rugby community because it would hurt the company's preparations for Vegas.

"Though USARFU's fall tournament makes sense from a calendar perspective, with a national television contract and a Major League Soccer venue, the CRC is seen as more prestigious. Earlier this year, NSCRO validated the consensus view by tieing up with the CRC to launch a small college 7s championship."
-I would imagine that USA Rugby's event would be prestigious too if it was willing to lose half a million dollars in making the event. I remain skeptical of the CRC event but hope it pans out. Half the country moving its calendar to build around an event that loses money every year makes me very worried for the future of college rugby.

"Last year, Boulder sought to dismantle the national high school championships, the thinking being that devolving administration to state rugby organizations (e.g., Rugby Virginia or Utah Youth Rugby) obviated the American title competition. The backlash, led by schools including New York's Xavier, home of current Eagle coach Mike Tolkin, forced Boulder to retreat. But the schools could easily have gone out on their own."
-The high schools in my area couldn't fit a league calendar, league playoffs, prom(s), graduation, territorial playoffs, and national playoffs into a calendar that made sense - especially if they were just going to get annihilated by the well-funded Jesuit programs.

"Then again, most observers believe that the prime opportunities lie with the school segments, because the brands are better known and the demographics are superior. Put another way, the splintering of college rugby looks to be most indicative of the trend."
-College soccer isn't all that popular (nor are most college sports). The delusions of the college community are stunning. I suspect a pro league, if USA Rugby ever gets around to it, will be the best step forward.

At the end of the day, USA Rugby is a membership organization. If we want it to do things, it usually does. The problem generally is that 40-60% of us want one thing while 40-60% of us want the opposite. There will be a lot of approaches that are tried to help rugby grow, but trying to act as though USA Rugby is the problem all the time (instead of a part of some approaches) is ridiculous and continually hurts the credibility of this blog.

Another great perspective my Kurt Oeler and Gainline.us

I'm going to copy and paste this to the IRB and every major rugby nation on the planet.

Add to this USAr's dismantling of domestic representative rugby and it tells a story of an organization too lazy to support the unions core mission and too greedy to allow anyone to compete with them.

Disarray with womens rugby, disarray in the club competition, disarray in college 7's and XV's. Disarray in the high school national championship. Teams which don't even show up to participate in USAr competitions. Teams don't want to challenge for places in USAr competitions.

Wherever there are competitions to compare, USAr comes up second best. CRC compared to USAr college 7's. Varsity Cup to D1A. USA7's to Eagles test venues.

Here's the kicker. You can make $275k a year. Year after year. As the USAr CEO pulling off this track record. You also get a fat employee team of well paid underachieving folks to help shield you for the slow wreck of your work.


Of one thing I am certain. USAR is the problem. Way too many employees, way too much blind funding from the IRB, way too much dues from kids to be this f--king poor at the job.

USAR's Board, CEO and employees are very much problem number one.

Melville is worse than Obama! We all need to clean our guns and pray to Jesus because the rugby resurrection is coming. Praise God.

I will say one thing, High school national championships make absolutely no sense unless you dont have a legitimate/meaningful state championship to play for. See Xavier, Gonzaga. So it makes sense that those are the teams trying to keep it alive. Winning it has been their main goal for how many years now? I feel for them, but a high school national championship is silly.

Japan had the fourth-largest foreign contingent at the RWC tournament behind Samoa (17), United States (12) and Italy (11). Only three teams, Argentina, Georgia and Romania, have an entirely home-grown squad.

"Liability insurance the primary benefit of CIPP dues"? I regularly talk to 40+ colleges a year and not one has ever cited the need for liability insurance. Not one. Not once. Not ever. The reason - because as recognized campus organizations they are covered under their university's policy. Name one - any one - that needs the CIPP coverage because I can't. And if there is one then they'd better start writing some thank you notes because everyone else has had to spend thousands of dollars for the past 21 years covering their sorry butts. And don't get me started on the medical portion scam.

Yup. Pass right over the success of the Eagles 7's in Scotland in favor of another list of why USA Rugby sucks.

Say it often enough and it becomes truth ....

"Though USARFU's fall tournament makes sense from a calendar perspective."

If that was true 60% of the college teams in the country wouldn't be moving to a Fall 15s/Spring 7s format.

