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Rugby Canada released findings from the report created by its World Cup Review Committee last week, detailing the challenges and positives from the lead-up and competition itself. The review altogether wasn’t revelatory, but even its existence highlighted a difference between the way the Canadian and American unions operate.
"The RWC Review Committee requested that its findings be shared with the Rugby Canada members and relevant stakeholders," said the release of the committee's findings. "This stance supports Rugby Canada’s goal of greater engagement and transparency with its membership, stakeholders and all interested parties."
A “comprehensive review” of the USA’s World Cup has been cited by USA Rugby as reason for letting head coach Mike Tolkin’s contract expire, though the review itself has never been summarized or published for the national governing body’s constituency.
Exacerbating the lack of a public report is that Tolkin and the USA Rugby Board of Directors reportedly sat down and agreed to some program goals back when he was hired in 2012, many of which Tolkin apparently met. However, the lack of transparency within USA Rugby makes it difficult to vet what was put on paper three years ago and how reality matched up to it.
Some of Rugby Canada’s findings seem applicable to both the Canadians and Americans: more matches, a daily training environment, more cooperation between high performance staff and the clubs, a greater emphasis on developing domestic coaches, and making it financially easier for players to participate.
One interesting finding points to a growing gulf between the 7s and 15s programs. Canada has, for years, more seamlessly transitioned players between 7s and 15s than the USA. Apparently there’s growing sentiment that maybe that’s not a good idea anymore.
“The performance environment and evolution of the sevens game makes it such that players can no longer move between Sevens to Fifteens at short notice and perform,” the report stated.
“This is not a reflection on the players ability per se, but the fact the Sevens daily training environment conditions players to play a high performance sport that is significantly removed from the fifteens game. World Sevens Series commitments mean players are unable to play sufficient meaningful minutes of fifteens rugby to perform at the level required to win RWC fixtures, or any test match for that matter.”
The full release regarding the findings can be found here.