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USA Rugby

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 00:10

Coloradoan wrote:
4N wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:In other news, All Americans selected. Think it might be a political process and/or a joke of a list? Of the 5 college Eagles capped this year, 2 are first team (Jensen and Campbell), 1 is second team (Malcolm), 1 is honorable mention (Whiting) and 1 is missing entirely (Mikesell). http://d1arugby.com/news/college-all-am ... -athletes/


Some pundits don't seem particularly high on Mikesell, not sure why. Maybe the reasons are valid I just haven't heard them. Positioning etc? You wonder if the most polished players are rewarded instead of the 'best' sometimes.

I didn't watch BYU but what about Kaka and the Whippys? Pretty good talents and only honorable mention.


Yup. Only 1 BYU player first or second team? Laughable and likely political.


While I dont necessarily disagree, the way they explained this last year was that the Honorary AA were based on only the players performance in sanctioned matches for their college team and on their contribution to that team. This was a distinction to the travelling squad which was more purely focused on the capability of the player to play at a high level. This made sense for players that maybe did not play much for their college 15s squad due to injury or being with the national team.

Not sure it explains the lack of BYU players but they did at least try to explain the distinction last year.

Edit: The fact that BYU has 8 honorable mentions kind of feels like they forgot about them and only added them at the end without screwing up the main lists. Also a bit odd that it seems there are only 12 first team and 13 2nd team names?

Edit2: Nevermind thats because we are looking at the D1A link. They are excluding the none D1A players.
https://www.usarugby.org/2017/07/honora ... hool-year/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 02:38

Houston Strikers signed Zach Pangelinan. Big favorite of mine over the years, he can make the RWC 2019 squad. Good luck Zach.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 03:22

This Tony Ridnell stuff is heating up:

http://rugbywrapup.com/2017/07/tony-rid ... cy-future/

All I have to say is, I've done the research on the Union. There must be swift change and this guy could be the guy. What I do know is he's bled on the field in the Jersey, loves Rugby and is extremely successful. However, what I do not see is the current board attempting to fix anything through philanthropy.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 17:34

cardiffrcm wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:Anyone concerned about Wooching wanting to play for the US, he just tweeted:

Goal: Nov. 18, Nov. 25


This is in reference to USA Rugby releasing a press release that those will be the test match dates in November (no mention of working towards anything on the 11th). One of the big advantages of qualifying already for the RWC is that it allows the Eagles to make selections with an eye towards 2019. I think we should cap him against Germany as we build towards 2019. That will also probably help him get a work visa in England or France so he can sign with a European club and further his development.


Any news regarding a third test?

With regard to Wooching, if he has a Samoan passport, he doesn't need caps to get a work visa; he will qualify as a Kolpak


Not quite, Kolpak means you can't be discriminated against once you are in the EU. So for instance he wouldn't count as a foreigner for the 2 that are allowed (that rule is still in there despite Kolpak making it pointless).

You still need to meet the entry requirements for a visa to get in in the first place.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 18:32

Suiram wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:
4N wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:In other news, All Americans selected. Think it might be a political process and/or a joke of a list? Of the 5 college Eagles capped this year, 2 are first team (Jensen and Campbell), 1 is second team (Malcolm), 1 is honorable mention (Whiting) and 1 is missing entirely (Mikesell). http://d1arugby.com/news/college-all-am ... -athletes/


Some pundits don't seem particularly high on Mikesell, not sure why. Maybe the reasons are valid I just haven't heard them. Positioning etc? You wonder if the most polished players are rewarded instead of the 'best' sometimes.

I didn't watch BYU but what about Kaka and the Whippys? Pretty good talents and only honorable mention.


Yup. Only 1 BYU player first or second team? Laughable and likely political.


While I dont necessarily disagree, the way they explained this last year was that the Honorary AA were based on only the players performance in sanctioned matches for their college team and on their contribution to that team. This was a distinction to the travelling squad which was more purely focused on the capability of the player to play at a high level. This made sense for players that maybe did not play much for their college 15s squad due to injury or being with the national team.

Not sure it explains the lack of BYU players but they did at least try to explain the distinction last year.

Edit: The fact that BYU has 8 honorable mentions kind of feels like they forgot about them and only added them at the end without screwing up the main lists. Also a bit odd that it seems there are only 12 first team and 13 2nd team names?