The best comment I've heard as to why Collegiate Fall 7s "makes sense from a calendar perspective" is that it "provides a pathway for selection for the IRB 7s series that begins in November." Seriously? First, the idea that we are going to take kids who are playing in college and then throw them right into the IRB 7s series because we've identified them at USA 7s national tournament is comical. Second, the idea that a kid who is midway through a semester at school is just going to pick up and leave is unlikely as well. Although that is more realistic than the first idea, I suppose.

@College. All the 15s national championships, not just HS are silly. Money spent hosting national tournaments and associated travel would be better spent on player and coach development within the conferences/GUs. The only parties who benefit from national championships are hotels, bus charters and airlines. The national championships do not create enough games to have a meaningful impact on elite player development. If a few of the well funded clubs want to play champions from other regions then the can do that on their own, like Cal playing UBC and NYAC playing Ontario.

Deal with it

Someone once told me that it should be all about the players. Sure, a kindergarten class could organize it better than USAR, but just ask the players what it was like to go nationals?

It's been a while since I was on this site, but there is allot of low information voters still here.

Jack - ask the coaches, parents and alumni what it was like for those kids to go to Nationals. ...time consuming and expensive.


-Representative rugby disappeared as soon as the national team coaches and the unions no longer viewed it as a selection vehicle or worthwhile expenditure. When you saw/see a South team stocked with D2 players, it's hard to argue otherwise. The best players were almost never in the events. Our country's too big for it to matter anyway, as it'd always be too pricey for it to be more than a costly 1- or 2-weekend event.

-Half of the 'foreign' players on the USA RWC team were from American Samoa, which is a part of the USA.

-Fall 7s makes sense from a calendar perspective globally and commercially, as a lead-in to Vegas and other IRB events. It also makes sense because 15s will always struggle to secure soccer venues in the Fall, but 7s can be played in neutral locations. Long-term, 15s is the better cost-saving venture (7s is very, very, very expensive to operate), so it also makes sense to keep 15s in the spring if rugby wants broader exposure at any point.

-Liability insurance *is* the primary purpose of CIPP dues; college rugby only represents ~25% of rugby, and even then schools are increasingly moving towards asking for outside insurance. Further, most 7s venues will always need the insurance and even AIM uses USA Rugby's insurance for its Vegas & Philly events.

-At the end of the day, $40/player isn't even that much to pay when you consider the cost to play other sports. Other sports are far more wasteful and expensive and at least dues partially go to things like coaching and referee development, which help everyone, and insurance, which helps many. USA Rugby might be incompetent, but at least it's only barely fleecing us. Look at the costs to play lacrosse, for example.

Sometimes I wonder why I bother coming to this site. I'm sure as soon as we all create an alternative to USA Rugby we'll just be busy hating that organization too, right?

Kurt stated that with regards to collegiate 7s

"...USARFU's fall tournament makes sense from a calendar perspective.."

I would agree with that considering that USARFU has a spring national championship competition. Further consider that in the fall rugby is competing for campus field space and media share with two much larger field sports (i.e. football and soccer). Assuming that USARFU is putting 15s as a priority to 7s for the collegiate game than it makes a lot of sense that they fall is the prefered time for rugby 7s.

The Fall/Spring argument is mute because unless there is a massive incentive to play 15s in the fall you will never see any pacific teams switch to a fall 15s schedule.

Of course for Cal to play a Champion or something close to a champion, they would play UVIC not UBC.

EA aka USAr insider,

There should be zero dues paid to USAr. The coaching ed program you reference is poor. Plus the attending coaches pay separately for the poor courses.

Ref bill also comes separately.

College student-athletes pay no dues to lacrosse.

Any college which needs to purchase liability or secondary health coverage should be charged a fair retail price for the coverage. Charging 1000's of college students dues for what they don't need because they already have it, is flat wrong. The real story is high school and college kids supplement the insurance cost of adults. BTW, the insurance sucks and the claims aren't paid in any case, so its a double whammy ripoff.

You must be on the USAr congress to believe that the only reason to play domestic rep rugby is to select the national team.

EA, you are clearly a leader of USAr.

So the game is about parents, coaches and alumni?

Do you work for USAR?

@ hater

No team is forced to attend. They go to championships because the want the experience. With USAR championship many teams are now saying no thanks and others are building a better mouse trap.

no, just saying I agree that that Nationals are pointless and shouldnt be run by USAR. And while Im sure it was AWESOME to go to Nationals, in the end to me its pointless. Money could be better spent elsewhere.

