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12 February 2015


"Failure to qualify would puncture the game emotionally, structurally, economically."

Severe understatement, this.

The Big 3 (USA, China, & Russia) have not taken to Olympic rugby quite the way the IOC envisioned they might. Of all the sports coverage on the internet, only NBC Sports currently lists rugby as a Summer Olympic Sport - ESPN/ABC, Fox Sports, CBS have not made the update.

Word out of the USOC camp is that while USOC maintains a cheerful demeanor about rugby in the media, they are very concerned about the women's podium chances in 2016 (it is a fore-gone conclusion in that camp that the men will not podium in Rio). IF none of the Big 3 make the podium in Rio for either gender, then IOC may look dimly on maintaining rugby after 2020.

World Rugby seems to think it can piggyback on the brand of the Olympics to increase exposure of it's brand. WR is not leveraging the Olympics as a marketing tool very effectively. Instead, they are more worried about carriage agreements with national networks than about putting themselves on blast to the world and letting the carriage agreements come calling on them.

Fiji had to take over (essentially HACK) the feed from the HSBC 7s to prevent their people from rioting because WR did not possess a carriage agreement to broadcast in that nation. It took a ton of griping and complaining from the US Rugby Community to get Universal Sports to live-stream (not broadcast) every match of each HSBC Series and those morons STILL cannot maintain continuous coverage.

Gosper needs to right the marketing and broadcast ship of WR.

"..are a modest 2-3 in high-stakes cup and plate games."

Nothing personal Kurt but you are truly a glass half empty sort of guy … how about the glass half full perspective - the Eagles are playing in the cup and plate bracket as opposed to the bowl and shield. It's a step in the right direction at the right time.

@doug, We've been settling for "a step in the right direction" for too many years (since 2006 to be exact) only to let that blind us to the 2-3 steps in the wrong direction thereafter.

That's just plain stupid of the US rugby community to allow that. We've been sold down a river. I say that is total BS!

The Men's Eagles should be place no less than 6th in every HSBC 7s Tournament. The Women's Eagles should place no less than 3rd in every WSWS Tourney. Accepting anything less is mediocrity that should be unseemly to Americans.

The IOC will be just fine with the rugby 7s in RIO. The event will be a complete sell out and the fans will spend more money on food, drink, apparel and local wares than the 3 top events combined. They will bring a whole new audience to the games both in person and on TV. Doesn't matter if the USA, Russia or China are in it or not. Think of it as a Lions tour on steroids, and that will be the impact in Rio.

Saying "That's just plain stupid of the US rugby community to allow that." implies that the community has sway over USA Rugby and the national team which they do not. USA Rugby is setup to have very little accountability to the community. The role of the community is to develop rugby players and purchase tickets to rugby events.

"USA Rugby is setup to have very little accountability to the community." Very correct and why Kurt started this page in the first place. This flies in the face of Title 15 section 220522 and could be grounds for replacement under 220528 if the community were organized enough to mount a proper resistance.

And that's why I say it's just plain stupid. US Law gives us a way to ouster the lack of accountability. No one does it because of the guilt they'd feel for breaking up the party.

What Keith Seaber and friends brought together was great, but it's been hijacked. There are some on the inside trying to get it back (and I love them for that). And maybe that's a way to do it: get work there, apply to be on the board, get elected to USAR congress, get on a committee.

"Purchasing tickets to rugby events", though? that is exactly all they want us doing.

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