Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

USA Rugby

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Mon, 04 Sep 2017, 22:15

cardiffrcm wrote:There are two differing arguments here:-

1) Does Texas produce 50% or 75% of the rugby talent that California does? The answer is clearly not; there is no evidence of this at any level.....at the moment.

2) Can Texas produce well run professional rugby clubs? The answer would be; clearly they can.

On the other side of the pond, I clearly have no idea as to what is happening on the ground in the States.

Though, what is evident is that Texas appears to be a sports mad region and there are some very motivated and professional individuals who are creating something special in Houston and Austin. There is no such influence evident in California.........at the moment.


Gotcha. Agree with all of that.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 06 Sep 2017, 02:33

Coloradoan wrote:I would disagree with Texas rugby being extremely strong. Austin Blacks have been a good club in recent times and the Huns have obviously come on strong since professionalizing, but that's two clubs. Their college scene is below average and their HS all star teams don't perform particularly well (Goff didn't even rank them in his top 15 rankings). They also put out very few Eagles. Ngwenya and Baumann are the only ones from the last RWC squad with even tenuous links to Texas rugby and neither learned their rugby there. That said, there is a lot of athletic talent in the state and it's an important state from a strategic point of view so it's a good thing MLR is getting in there. And it's also been a state where the Eagles have produced strong crowds lately so they have shown strength off the pitch. I'll love the day when they are actually strong on the pitch because that's the day we become a Tier 1 nation.


Ngwenya went from DARC to the Eagles. Baumann was is a vagabond player.

The volume of clubs in the Dallas, Houston, Austin triangle is impressive. Being near the talent doesn't really matter. If you pay, they will come.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby grande » Wed, 06 Sep 2017, 12:39

What's the difference between the Glendale Merlins and Glendale Raptors? They seem to have similar squads, so I don't think they're just two different teams.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Wed, 06 Sep 2017, 16:03

Raptors changed the name of their normal club team to merlins to distinguish the upcoming semi-pro MLR team which will be the raptors.

So in theory the difference should become greater next year when the raptors are playing MLR and merlins remain a normal club side

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Wed, 06 Sep 2017, 16:31

Are they? I haven't seen a Merlins roster release yet. But during the MLR season I don't think you will only see movement of Merlins to Raptors and not Raptors down to the Merlins. From what I understand the training squads will be 35 deep. That will leave 12 guys to moonlight on local club teams so that they get match time. I suspect that eventually when salaries rise that will not be the case.

ETA:
http://www.florugby.com/article/61374-c ... agles-news

Interesting comments in the article. Goff seems to think the Eagles Coach salary will be 200k. But the APC comments make me think we won't have a coach by then for the Eagles.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 10:36

Disappointing attendance in Philadelphia for the Newcastle v Sarries match.

About 5k in there at a guess. Two matches, neither of which have been a big success I reckon they will do one more but then might pull the plug on these. Nice idea but this one was wrong time of year.

Maybe going bigger and playing a Champions Cup final would work. In May so perfect time of year, massive game so thousands of Europeans would travel for it to boost the crowd and a genuinely big event to promote and get people excited about.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Ser Podrick of Payne » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 10:38

And before the "big" match, Collegiate All-Americans were just beaten 18 - 20 By Oxford Blues.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 12:57

sk 88 wrote:Maybe going bigger and playing a Champions Cup final would work. In May so perfect time of year, massive game so thousands of Europeans would travel for it to boost the crowd and a genuinely big event to promote and get people excited about.


Interesting idea. Chicago or Toronto could be good options for that.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Figaro » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 08:47

sk 88 wrote:Disappointing attendance in Philadelphia for the Newcastle v Sarries match.

About 5k in there at a guess. Two matches, neither of which have been a big success I reckon they will do one more but then might pull the plug on these. Nice idea but this one was wrong time of year.


I'm not sure why anyone's surprised. Newcastle's average in Newcastle is only 5-6k and they're hardly a global Rugby brand (though to be honest, no Rugby team besides the All Blacks really is). The best PRO sides got 3,000 or so and that without the benefit of being a one-off occasion in a proper stadium with big money marketing.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 10:36

I don't think Newcastle's home average would be any factor at all as perhaps 500 fans from the UK traveled. Even if it were a big club I still think you'd only ever get a thousand at most.

Prem rugby stated they wanted a sell out when they announced the fixture so to be so far away is certainly disappointing (I don't think anyone has expressed surprise?). There has been a bit of criticism of the publicity campaign locally.

My other thought on when to try it again is to try it in a smaller/less competitive local market like Columbus or St Louis. TV wise they are both fine and it might make a bigger splash locally in a smaller pool?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby JamesWales » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 12:54

Philadelphia struck me as a perculiar city to play this game in. New York last season had nearly triple the crowd.

All comes down to marketing and timing though eh. Hopefully there will be more opportunities if the USA Pro League starts next year, as double headers become more feasible.

