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The Las Vegas Blackjacks will be undergoing a reorganization and have picked a new Head Coach who will also serve as a Director of Rugby for the entire city.
Former USA center Vaha Esikia, who starred for San Mateo and for the
Blackjacks, and played in the 2007 World Cup, will run the coaching in Las
Vegas. He will serve as Head Coach of the Blackjacks men’s team, and will
also oversee coaching for the Lady Blackjacks, Sin City men’s team, and
Esikia, who started and run the Las Vegas Rugby Academy youth program, which teaches the games to young kids in schools and after-school programs all around the region, told RUGBYMag.com that bringing all the programs together was important to him.
“I think everyone has gotten behind the youth,” he said. “That’s a part of the game where everyone finds common ground. Everyone has a son or daughter, or a nephew or friend’s kid in the program.”
Esikia said the various men’s and women’s teams should work together because it’s a case of finding the right level. The Blackjacks men’s team, for example, has aspirations of winning a DI title. Sin City is at a different level. The right players can find the right club for themselves, especially when the teams work together.
“We’re bringing as much as we can under one umbrella,” said Esikia, who has just returned from serving as backs coach for the USA U20s team. “I am very excited about it, and I think it’s a great opportunity. We can all work together to grow the game in Las Vegas.”
Next on the agenda is working with the city to establish a rugby-specific venue for the teams.