Hater, is somewhat correct. Several teams have qualified to go to the USAR college 7's and decided not to go. The value just isn't there for them. Same happens in the USAR college XV's. Texas A&M qualifies and turns it down. CWU qualifies and jumps to the VC. This is why there is a Varsity Cup, the teams just got fed up with USAR. Meanwhile teams are busting the door now to get into the CRC.

what gets lost in the VC blogging and bashing is Utah, CWU, UCLA, AFA, ND, Navy and Dartmouth all left the USAr playoffs as well as Cal and BYU. Now Texas. You can't tell us the other teams are running from the South Africans and Chiropractor believing Cal and BYU are easier to beat. It is what CRC said, there is a sizable group of teams which are done with USAr.

Has a point but unless USA Sevens make it easier for teams from the other side of the country to sell tickets (or less) then I see some teams turning down the CRC as well. $10K plus is too much of an entry fee to pay for any tournament.

USA 7s National Championships next fall will be on ESPNU and ESPN3. My guess is that some of those no shows, will show next year.

RE: Varsity Cup
Remember the CPD, CPL and whatever it was called before it ended? Varsity Cup will go that way too unless they can get a sponsor that will pay to produce the matches including the production costs for broadcast. If not, it isn't sustainable.

RE: Nationals
I have been involved as an administrator for a team that went to multiple collegiate national championship tournaments over the course of the last decade. Even though it didn't result in a national championship the guys that went tell me it was one of the best thing that happen to them at college. It enabled us to engage the rugby alumni and university administrators like never before and the guys that went are the ones writing the biggest checks and recommending the HS recruits to attend the university. To say that it is useless or a waste of money is obviously coming from someone that hasn't done it, or didn't do it right.

Let me clarify, high school national playoffs are a waste of money and are pointless. The State Championship should be the diamond ring that all HS kids are chasing. To me I dont see how HS national playoffs helps grow the game. But Im sure you do, so I'll await the answer...

I do think that colleges (right now) would be better served under a bowl type format for 15s. Where you are only traveling once to play in a big game at the end of the season. If you have 3 or 4 "bowl games" at the same location, maybe that's something you can sell to the TV producers. Down the road if rugby turns into something bigger like we all hope it will, then I can see the rational for a national playoff. But if teams can afford it, have at it. But right now, most teams cant afford to go on a 3 week tour across the country.

So Commissioner says the VC isn't sustainable without a sponsors.

Well USAR has operated college national championships since 1980 without sponsorships or broadcast parters. The participating teams, as many as 16 per season, for 33 years, have paid 100% of the competition cost. This was considered sustainable for 33 years until recently with the VC.

So if USAR get 33 years to exploit college rugby for dues with no funding for national championships, why is it the VC isn't sustainable? I doubt it will take 33 years before the VC teams have funding.

Keep in mind the CPD was a 3 month competition leading to a three week playoff. The VC is a playoff leading directly to a championship.

The choice appears to be pay all your team participation cost in the USAR comp or your cost in the VC. What is the difference other than the VC seems like a better operated championship, with better prospects for success?

USAR have carefully thrown around some small dollars this season from an IRB grant which expires in a years time. They share what is left over after the salary of Kevin Battle and a couple of others are paid. What a waste! That grant could have done something good for the longterm benefit of college rugby. Instead it was wasted on short-term salaries of people doing nothing, then additionally wasted on keeping a second tier D1A comp attractive to the D2 team they recruited to join.

@wake up

The CPD and Varsity Cup were created expressly to be commercially viable. This year estimates of costs vs estimates of the revenue seem to say the competition is probably losing money. Throw in start-up costs (website, cup, media board, marketing, etc) and I think it possibly lost money. Unless they get sponsors to come in and help fund costs, plus cover production cost for a broadcast partner, it will not be a money spinner as they hoped (i.e. just like the CPD).

The 33 year old USA Rugby National Championship never had commercial viability at the center of its' existence. USA Rugby paid for the production of the event with help of the host city/site and the teams covered the travel, accommodations, etc. The funds to cover USA Rugby's costs were out of the USA Rugby general account, which is funded by CIPP fees, grants and minor sponsorships. That is why it was sustainable.

