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USA Rugby

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USA Rugby

Postby olivier » Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 13:51

After NRFL Combine, a strange problem...
Visa issues complicate matters, as Robertson points out in particular reference to Munster and Ulster. A prominent Premiership club has already agreed to sign one of the athletes present at the combine, but now need the US Eagles to cap him this summer in order to secure a work permit for the UK.

http://thescore.thejournal.ie/nrfl-rugb ... 7-Apr2014/

I always thought American Football was gold mine for USA rugby. This could change the face of world rugby.

Floki

Re: USA Rugby

Postby Floki » Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 14:47

The fact that the Americans are non Kolpak really hinders their progress, as they can't easily come over to Europe and play pro rugby. However, USAR will probably give said player a cap, even if he'll only play for a minute and he'll be able to play for the English club that wants him.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Beeman » Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 15:35

Why are Munster and Ulster even bothering going there? They have like 4/5 spots for overseas players and most have them used up on ex All Blacks/Springboks, can't imagining them signing a non Irish qualified player who has barely played the sport before.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 20 Apr 2014, 17:44

Floki wrote:The fact that the Americans are non Kolpak really hinders their progress, as they can't easily come over to Europe and play pro rugby. However, USAR will probably give said player a cap, even if he'll only play for a minute and he'll be able to play for the English club that wants him.


There was talk about 5 years ago of not counting North Americans in our quotas but that never came to anything. Personally I'd scrap the quotas as with kolpack they are worthless at keeping foreigners down, I don't actually want to do that anyway, and the England Qualified Player payments work far better at incentivising clubs to play English lads than banning what few foreign players they could ban.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 05:10

Having Kolpak restrictions doesn't change the process for getting a visa, though. That is going to come from the government, regardless of the foreign player restrictions of a competition.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 08:31

Coloradoan wrote:Having Kolpak restrictions doesn't change the process for getting a visa, though. That is going to come from the government, regardless of the foreign player restrictions of a competition.


I don't think requiring 1 cap in the last two years is a particularly big hurdle.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 15:37

Some interesting reaction to the recent "combine" here: http://rugbyamerica.net/?p=3853

Seems like a well run event, even if the videos I've seen of it make the drills look a bit ropey. Comments are good too. Seems like the "Independence Cup" will feature 30 domestic Americans, mainly rugby players but a few "names" thrown in too. Shawn Merriman would be a big name to have involved.

Whilst NFL/college football players are an obvious place to look its important to not get too focused on them. Basketball provides a lot of good cross over athletes, Gorgodze and Castro as example plus a lot of British boys play both. Generally tall the game has more emphasis on power within a continually moving game requiring brilliant fitness.

My team is Leicester and our recent American signing Blaine Scully played water polo before taking up rugby in college, so it really does take all sorts.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Mon, 21 Apr 2014, 17:01

sk 88 wrote:Some interesting reaction to the recent "combine" here: http://rugbyamerica.net/?p=3853

Seems like a well run event, even if the videos I've seen of it make the drills look a bit ropey. Comments are good too. Seems like the "Independence Cup" will feature 30 domestic Americans, mainly rugby players but a few "names" thrown in too. Shawn Merriman would be a big name to have involved.

Whilst NFL/college football players are an obvious place to look its important to not get too focused on them. Basketball provides a lot of good cross over athletes, Gorgodze and Castro as example plus a lot of British boys play both. Generally tall the game has more emphasis on power within a continually moving game requiring brilliant fitness.

My team is Leicester and our recent American signing Blaine Scully played water polo before taking up rugby in college, so it really does take all sorts.


Interestingly, Scully went to the premier rugby high school in the US but didn't play rugby there. His friend at UCLA (from high school) convinced him to try rugby and then he transferred to Cal.

About basketball players, I agree that basketball tends to be great for rugby, because the players have both size and good spatial awareness. That said, basketball offers far more opportunities professionally than American football does. Dozens of professional basketball leagues around the world, and the top ones pay very well. The basketball players to look for would be the ones who can't shoot a lick.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby beber » Tue, 22 Apr 2014, 09:32

Shawn Pittman signed to Béziers

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Roger » Tue, 22 Apr 2014, 09:45

beber wrote:Shawn Pittman signed to Béziers

Thanks for that info. It would be nice if you also told us where he was previously playing, just so we can know if it's a backward or a forward step for his career.
Thanks.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 22 Apr 2014, 18:05

Roger wrote:
beber wrote:Shawn Pittman signed to Béziers

Thanks for that info. It would be nice if you also told us where he was previously playing, just so we can know if it's a backward or a forward step for his career.
Thanks.


He was with London Welsh before they went up a couple years ago, then was playing in Ireland (while waiting on a French visa that never came through), then back to the US before his recent trial with Beziers. He missed the Uruguay RWCQs with concussion issues but sounds like he's good to go now. He's very much needed in the US side as he's the only prop who prefers tighthead in the squad.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 22 Apr 2014, 18:07

This quote is about Alex Elkins. Perhaps one to watch.

