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Hope You Didn't Blink
Did you notice that USA Rugby put the call out for Boardmembers.

I have to admit, to my shame, that I did not. There was no press release, just a short note on USA Rugby’s website. I did eventually see the article, on April 8 (Easter Sunday). That was, coincidentally, the last day open for candidates to say they were interested.

Think on this. We want smart, careful, thoughtful individuals who don’t do dumb or rash things, right? We want good candidates for the Board. And yet, such potential candidates only have from April 4 to April 8 to decide whether they want to apply – that’s Wednesday into the Easter Weekend.

That seems kind of slapdash, don’t you think? Was it calculated that the official call for candidates was given a short window and almost no publicity? Or was it just an oversight. Either way, it’s not how most would have done it.


College Man, or Woman
We’re waiting for the announcement of a new Collegiate Director. I wonder if some true progress will ever be made on varsity rugby for women.

It’s so sad to hear the many stories about how varsity programs could have been established with a little extra work, a little more help from USA Rugby, or a little more commitment from the players and coaches involved.

I think most people agree that major, branded colleges might be open to women’s rugby if it were packaged and presented correctly. And I also think that most men’s college programs understand that women’s rugby being varsity can only help them. Could this not be job #1, or at least job #2?

College Backer?
The US Marine Corps sponsorship announced by USA Rugby is, at present, a small one. The Marines will attend selected collegiate games and have a recruiting presence. For that USA Rugby gets some cash.

I asked Nigel Melville what people can do to help make this a more successful sponsorship deal, and he said, go to the games where the Marines are.

OK, that’s nice, and I agree.  But USA Rugby has to do its part. They need to tell us what those games are. Make a big deal out of it. As Melville used to say when talking about sponsors – over-deliver.


Consider the Source
The Marine Corps deal came from the sponsorship sales company USA Rugby is using, not, as you might of course imagine, from the well-connected Board of Directors.



Scrum Thought
Despite not always being particularly large, the St. Mary’s College forward pack has become one of the best scrimmaging eights in college rugby. That, says Head Coach Tim O’Brien, is down to the taciturn and spotlight-shunning Johnny Everett.

Candidate for USA scrum job? With Dave Hodges handling the forwards with plenty of ability, all the Eagles need is someone to come in on occasion. Would Everett want to do it?


Big Events
Don’t forget that the USA is hosting the Junior World Rugby Trophy in June. This is eight Under-20 teams from around the  world. This is the second tier of U20 teams, with the winners getting promoted to the top tier.

Don’t forget about this event, held in Salt Lake City. You should go see the games, because they’re fun to see. But also remember that this is not supposed to be a massive, the world is watching, event. The IRB likes smaller venues with good atmosphere for the JWRT. They’re smart, because they know most of the matches (Georgia v. Zimbabwe?) will not draw a lot of fans.

But some will. The USA will, of course, but think also that Tonga and Canada will get fans. Murray Rugby Park will host all the matches from June 18 to June 30.

You could think this is a dress rehearsal for the USA hosting bigger events. I am not sure it is. It’s a low-profile event at a small-sized venue. The key for USA Rugby is to be organized, and to treat the teams well. They do that and draw a few fans, they will have succeeded.




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