Edit2: Nevermind thats because we are looking at the D1A link. They are excluding the none D1A players.
https://www.usarugby.org/2017/07/honora ... hool-year/


I get that but how many college games did Bryce Campbell play for Indiana this year?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Sat, 22 Jul 2017, 18:43

I purposely focused on what they said about last year, because I cannot really justify it for this year. Campbell seems like a perfect example of a star player that does not qualify on those standards because he barely played.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sun, 23 Jul 2017, 00:27

Grant Cole is on Facebook live talking Congress, RIM, PRO: https://www.facebook.com/Nviktor/videos ... 794287362/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Sun, 23 Jul 2017, 18:20

TheStroBro wrote:Grant Cole is on Facebook live talking Congress, RIM, PRO: https://www.facebook.com/Nviktor/videos ... 794287362/


Interesting stuff. made me go and pull the 990s from USAR. I think the negative assets at end of year are a bit overblown. Thats a balance sheet item which is not a flow but a position. Of course negative is bad in a simple sense but its a position. You cant sum them. Just like Bill Gates has had 60-90 billion in wealth at the end of year for the past 20 years. But that doesnt mean he now has 1.2 trillion.

When negative assets go from -800k one year to -500k thats an improvement (and for clarity, the income statement has been breaking even each year or close to (+35k in 2015, +197k in 2016) which makes sense because with negative assets its unlikely they could afford any substantial losses in any year).

What is most interesting is that most of the liability that is there which wipes out the assets is deferred revenue. This is why USAR would say they are flush with cash at the end of the year. Deferred revenue is revenue received in advance of providing a service. So this could be grants from World Rugby for 2016 or licensing fees that are paid in advance. This cash is a liability because you have to provide the service still. You get cash which goes onto your balance sheet as an asset and a liability for the cash. Once you provide the service in the following year or whenever, it is removed as a liability.

So my guess is that its a bit of a situation where USAR is receiving significant funds towards next years stipends or donations or receiving one time payment of multi-year grants from WR. That cash is covering up shortfalls in current years reducing availability in the future. But again it is not as big a deal as it is made out to be.

Just from my brief review some other things that are noticeable. Travel costs at 2.3 million are HUGE. Like over 20% of the overall expense budget. I can see why this is a concern. I just hope this is mostly players etc and not the board / USAR officers. Although I would question why we have Emirates as a sponsor and are not receiving a lower cost on this. Although it may be that the full expense is recorded and then the discount / grant from Emirates shows up in Other revenue to offset a portion, representing the discount received. I found a Non-cash contributor of $51k for airline tickets so my suspicion seems correct. But 51k on 2.3 million is silly! Maybe that is just for the 7s WS?

Events seem to suck. Revenue generated from events (whcih I assume is test matches and then the various youth/college events sponsored by USAR) generate revenue of less than 10% of the cost to put them on. I wonder if this is that USAR is getting a crappy deal in how they split revenue with the physical host (stadium or whatever). This gets back to that fundamental problem where people do not pay to watch our teams play.

Apparel and Uniform expenses seem significant at over 1 million. Again, there seem to be matching in-kind contributors to cover most of it. I assume that is the equipment used by the teams. Do not see clearly whether they are generating any money selling branded equipment or they just receive a licensing fee from someone else.

Anyways, I am very supportive of this whole push for more transparency and accountability from the USAR board. But I also do not like the idea of pushing for change using bad information. There are real problems that must be addressed but its a bad first step to get into an "ends justify the means" type of situation.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Mon, 24 Jul 2017, 16:47

TheStroBro wrote:Came across this letter of complaint today: https://www.facebook.com/michael.fealey ... 8910735707


Interview with this guy

Spoiler:
I interviewed Michael, whose played rugby since he was 6, played in three different countries, and as the head coach won the National Title with Glendale in 2014, about his grievances and what he feels must be done to save USA Rugby.

Jason Graves: What are your ties to USA Rugby?

Michael Fealey: I’m a member



Jason: Are you associated in any way to PRO Rugby?

Michael: No. I was against the sanction and PRO Rugby from the start. I thought it would end badly for various reasons and I felt and still feel we aren’t ready for domestic pro rugby here.



Jason: Are you associated in any way to Major League Rugby?

Michael: No. Other than I know a bunch of the players from Glendale and a few that went to the Huns.



