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The website Rugby Today represents A. Jon Prusmack's latest version in a 47-year mission to provide exciting rugby news and information to the American reader. The first beginnings came in 1967 when he conceived of a glossy, quarterly magazine called Scrumdown with black and white photographs and articles about domestic and foreign games, personalities, and opinion. (At the same time, on the west coast, Chuck Lyon in Santa Barbara put out the mimeographed Rugby.)

The initial response to Scrumdown was underwhelming. Prusmack lamented in the third issue, "We seem, however, to have made little progress in generating the reader response we had hoped for."  But in those first three issues of 1967 and 1968, the template was established for what would become Rugby Magazine, Rugbymag.com, and, eventually, Rugby Today.

Volume 1, No. 3, of the magazine, demonstrates an example of Prusmack's vision. Included were articles on playing lock, the experience of an American rugger in New Zealand, and the expansion of game in the northern California Bay Area. The feature reported on the Boston Tournament with club entries from Old Blue, Olympic Club of San Francisco, Rosslyn Park, and London Scottish. The issue was sprinkled with a few ads, three coming from the famous Upper East Side Manhattan rugby watering holes, Drake's Drum, the Mad Hatter, and Geordies. Other small ads came form Guinness, Nikon, and a rugby clothing shop in Canada. 

Prusmack never published a fourth issue, deciding not to continue with an unprofitable venture. He put the concept on the back burner, returning in 1975 with a newspaper broadsheet also called Scrumdown.  Later that year, he made two significant changes hiring Ed Hagerty as Editor, and changing the name to Rugby Magazine.  For the past forty-years in ever changing forms - Rugby Magazine, erugbynews.com, rugbymag.com. and RugbyToday.com - Prusmack continued to offer high quality, topical reporting and columns about rugby in the United States.

As that 1968's third issue's Uncle Sam in a Scrum Cap back cover appealed for subscriptions, so, too, in 2014, do we at Rugby Today ask you to subscribe to keep the reporting fresh and vibrant.

Comments

I would like to continue to support and subscribe but you have only covered 2 of the 5 National Club Championships, what is the direction you intend to go, college CRC only some occasional high school, and USA Eagles stuff?
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Funny how you completely leave out Alex Goff, your former editor-in-chief, like he never happened. How about why you aren't using rugbymag domain name anymore? What happened to Ruggamatrix? How come you parted ways with Jackie Finlan? Why isn't there any women's coverage outside of an occasionally republished press release? Are you only planning on covering events in which the LLC has a hand? CRC7s coverage everywhere, not a peep about Club Championship. That's not covering rugby, that's covering your product.
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In 2008 I donated to USA Rugby a complete collection of every issue of Scrumdown and Rugby Magazine starting with the first 1975 issues. At the time I was told by Ed Hagarty that he believed I had the only complete collection in existence. I remember the early excerpts of the book The Art of Coarse Rugby, a book I continue to search for on Ebay to give a way as a gift to rugby friends ( the coarse rugby player, when faced with no opposition whatsoever, will fail to score 9 out of ten times). Those issues of the magazine are the only real record of rugby in the United States starting with the formation of the USA Rugby Football Union in 1975. the rugby certainly is better now but I have to admit there has been an undeniable loss in the camaraderie that originally attracted most of us to the game in those days. I certainly hope USAR plans to make those issue available to researchers one day.
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You voted '-1'.
@ Roger: Ed's statement about your collection was untrue, there are a few other people with all the issues. The wonderful Dana Bateman of the Eastern PA Union, gifted us her total collection, which we digitalized. @Matt: Rugby Today will cover all apsects of the sport in America, from high school to seniors. @Lisa: The article today only referred to those first origins that occurred before 1975 when Hagerty took the helm. More history yet to come about Rugby Magazine. Jackie Finlan left us; took a three month leave of absence to travel in South America, and then move from NYC to SF. We'll miss her.
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@Allyn, if that is the case why are we 5 days removed from the event and there are still no scores posted and only the 2 articles on the five games? It seems very UWS, LLC centric at this point...
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As a young student at The Citadel in 86 i recall with enthusiasm picking up newly arrived issue of RugbyMagazine in old newspaper format at the post office. I read it cover to back thirsty for Rugby knowledge. Same yr learned of Jack Clark's first ever Rugby camp in Boulder Co. thru ad in RugbyMag. Next day bought airline ticket and used my leave to learn more. That was one of the best experiences of my life and i have had a few cool ones.
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