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26 October 2015


Hughes, Teo, Schirmer, Laei, Falcon, Maclellan, McGowan . . . I think the question is where can they go? What was supposed to happen to Hughes after 2012? He played college rugby at Dartmouth, not exactly the best program in the country, because he was focused on school and didn't complete it until this year so he could play international sevens. Laei went on a mission. Etc etc

The point is the next step. The USA could have the best U20 or HS program in the world, but if they can't continue playing that high level all year it would make sense they're not up for selection against guys playing in England or France, or even club rugby sides. Flynn Hagerty had a fantastic reply to Doug Lyons in one of your previous columns re: the college game. It's a great comparison to the real problem in American rugby: this is America. There are issues other countries have, not least of which is the size of the friggin' thing, or the "me me me" attitude everyone seems to have.

Everyone wants to find the fix that'll solve the national team's inability to win or how the club game can be better served so that the national team has a better crop to choose from come selection time. If we streamline the club game so there are more meaningful matches amongst stronger clubs, there will be people who want to play rugby that won't have a place to do so. Eventually people are going to have to realize that being part of the rugby community is going to be sitting in the bleachers as a fan, because not everyone can have a slice of the pie. We need more fans, people who aren't in rugby, to grow the game, so their kids will want to play or they'll want to learn how to coach a high school team. We need more people to be knowledgeable and less interested in getting their name in lights. We're all working to grow the game, not assassinate those who might step on you along the way.

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