Jason: Are you associated in any way to Rugby International Marketing?

Michael: Not directly. Indirectly I believe I’m a shareholder in 75 percent of what was 100 percent ours.



Jason: Have you ever held any position in USAR other than member?

Michael: No.



Jason: Do you have any background in law?

Michael: No. I started a non-profit so I know what you can and can’t do though.

(Michael has a Bachelors Degree with Honors in Sports Development and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Performance Coaching and he’s combined that with his 25 years of rugby experience to form the non-profit, Better With Teammates, an organization aimed to change the way youth and women’s sports are supported in North America.)



Jason: What is the genesis of your grievance?

Michael: A couple years ago USA rugby directors took all our assets and placed them outside of the union in RIM. The alarm bells started ringing and ever since then I’ve been trying to find out more about the issues within this union.



Jason: What evidence do you have to back your grievance?

Michael: Emails, witnesses, official documents, public statements, press releases, admissions.



Jason: Is any part of your grievance based purely on observation?

Michael: Yes some. But given the relationships of the people involved to the board and the union, I believe you would agree with my deductions.



Jason: Do you know anyone willing to come forward to support your claims?

Michael: Yes. Certain people have agreed to support their statements/evidence.

The rest is all out in plain sight. You just have to read the meeting minutes and by laws and tax laws etc.



Jason: In your opinion, how did USA Rugby get to this point of what must be termed as failure?

Michael: Corruption. Apathy. Some bad people did some bad things and we all let them. Partly because we didn’t care or partly because we couldn’t convince the other half to care.

The board have been useless and criminal in certain circumstances. Others just watched it happen.

National office is under served by the board, and under qualified and unable to serve the membership.



Jason: What do you see as inherently wrong with the current USAR structure or is it personality?

Michael: In terms of the board it’s personality. They’re greedy. They tried to take advantage of the membership.

National office is insecure. They’re out of their depth and they know it. Instead of asking for help they just muddle on and half-ass it as a result.

They need better funding. They need better training and resources to work with and mentor them. We need to build relationships with other countries and work on an exchange where they can go and learn about what rugby looks like around the world. What systems and structure they have in place.

Envy as a whole for the union. Americans aren’t used to not being the best. We are somewhat entitled when we talk about winning things like a World Cup. It’s just not realistic.



Jason: Based on your global experience, what new form should USAR take?

Michael: Devolved. More control at the local level. Easier to build relationships and partnerships with local school boards, community centers, clubs, all the things you need to generate support for sustainable growth.

Play national championships as a state competition. Club nationals are a drain on resources for everyone.

We need more whole clubs, less one team programs. We need all clubs under one umbrella – not a separate union for adults, one for children. The way it’s set up right now, men’s, women’s, and youth clubs are all separate entities within the union. We need to work together. Build a community in and around our clubs so that they are supported and well.

We also need to change the way we have relationships with academies. There needs to be a little more distance. Right now they operate as clubs but thy aren’t really clubs, not in the traditional sense. Arm’s length and treat them as business partners, not members.

There are too many conflicts of interest all over the organization.



Jason: Do you believe the rugby community, USAR members, in particular, can assume “ownership” of USAR and correct the issue?

Michael: Yes and yes if given the right leadership and the right direction we can all work together for a common goal or benefit, which is the point of a union in the first place.

It’s an agreement between all of us to sacrifice some of our own personal benefit for the betterment others and of the union as a whole. We need to remember that and get back to it.



Jason: So is a complete overhaul of USAR required?

Michael: Yes. There needs to be checks and balances. Accountability at all levels. There needs to be a severe look at conflicts of interest.

USA rugby is doomed if this board remains in place, if this structure stays in place with ownership of rim as it is. Congress, national office, board of directors – all need to be addressed immediately.



Jason: How should the emergency council you propose in your grievance be structured?

Michael: Maybe 9 or 11 people to handle specific aspects or act as advisors. New chairman and new CEO for certain. Put good advisors and sensible people around them. Experience with rugby is a plus but not a must.

We need legal counsel and financial advice immediately! We need a World Rugby rep to go there.



Jason: What should World Rugby’s role be?

Michael: I think we could even perhaps have World Rugby send ‘ambassadors’ to pro use support while we get the union back on its feet, make sure we don’t make the same mistakes and improve our policies and procedures.