Regarding how the IRB grants are being spent I don't have a strong opinion because I don't have access to that information to form one.

For Nationals 16 teams travel for the first round and then 4 teams travel for the finals. That is 20 teams traveling in each division. Assume and average of $10,000 per team. $200,000 per division per year. Three Senior Men's Divisions and two Senior Women's Divisions are spending $1 million. The HS and Colleges are spending at least another $1 million. All this money and people want to complain about CIPP? USAR has created a playoff structure that is a greater financial hazard than CIPP.

Also, the current format requires teams to play two games over a weekend. Player welfare is not a priority. Imagine if the proposed NCAA Football Playoff was going to have football teams playing two games in two days. The NFL and NCAA are more focused on concussions and player welfare and USAR is having teams play two games in a weekend.

The current USAR playoff structure forces clubs to allocate money to travel that could be spent on other player and coach development efforts and it does not make player welfare a priority.

Re: college rugby fan

I make too much money to be an 'insider' ;) Living in Colorado, however, I do know people who work in Boulder.

Coaching and referee development is about a lot more than taking a course. If you think taking a course is all there is to those items, then I feel as though you must be exposed to terrible coaching and refereeing. The cost of flying referees around to national events, tournaments, big games, etc. is probably pretty big, but I doubt any credible club would ever say isn't worth it. It's pretty lame to have the same high-level ref do every single high-level game in an area. Also, as far as coaches go, the cost of attending courses is only part of the cost of the course itself. Not to mention the fact that background screening isn't cheap, nor is the implementation of the new coaching initiatives USA Rugby took up last year.

College lacrosse absolutely pays dues - it's just not as obvious because players pay to the team and then the team pays to the MCLA. Teams pay $1000 for the right to compete and are given no insurance for it. The MCLA also hides a lot of its costs in referee fees, charging teams over $500 per home match. As someone who has a brother-in-law playing college lacrosse, I can assure you that you have zero idea of what you're talking about.

Charging millions of childless adults property taxes to pay for other people's education is wrong, but it makes the system work for everyone. I can not go to the bar for one night if it means reasonable access to accident insurance for a high school kid somewhere.

If rep. rugby should exist, then why doesn't it? We all complain about the cost of CIPP dues, but now you want CIPP money to cover an event that was garbage so guys who would never sniff the national team can still pretend they played for one of the 8 best teams in the country? Get bent.

I don't understand the fantasy that all this money that is spent by clubs going to nationals could actually go towards player or coach development (or improved facilities, or youth rugby, etc).

Face it - a guy on a team who goes to nationals is shelling out the money himself. Let's say the weekend costs him $1,000; well that's a price he's willing to pay for such a special event. Do you really think that this means the guy is automatically willing to spend $1,000 on rugby (beyond the regular costs of playing for his team)? Do you really think that if his team hadn't made it to nationals and he wasn't receiving such an immediate benefit from his $1,000 that he'd happily turn it over for the purposes of player development or whatever? (Do you really think his wife would be on board, if he's married, or his parents if he's in college, or his wife and parents if he goes to BYU?)

Even for clubs or college teams that manage to get access to other people's money...a national championship is something that gets people excited. Those monies wouldn't be available for another purpose. And as someone said above, that excitement generates other benefits, like being noticed by university admin or the greater community, or creating a class of more generously donating alumni.

Exactly my point. Many players would rather spend money on travel to a meaningless national championship in a third tier rugby nation rather than use that money to bring in development resources like paid coaches that will have a bigger impact in improving their rugby skills.

Are people really excited, for example, to be IRB #16 USA D3 National Champions? Get promoted to D1 and then there might be something worth playing for at a national level.


Yes rugby players and alumni are excited by going to a USA Rugby National Championship regardless of what division or what the Eagles IRB ranking is at the time. Funds raised to pay for attending national championship competitions are not readily available for say coaching and player development, equipment, etc. However, a national championship run engages funders to the idea of investing in those development resources. A national championship run stimulates the imagination of what could be and feeds the desire to improve. It has great value.

Here's something positive I think (hope) everyone can enjoy. Check out this video of the complete USA v. Russia match at the Glasgow 7s last week. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etnWnrXrAUI
That was a comprehensive performance against a very solid Russia side who played some top teams close last weekend.

