On January 31, 1976, eight-thousand spectators entered Glover Field in Anaheim, California, to watch the first test match between a USARFU national side and an international XV from Australia. The Wallabies were returning home via Canada from a successful 25-match tour of the UK and Ireland, winning 17 of those games.
Once the decision had been made to schedule the game, a beehive of activity (... Read More
(In 1976, the Pacific RFU scheduled a game against the Australians. But the newly formed USARFU decided to substitute an official national XV for the regional side in this first ever test match for the newly formed Union founded in 1975.)
"Storer thinks Yanks won't do badly."
In January of 1976, the United States of America Rugby Football Union announced surprising news, the first official... Read More
Once the decision had been made to explore a move of the USA Sevens to Las Vegas from San Diego, the IRB (World Rugby) had to approve the new venue. From the outset, there existed a problem with the narrow width at the football field in San Boyd Stadium and its closeness to the stands. Tournament Director, Dan Lyle, gave assurances that there was enough space for wide runs, and, if necessary, the... Read More
Our Olympic Sevens hopes turn to Cary, North Carolina, next weekend when, if the script falls into place, the USA Eagles will meet Canada in the finals of the NACRA qualifier for the North American place in Rio 2016. One nation advances, the other waits for the final repechage to determine the twelfth, and final tournament spot.
With a week to wait, it's time to think nice thoughts about our... Read More
Forty-years ago in September 1975, witnessed the formation of the United States Rugby Union in Chicago. The many years of attempting to form a single, national rugby organization had been met with regional wrangling and sectional distrust that took a decade to unravel. Finally, the USARFU was born.
The then four existing charter unions (Eastern, Midwest, Western, and Pacific Coast) decided to... Read More
In January 1975, A. Jon Prusmack brought out Scrumdown magazine about rugby in the United States. The initial publication only totaled eight pages, but it set the style for future editions, combining international news, results in America from both coasts, instruction, club lists, and a dash of national rugby history.
Inside were insert pictures of UCLA’s tour to England, Old Blue winning the New... Read More
(Thanks to Steve Cohen at Nscro for much of the information and the photo.)
Scotland hosted England in the first rugby union international on March 27th in 1871.
On that day, Scotland defeated England. The match was played at Raeburn Palace, home to the Edinburgh Academicals. Rugby in those days consisted of twenty players a side. England came with ten graduates from Rugby School.
The match,... Read More
As the national debate continues about whether to pay college athletes, it is informative to narrate the start of the first large, paying crowds attending a sporting event. In 1881, Yale and Princeton played rugby in New York City’s Polo Grounds, attracting 10,000 spectators.
That an autumnal athletic contest could draw such a sizable number of people surprised college administrators. Yale, under... Read More
In the late 1960s, when rugby started to proliferate in the country, two entrepreneurs, one on either coast, decided that what the nascent sport needed was a dedicated, informative publication. First out of the media gate was Chuck Lyons from Santa Barbara (Peninsula Ramblers RFC) who, in 1966, printed “RUGBY USA.” A year later in 1967, New Yorker Jon Prusmack (WESTCHESTER RFC) began “SCRUMDOWN... Read More
The historic 140th anniversary of the first rugby game in the United States passed without giving proper recognition to the contest between McGill University of Montreal and Harvard, played in Cambridge, Mass. over two-days on May 14 and 15, 1874.
The visit by the Canadians effectively introduced a passing-tackling rugby version with defined rules to an American college for the first time. A year... Read More