We need to know how the best operate and implement the same here in a way that best suits us and our particular challenges and circumstances.



Jason: Can USAR be saved?

Michael: We won’t get a second chance to save this union. I don’t know if we even can right now. I’m preparing for both scenarios.





The information flowing out of various sources paints a horrific future for USAR if nothing changes. I am a fan of rugby, I love the community of it; there really isn’t any sport like it in the world. We need rugby to be successful in the US and not to mirror the nightmare we see in the news today coming from everywhere else. We need rugby to be better than that because as a community it is.


https://therunnersports.com/corruption- ... et-secret/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Mon, 24 Jul 2017, 17:23

Yeah I read that, that's a pretty big shot across the bow.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Warpath » Wed, 26 Jul 2017, 01:28

Houston Strikers just signed Fiji 7's captain, Osea Kolinisau

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 26 Jul 2017, 01:37

Saw that this AM, it's getting real.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 19:52

Grant Cole will be live with Tony Ridnell at 5PM CST/6EST: https://www.facebook.com/Nviktor/videos ... 177746917/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby tryman » Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 22:42

Warpath wrote:Houston Strikers just signed Fiji 7's captain, Osea Kolinisau


I wonder why you guys aren't talking about this more... This is huge news for both the player and the league.

I know it's very early but signings like this are extremely exciting.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sammo » Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 22:58

tryman wrote:
Warpath wrote:Houston Strikers just signed Fiji 7's captain, Osea Kolinisau


I wonder why you guys aren't talking about this more... This is huge news for both the player and the league.

I know it's very early but signings like this are extremely exciting.


It has been talked about a lot here; https://www.reddit.com/r/MLRugby/

I think most of the regular USA contributors on this forum are also present over there, hence why this is pretty quiet on the subject

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Thu, 27 Jul 2017, 23:40

Honestly I think some of their other signings are more impressive. Has Kolinisau ever played 15s at the professional level? Still, it's a good name for the league to have and certainly an exciting player who should get plenty of space to work his magic behind what is likely to be quite a strong forward pack.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 01:56

https://jasongravesrugby.wordpress.com/ ... vided/amp/

Interesting article overall from a US military guy.

Edit: a response re the poll: https://mobile.twitter.com/MSaundersUSA ... 7087107072

Also if I heard Ridnell right in the Facebook video earlier, he said NBC have put in a bid that he thinks will "take out" TRC.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby iul » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 05:12

4N wrote:https://jasongravesrugby.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/rugby-nation-usa-off-pitch-a-rugby-nation-divided/amp/

Interesting article overall from a US military guy.

Edit: a response re the poll: https://mobile.twitter.com/MSaundersUSA ... 7087107072

Also if I heard Ridnell right in the Facebook video earlier, he said NBC have put in a bid that he thinks will "take out" TRC.

What does that mean? TRC is the rugby channel in this context? What have NBC bid for?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 12:41

iul wrote:
4N wrote:Also if I heard Ridnell right in the Facebook video earlier, he said NBC have put in a bid that he thinks will "take out" TRC.

What does that mean? TRC is the rugby channel in this context? What have NBC bid for?


Yes TRC = The Rugby Channel

Check this from about 46:50
https://www.facebook.com/Nviktor/videos ... 177746917/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 15:33

What content does TRC have that NBC would want? Eagles tests? Pro 12?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 16:28

iul wrote:
4N wrote:https://jasongravesrugby.wordpress.com/2017/07/27/rugby-nation-usa-off-pitch-a-rugby-nation-divided/amp/

Interesting article overall from a US military guy.

Edit: a response re the poll: https://mobile.twitter.com/MSaundersUSA ... 7087107072

Also if I heard Ridnell right in the Facebook video earlier, he said NBC have put in a bid that he thinks will "take out" TRC.

What does that mean? TRC is the rugby channel in this context? What have NBC bid for?


NBC is crushing a money losing minnow. It's really an act of charity. The Rugby Channel is an Over The Top streaming service that basically only has Eagles games on it. The Platform's app is pretty garbage.

@coloradoan So NBC basically will get the broadcast rights to the Eagles.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Fri, 28 Jul 2017, 17:58

Good. TRC is a terrible product and putting Eagles matches behind a paywall is crazy.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Sat, 29 Jul 2017, 15:25

Lots of good heartfelt pieces coming from the US rugby community of late, and not just from the usual few sources.