You can't post something like that here East. It might lead one to suggest that maybe, just maybe the OTC efforts are starting to bear fruit.

STDD (without one of the d's that would an unfortunate moniker)

I don't think that there many who would say that the OTC wouldn't bear fruit. I for one think its working just fine. I think they should be paid more than just a stipend but thats my only criticism.


You must not only be an insider, you are also a bragger rich guy...and a dumbass.

The MCLA is a college club organization. It is not the national governing body of lacrosse, that would be US Lacrosse. US Lacrosse does not charge college teams for the right to play. Nor does the NCAA which runs college lacrosse national championships for men and women across several divisions.

So your bro is a college club LAX guy and his team pays team dues to the MCLA, which works out to about $15 a player. This is a pay for service arrangement between club teams and an

But again, the NGB, US Lacrosse and NCAA do not charge dues to the any of the college lacrosse teams, not the varsity teams nor the club teams.


Regardless if you think CIPP fees are right or wrong, if they provide a return or not, if they are wasted or used wisely, the bottom line is CIPP fees are necessary for USA Rugby to function. Unlike many tier 2 and 3 nations that provide sports funding, national, state and local governments in the USA don't in any capacity that would replace or reduce CIPP fees.

For sake of comparison the 2013 revenue forecast for the US Soccer Federation looks like this:

Sponsors ($12.5 million)
Men’s and women’s national team events ($11.6 million)
Player and membership registration ($5.7 million)
Referee registration ($3 million)
Coaching programs ($1.5 million).

NOTe: Nike, a major sponsor, earmarked an additional $5.9 million for player development programs.

Not only is Soccer raising funds from players, it is also raising funds from refs and coaching programs. USA Rugby is hardly screwing anyone.

Having a high school national championship I find superfluous.

1. We're talking a very small number of schools that could afford the travel and boarding.
2. We don't do national championships in other scholastic sports.
3. It's better for the development of rugby to have 5 schools in a small area easy to travel to one another providing solid competition over 1 behemoth club taking the best of the players where they have no competitive games all season until they reach the nationals stage. That also hinders those players' development as their team is so superior they don't get to play anyone at their level (I think this is a long-term problem with Cal's dominance. Quite the learning curve for a guy when he graduates from Cal and becomes a senior player, either at the Super League level or the national 7s team or internationally.)

USAR tried to get rid of the high school championship a few years ago but a significant portion of the high school membership demanded that it go on in some form.

Not sure how that's Boulder's fault. If they had said "no" we'd have people on here bitching that they didn't listen to their membership.

US Soccer does not charge college teams or players dues.

Cal has more international players at the Eagles level than the next 10 schools. So the learning curve must be higher at other universities.

Re: college rugby fan

I must be an insider because it has to be "us" vs. "them," right? Pffft.

US Lacrosse doesn’t oversee college lacrosse, and if it did, I can’t imagine the fee structure would be much different than the MCLA’s. The NCAA is a terrible comparison given the resources of its programs (and the fact that college sports other than basketball and football mostly bleeeeed money that club programs can’t afford to do).

College rugby is club rugby. To compare to club lacrosse:

$1000 team fee + $550/home game (x6 home games) = $4300.

*USA Rugby*
$150 team fee + $40/player (x40 players) + $150/home game (x6 home games) = $2650

And that’s without insurance for lacrosse players.

If you don’t want to pay USA Rugby dues, feel free to start an alternate organization. But you’re a fool if you think you’re going to make it cheaper and better. If you want things to be better, I bet it’s going to cost a whole Hell of a lot more than $2500 for registration and referees. Not to mention the astronomical cost for the clubs that do need liability insurance, who you basically just told to go to Hell.

EA you aren't getting that MCLA isn't the NGB and US Soccer is, just like USAR is an NGB. MCLA is an organization for club teams to join if they want. Unlike USAR decree for dues as the NGB.

As for insurance, if you need it buy it like everyone else. Since when did it become the obligation of college students to subsidize adults.

RE: USA vs Australia

Luke Hume is an idiot. I guess that is what you get when you try to make Aussie league players into union players. Get rid of Luke.

Didn't help the Eagles can't make simple conversion kicks.

The Luke Hume F-up against the Aussies is more an indictment on Alex as a coach. Simple rules not understood by a contract player is embarrassing. High school kids know that he could have grounded the ball in goal and the game would have been over.