And I don't think these games need to sell out, but they need to look good, and a 6,000 crowd never does that.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 13:10

I think Philly gets it because that stadium hosts the CRC and the proximity for travel.

But I tend to agree with some of the comments from john mitchell. Pick a city with real rugby energy (and maybe plenty of expats) or at least a bigger market and fly there every year for 3-4 years.

Thinking SLC, Denver, somewhere in Texas. Chicago Andy Ny work based on scale and expats at least

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Thomas » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 13:14

A question to the US people.

Had the premiership match being in NY or Boston would that have attracted a bigger crowd on the same weekend?

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 15:03

No track record for Boston because I don't think there is a regulation stadium?

Just based on last year NY did better

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 15:10

The idea of working off of 'expat' (I'm assuming we mean Brits, South Africans etc. Lots of Islanders are US-born these days) populations strikes me as short-sighted. Marketing the game to new fans, American football fans especially, is the way to achieve real growth. The US rugby community is incredibly small, it's easy to get an overinflated sense of it if you work in the rugby bubble.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 15:30

JamesWales wrote:Philadelphia struck me as a perculiar city to play this game in. New York last season had nearly triple the crowd.

All comes down to marketing and timing though eh. Hopefully there will be more opportunities if the USA Pro League starts next year, as double headers become more feasible.

And I don't think these games need to sell out, but they need to look good, and a 6,000 crowd never does that.


+ the last time it was the London Irish. Quite sure the "Reading Royals" would have never gathered such a crowd. US citizens are proud of their ancestors and I'm quite sure those with Irish ones had a higher probability to visit the game.

What does Newcastle and Saracens stand for in the USA? Apart from sounding a little bit like a crusade ;-)
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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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 17:53

Markets with lots of foreign residents will provide a baseline of interest. Not for reliance but at least you are starting from somewhere.

NY, Chicago DC would all be in my head

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Figaro » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 13:15

Thretton Palamo has signed a loan deal with the Dragons (PRO14) till November

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 15:52

6200 people in an 18k capacity stadium. I have to say based on actual market factors you'd have to call that a success. Another thing went down was about 4k tickets that were purchased went unused. For some reason the Premiership wanted to do this rather than another match in March following the 6N window. The American Consumer of Rugby that doesn't play Rugby is also a consumer of Football. And the amount of people that converge onto college campuses every Saturday you probably wouldn't do this in September. AEG and Premiership Rugby will analyze this and attack again next season. I don't expect a fall match again. Penn State Football and both the Men's and Women's programs had home matches.

Although we haven't started an MLR thread yet, some guys and I from the MLR reddit started a podcast, here's Episode 5, pod form will be out tomorrow: https://youtu.be/peh7IptoCb0

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 15:48

Penn State Football and both the Men's and Women's programs had home matches.


You mentioned this on Twitter.

Firstly, Penn State football played Georgia State, a doormat who just recently launched a football program. Not a lot of casual interest in that one.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, State College is 3+ hours from Philadelphia. Rutgers is closer. Don't think it impacted the crowd too much. People want a match day atmosphere. This fixture didn't offer that.

This is a fair article from someone who attended: http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... s.html?m=1

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 16:23

4N wrote:
Penn State Football and both the Men's and Women's programs had home matches.


You mentioned this on Twitter.

Firstly, Penn State football played Georgia State, a doormat who just recently launched a football program. Not a lot of casual interest in that one.

Secondly and perhaps more importantly, State College is 3+ hours from Philadelphia. Rutgers is closer. Don't think it impacted the crowd too much. People want a match day atmosphere. This fixture didn't offer that.

This is a fair article from someone who attended: http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... s.html?m=1


Going head to head with football isn't just about competing for paying fans at other events, though. Some might not drive 3 hours but certainly want to watch their best team in decades on TV. Media coverage is also a lot harder to come by during football season.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby 4N » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 17:18

I have friends from Philly. It's really not dominated by Penn State. Like 50/50 if that. College football is more popular in central and especially western PA.

Had the Philadelphia Eagles been playing, that would be another story.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby rugby.change » Thu, 21 Sep 2017, 00:16

November tour for the Eagles fast approaching...any closer to a new head coach??

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Suiram » Thu, 21 Sep 2017, 01:16

http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... l?m=1#more

USA selects named.

My 2 cents: really happy to see a few high potential young guys as well as guys that have been out for awhile like Eloff and Filikitonga. You also need to be practical about the budget for a Selects tour. Basically bringing slightly more than their 23 (2 wings, 2 hookers only etc). So totally understand that.

I guess the one surprise that I somewhat question is that they have a few older guys picked with younger options on the "home reserves" list. Especially at lock. Would have thought they'd differ to youth

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby NaBUru38 » Thu, 21 Sep 2017, 19:31

4N wrote: Marketing the game to new fans, American football fans especially, is the way to achieve real growth.


For that, a March-April match would be much smarter than a September match.

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