Whither U.S. Rugby?

In 1975 I was 16, and the United States Rugby Football Union was a baby, the ink from the signatures on the Union Charter, my father’s included, barely dry. Those founding fathers saw the need for a national governing body if the sport was to grow beyond the territorial unions. Today, that union, now known as USA Rugby (USAR), is being criticized for, among other things, being unresponsive, insular, and of creating a culture, not of excellence, but of mediocrity.

In 1975 very few kids, from grade school through high school, played rugby, soccer, or lacrosse. Today, we’re well into the third decade of the youth soccer boom, and the day I saw a middle school boy in my neighborhood riding his bike with a lacrosse stick strapped to the back, I knew that lacrosse had arrived. The Seattle Sounders, our MLS team, consistently draw 40,000 passionate fans to their games, and I can watch the NCAA Lacrosse Championships on television every spring. Soccer and lacrosse have leapfrogged rugby, and become popular, ubiquitous, and money-generating sports. (It pains me to write that sentence, since rugby is 100 times more awesome than either of those sports.)

Yet, 40 years after a group of visionary men (yeah, all men…this was 1975, after all), came together on behalf of a sport they loved, Americans who wanted to watch the Rugby World Cup, one of the most popular sporting events in the world, were forced to pay for the privilege. And the post-tournament comments from USAR, meant to mollify fans disappointed with the performance of the Eagles, were, yes, a celebration of mediocrity. We should be long past the point of patting ourselves on the back for simply having qualified for the World Cup. Long past.

I’m aware that youth rugby is growing – my nieces, both under 10, have participated in multiple rugby camps, and there are many passionate, hard-working folks driving the engine that is youth rugby. Kudos to them. It appears to me, however, that this movement is organized and funded at the local level, and not significantly supported by the national union. And once introduced to the sport, where do these kids set their sights? High school teams? There are a few, but by no means does every high school have a rugby team. Playing for the Eagles, the national team? The American sports fan, and their children, like winners. Forty years into this experiment, the Eagles just went 0-4 in the Rugby World Cup. Not winning.

What about club rugby? The Seattle Saracens are currently ranked number one in the nation, yet attending their games is little different from attending games 40 years ago – sparse crowds milling along the sideline, no PR, nothing mentioned on the local sports radio or television. If you’re not a part of the rugby community, you likely have never heard of the Seattle Saracens. Few clubs have their own facilities. If the national union is involved in supporting club rugby, they’ve been about as successful with that initiative as they’ve been guiding our national team to victories. From what I can see, clubs are doing it on their own.

There are people in the rugby community who want to shake things up, effect change, and create a culture of accountability, of transparency, and, most importantly, of excellence. Naturally, there are many naysayers, purveyors of the status quo, who question the history, motives, or intentions of those who want a rugby revolution. Who say they should work within the current system despite the fact that the current system appears to be an abject failure. Who say that it’s disrespectful to criticize our national team players or coaches for results that hardly bear scrutiny, much less praise. These are people who consider treading water a success. Well, the only situation in which treading water is a success is when somebody’s drowning, and I daresay that US rugby is in danger of slipping under the water.

Rugby is a magnificent game – one HAS to think that a national union with a clear vision, a plan developed with input from stakeholders and executed in an environment of transparency and accountability, would have moved the game forward ON ALL LEVELS far beyond where we are now.

I remember 1975 like it was yesterday, but it wasn’t yesterday. I’ve learned a great deal in the intervening 40 years, and consider myself at least a moderate success in almost every arena (other than marriage – I suck at that).

Can we say the same thing about USA Rugby? And, if not, what do we do about it?

https://kimwordsmithdotcom.wordpress.co ... u-s-rugby/

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 29 Jul 2017, 17:41

I wonder where we'll go. The dye may be cast and we may end up bankrupt. And we may not be able to hold the bums accountable.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 02 Aug 2017, 09:23

Very interesting read.
Don't know about Lacrosse, but this looks like an achievable goal for rugby, actually PRO looked like the Lacrosse-league in rugby.
The comparision to soccer is flawed and there World Rugby is to be blamed. Rugby could never take off in the USA until pro-players were allowed. Remember: no payment until 1995 worldwide. I do honestly think that this very rule killed rugby off in most countries where it wasn't well established in schools. Exceptions confirm this rule.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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