You guys are pathetic...

One f%#@ up and you are all over them. $hit like that happens in Sevens.

Where were you when the Eagles were storming last weekend? Quick to judge and comment when they make a mistake.

They are a core team who nearly went 2-0 in a group of the top 12.

Just pathetic...


Not knowing the rules of the game is not a "S--T HAPPENS" moment. It is a lack of preparation and from a professional player. That's not acceptable.

South Africa 12 USA 19

So, can we now out that one mess-up against Australia down to experience?

Eagles Choke and Shaking Head - STFU


Not really. Hume cost the Eagles a better seed. Hume is a massive weak link for the team. Needs to be replaced. He can take his d-bag rugby league attitude somewhere else.

What a bunch of whiny little bitches you guys are. The Eagles just beat South Africa and have more points in the last two IRB 7s tournaments than all but New Zealand and South Africa yet Mags is a terrible coach in your eyes. Makes complete sense.

If you're ambition is to win gold in Rio and be one of the top 3 nations in the world, you have to do better than having players that don't know the rules.

"We're #12!" is a crap motto.

Pizza hockey gold burger.

See, I can put random words together with no relevance to anything too.


You proved your ignorance.

More proof that the rugby media in the USA is incompetent. Read this recap of the Eagles v Australia match and tell me if it explains what happen at the end of that match.


It is incoherent.

Varsity Cup quarterfinalist Dartmouth lost to D1-AA upstart University of Central Washington 45-38.

That Varsity Cup is full of quality!

No one is listening - you're done here!


Just because your opinions and comments are ignorant doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to participate. Firstly, comments are read not heard. Second, unlike speaking they can be read for as long as they can be viewed. If you don't like someones comments or opinions, something more lucid than "Pizza hockey gold burger" or saying that written words are heard would be more clever. It just makes you look like a massive Dumb A##!

I am looking forward to watching the video of the Australia match. Now I am very curious. Hopefully it will be on YouTube in a few days. On the larger issue, let me first say that I have no dog in this fight. All I can say is that I have been playing 7s for a long time and, more relevantly, been following the national 7s side since the beginning of the IRB 7s series (and well before too). The last three tournaments have seen an Eagles side playing better and getting better results than I have ever seen from them before. (as an aside, I remember a stretch when they beat England about ten years ago in the early days of the series, but that high point, I think, falls a little below the current trend upwards). What's more, all the sides are vastly better than the sides of ten years ago. It wouldn't surprise me if Russia's 2013 side could beat New Zealand's 2002 side two times out of five. We will never know, just my opinion. But back to the point, the USA 7s side is looking great, and here's hoping they carry it into 2014 and beyond. No complaints about the coach here.

Well said (written).
Exciting times ahead I think.

Thanks. Not trying to BS anyone. If they were not playing well, I'd say that (or more likely, not say anything about the topic at all). Just calling it in my honest opinion. By the way, I wish I could watch all the matches live online like I'd did the past couple of years via NBC universal. But this year, NBC changed the service so I can no longer buy the online package as my area, due to cable provider, is now not eligible to buy the online package. I have no idea why NBC did that. I would have gladly paid them the approx. 25 bucks for the season again this year. So I will have to wait a few days until the matches wind up on YouTube and/or are replayed (selectively) on TV on NBC sports.

Live online rugby can be found here - http://www.vipbox.tv/sports/rugby.html

In the immortal words of Jack Nicholas ... you guys can't handle the truth! The Eagles are getting better. Get over it!

On an aside I see that Kurt is on a panel about rugby and the media along with none other than Nigel Melville. Why don't the sexual intellectuals on here send Kurt a list of grievances and demands for how to make USA Rugby better and Kurt can hand deliver it to Nigel and spit in his face to boot ..

Thanks Out of Commision. I just looked at that site. Do you think it is totally trustworthy? Looks similar to Justin.tv where I have had good success watching the Top14. Justin.tv is a share site, and what you linked me to looks like a free share site too, but more organized. Am I correct about that? Also, the site you sent me to does not look iPad compatible, only regular computers. Or did I miss something?


Neither vipbox, nor cricfree (nor sportlemon) are iPad/iPhone compatible. However they are great to use, just the same.

