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Following the USA U20s' success at the Junior World Rugby Trophy, then-head-coach Scott Lawrence suggested in his report that his position (whether he coached or someone else coached) should be full-time.
With the Junior All Americans now slated to face a challenge in the Junior World Championships next year, more effort needed to go into preparing the team.
Asked about this by RUGBYMag.com, USA Rugby CEO Nigel Melville said his organization was dealing with a lot of priorities (7s World Cup, Men's World Cup Qualifying).
However, they were also working on a sponsor. That sponsor has now signed on. Insurance giant AIG was announced today as a jersey sponsor for the All Americans teams - Collegiate, Junior (U20S), and High School, both men and women.
USA Rugby also announced that AIG is working with USA Rugby to further develop the “Rugby in a Box” Rookie Rugby youth development program, providing tools for girls and boys to learn and play rugby.
The announcement said, in part:
This sponsorship comes during a major rebranding initiative from AIG, and the donation to the youth development program is consistent with AIG’s renewed focus on giving back to communities.
“We are proud to sponsor the All-American rugby teams, and believe our partnership with USA Rugby will be a unified, strong, and energized force competing on a global scale,” said Bob Benmosche, AIG President and CEO. “Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in the world and in 2016, will be featured in the Summer Olympic Games for the first time since 1924. We look forward to supporting and encouraging youth involvement and achievement in this dynamic sport.”
“We are proud to have our All-Americans backed by AIG,” added Melville. “They have a sharp attention to dependability and working for a greater purpose. AIG will be a fantastic partner for USA Rugby moving forward.”