Hume's mistake was likely a product of thinking too much about getting the ball to touch after the hooter had sounded, without reminding himself of the rules regarding conduct in-goal. Sad that it happened in that match when they had it won, but the boys did redeem themselves against RSA. They'll need to bring that same attitude and physicality against Oz tomorrow morning. They know they CAN beat them now. They just need to turn that knowledge into proper action.

Great day for both the men's and women's teams in London! Hope that we see more of the same tomorrow!

Two professional rugby efforts announced in the last two days. Twickenham Sevens in August will feature teams from NY and LA and another group is working with NFL Films to launch a six team east coast fifteens league. Both would be great for the game but so many of these attempts at US pro rugby have failed in the past.

And more will fail. But that's ok. Every failure will be more cultural penetration, more lessons learned.

I've failed over and over and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.

I think the Eagles U20 team going to the France for the IRB Jr World Championships are going to struggle against the likes of New Zealand, England, South Africa, etc. They dropped 2 games to the Canada U20s who are going to the Junior World Rugby Trophy playing the Japan, Chile, Portugal.

Coaching? Player quality?

Meanwhile Eagles 7s choke again against Australia in the Cup QF.

Good Day!

Eagles beat South Africa again!
22-5 in the plate semi-final.
Well done guys, keep it going.

Brian Lowe? Is that you? I don't really understand those (like him) who take such pleasure in the Eagles losing, or who look forward to it with such gleeful anticipation.

No, our U20s are not going to do achieve parity with New Zealand (&c) this summer. No, our 7s team is not going to do better than 5th...again, and is not going to won gold in Rio.

And that's ok.

We're not there yet. Everyone knows that. It is bizarre, however, that you cannot recognize and enjoy improvement.

You should learn to. Because we've got decades of improvement that we've got to get through yet. But we're actually doing it; that's the important thing.

Eagles will get 12 or 13 points in Plate Final while Canada gets 5 for Bowl Semi. That is enough to push the Eagles ahead of Canada in the final series standings. Eagles played London finalist Australia close in two games in what some like to call "choking". #11 is not good enough but fact is the Eagles are improved.

Fiji dumps USA in the Plate Final.

Is Alex a good enough coach to take the program forward?

Will Isles go to France putting club over country?

Should Hume never be selected again?

Is the improved form of the Eagles 7s programa a false dawn?

FALSE DAWN!!!!!!!!!!!

Who is "Dawn"

She's false, whoever she is.

Some people see the glass as half full. Some people see the glass as half empty. Some people see the glass and throw a temper tantrum because it has Fiji water and not Evian.

Looks like Isles is going to France. That's awesome. If he is going to figure in our 15s plans, he'll improve a lot more playing for Toulon than he would playing for the Old Aztecs. (No disrespect to the Old Aztecs - I think they're a terrific club.) He's also another high quality athlete showing that someone (provided he is a great athlete and a hard worker) can make the adjustment to rugby fairly quickly and put himself in a position to make a living from it. That will have repercussions greater than his own career.

The biggest error in thinking many rugby people have(and I've seen it in soccer too) is believing that a magic bullet exists. That if only we can achieve x then everything that follows will be smooth sailing until in short order we'll have the best national team, a great professional league, and full-ride rugby scholarships at all our universities...and that anything else is abject failure.

But it doesn't work that way. Progress is slow and incremental. And if you can't learn to take pleasure in the journey, to celebrate each incremental improvement, then you might as well get out now, because there are some frustrating times ahead.

I say fill it with Scotch!

Eagles Choke is a pretty sorry individual. There is very little NOT to like about what the Eagles have done over the last three tournaments. Two plate wins and a plate final. Scalps against SA (2) , France (2), Wales (1), Argentina (1) All teams ahead of us in the standings. The Eagles didn't just maintain their position at 12 and keep their core status; they jumped ahead of Canada and snared the 11 spot.

So much for the failure and embarrassment of the OTC program.

The key for this team now is to sustain the performance of the last three tournaments and perform at a similarly high level at EVERY tournament. They have had more than a small taste of success. They know what it takes to sustain the performance from tournament to tournament.

The Eagle haters can go on and on about how horrible they are but when the birds are losing to Australia once due to an error and once due to perhaps poor officiating they could be in much worse position.

And since when is losing to Fiji 14 - 5 a disgrace? Especially after having beaten SA twice and no doubt some desire to exact revenge by the Fijians.

Frankly the Eagles have become the team nobody wants to play. It is only the most cynical of cynics that cannot see and recognize that the Eagles have made strides this year and much to be excited for going forward.

With all that said Nigel et all HAVE to finance the 7's program to attract and keep top notch athletes. $40 - 50 K a year along with the opportunity to compete in the Olympics would attract another impact crossover or two and allow the program to keep guys like Carlin Isles available for the 7's program.

12 months ago I thought the chances of the Eagles qualifying for the Olympics were slim. But now, not only do I rate their chances of qualifying, they have a serious chance at medaling.

If they work hard between now and the end of June, the confidence will be running high going into Moscow. Who knows what could happen?

After being named to 3 consecutive IRB Sevens World Series Dream Teams (Tokyo, Glasgow, London), Zach Test earns Player of the Tournament in London.

Given the size of the US, we should be able to develop another 10 or so Zach Tests.

only 10? The US is able to produce and sustain much more than 10 athletes of Test's caliber and attitude.

There should be a day in the next 3-4 years when getting beat by the US at 7s, but holding the Eagles to under 20 points in the match is considered a "win" by most countries and causes us - the US rugby fanbase - to question what is happening in our program.

Somebody somewhere is going to figure out how to make a 7s circuit profitable despite the "too expensive" label that has been affixed to it.

I used to decry the crossover athlete issue until I was reminded of my efforts to recruit to rugby HS basketball & track stand-outs that were not playing in college. I guess I was a crossover/leftover advocate all along. Until we have 100,000 kids playing rugby at the U13 level. The crossover/leftover athlete issue will not go away (and it may not go away even then).

Yes 10 elite sevens players is a low number but it would have big impact on the NAtional Team player pool. Rather than wait for USAR to figure our how to get sponsors to fund players at OTC, the SBROs, Conferences and GUs can take the lead to raise funds to support their best athletes.

There are roughly 2,500 clubs in the US. To support 10 elite athletes, assume 250 clubs get organized support one athlete (big assumption). Each club contributes just $100 through dues to their SBRO, Conference, or GU to provide a $25,000 player stipend in each of 10 regions. This could be organized regionally through existing tax exempt 501c3's and subsidized by regional sponsors and donations.

The SBRO/Conferences/GUs control the funds and work with the National Team staff to select each region's top athlete.

Or we can keep complaining about USAR which is much easier.


Have you ever been to a rugby administration meeting to discuss funds or an AGM to vote on how to spend it?

More taxation?

Agree that US rugby administration on all levels - national, regional, and local, is poorly organized and does not attract quality administrators. There are some good people doing great admin work but many are discourage by petty infighting. Rugby needs more qualified better administrators as much as it needs more qualified coaches and players.

Club over country again?

What good does the following club availability of a contracted 7s player do for the Eagles chances at the 7s RWC in Moscow just a few weeks later?


Why is a pro athlete competing in a collegiate competition? F-U NCAA!!!!

Does Dave Sitton have no shame?

I love the Varsity Cup and support what they are doing. The Cal - BYU final was as good as it gets. In regards to comments about not using Rio Tinto stadium this year. USA Rugby didnt get Rio Tinto last year. BYU got the stadium as the owner was BYU alum and he sold the team so BYU wasnt able to get the stadium this year. USA Rugby did nothing for those finals so it should not come as a shock to anyone that the Varsity Cup was founded after USA Rugby ran with the money after BYU did the work.
Many other teams besides Texas have expressed an interest in joining so the VC is not going away it will only grow. Long live the Varsity Cup !!!

Varsity Cup is a nice little invitational and showcase of LDS Pacific Island and 26 year old student/husband/father talent. It's not a national championship, or necessary good for collegiate rugby.

The comments to this entry are closed.


About Comments

  • Gainline.us values readers' thoughts and wisdom. While correspondents are encouraged to use given names, aliases in combination with a valid, publicly accessible email are acceptable. Profanity will be edited and unverifiable identities unpublished. Thanks to all who write in for helping to advance our collective understanding of American rugby, as it is and could be.

Corrections & Amplifications

  • Gainline.us values accuracy and fairness. If we fall short of the goal, we promptly correct errors or oversights. Strikethroughs denote text which has been replaced. *Asterisks* denotes text added after the initial post.
My Photo