“HE IS JUST a complete machine, 110kg and 6ft 4ins.
“He’s a white guy who comes from Texas and he trained as a Navy Seal at the age of 18. He’s played rugby in high school and college, as well as college football. He would be a very good back row, already with a little bit of rugby knowledge.
“He is a very interesting prospect and at 24, I think he’s still got the time to learn.”


http://thescore.thejournal.ie/nrfl-rugb ... itter_self

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Fri, 25 Apr 2014, 08:20

NFL Schedule out and guess what Chicago Bears have a bye on Nov 1st. Guess I better start looking at leave, plane tickets and accomodation in the Chicago area for a certain rugby test ;)

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,9817_9280858,00.html

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby iul » Fri, 25 Apr 2014, 08:29

YamahaKiwi wrote:NFL Schedule out and guess what Chicago Bears have a bye on Nov 1st. Guess I better start looking at leave, plane tickets and accomodation in the Chicago area for a certain rugby test ;)

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,9817_9280858,00.html

Whoa, that would be awesome!

Image
Here's how the stadium looks like. It holds 63k. My worry is, regarding the width of the pitch. AFAIK NFL pitches are significantly narrower... how do they fit in a rugby field in there?
Anyway, I really hope they manage to sell it out. It would be fantastic for American rugby and the dawn of a new era, where the NAs would get a lot more home tests from T1s than they previously have.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby HMFCalltheway » Fri, 25 Apr 2014, 09:43

Don't American Football Stadiums have massive technical areas due to the fact they have nearly another two full teams on the bench for each side?

If this area is still grass and if that greyish bit at the side of the pitch is just a cover, they could easily expand the width of the pitch for the rugby match.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Fri, 25 Apr 2014, 23:33

HMFCalltheway wrote:Don't American Football Stadiums have massive technical areas due to the fact they have nearly another two full teams on the bench for each side?

If this area is still grass and if that greyish bit at the side of the pitch is just a cover, they could easily expand the width of the pitch for the rugby match.


Unless they are built with soccer/rugby in mind, they generally taper in the corners to get the fans closer to the field. They really could alleviate some of these issues by making the seating in the first 10 rows near the field temporary for American football so that it can be rolled away if they need a larger surface. This is what's done in arenas that are built for basketball but also host hockey games, which require a longer surface.

In other news, 6 of the 12 sections for the Scotland test in Houston are already sold out. IIRC, that's ahead of last year's pace for the Ireland match there, which sold around 20,000 of the 22,000 seats. Not sure how the other tests are selling, but I bought my tickets for the Canada match in Sacramento the first day they came out with a decent sized group of people.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby YamahaKiwi » Fri, 25 Apr 2014, 23:57

HMFCalltheway wrote:Don't American Football Stadiums have massive technical areas due to the fact they have nearly another two full teams on the bench for each side?

If this area is still grass and if that greyish bit at the side of the pitch is just a cover, they could easily expand the width of the pitch for the rugby match.


I'm sure one of the reasons why Soldier Field has been chosen is because of the turf being natural so IRB approved and also the pitch dimensions being ok. The NZRFU wouldn't even give a stadium which didn't match up in those departments a second thought no matter how beautiful it might be. I know rugby admins aren't always on the ball but I trust the NZRFU has the nous to get that kind of thing right. The one thing that concerns me is that the pitch at Soldier Field has one of the worst reps in the NFL (And I think it's the same grass as being used at Aviva and being looked at by Murrayfield - apparently great at some places and awful at others). My stats and American pro sport geek Kiwi friend told me it had the 2nd highest number of knee ligament injuries last season! He's hoping the pitch will still be pretty firm by Nov1st!

Coloradoan, that's great news about the Scotland game.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Beeman » Sat, 26 Apr 2014, 00:12

Coloradoan wrote:In other news, 6 of the 12 sections for the Scotland test in Houston are already sold out. IIRC, that's ahead of last year's pace for the Ireland match there, which sold around 20,000 of the 22,000 seats.

Sales probably helped by the fact the USA performed far better in front of big crowds last year. Wasn't that long ago in 2002 when Scotland last played in the USA the crowd was only about 2,000 in San Francisco and the Eagles got absolutely thrashed by 14 men. http://www.espn.co.uk/statsguru/rugby/match/24236.html

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby HMFCalltheway » Sat, 26 Apr 2014, 00:25

Beeman wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:In other news, 6 of the 12 sections for the Scotland test in Houston are already sold out. IIRC, that's ahead of last year's pace for the Ireland match there, which sold around 20,000 of the 22,000 seats.

Sales probably helped by the fact the USA performed far better in front of big crowds last year. Wasn't that long ago in 2002 when Scotland last played in the USA the crowd was only about 2,000 in San Francisco and the Eagles got absolutely thrashed by 14 men. http://www.espn.co.uk/statsguru/rugby/match/24236.html



Off course it was Hines that got sent off...

I think our team always had a to have a contingency plan for this when he was playing.

Cheers for the replies Coloradoan and YamahaKiwi

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Mon, 28 Apr 2014, 20:05

L'Estrange out 5-6 months with a broken leg.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby martin.dunham » Tue, 29 Apr 2014, 01:22

Hopefully Siddall is healthy for the summer, otherwise I imagine we're looking at Roland Suniula. Other guys that could end up being in the setup I can see include Nese Malifa, Will Holder, Max D'Acheval, and real outside chance Volney Rouse...
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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 29 Apr 2014, 01:52

martin.dunham wrote:Hopefully Siddall is healthy for the summer, otherwise I imagine we're looking at Roland Suniula. Other guys that could end up being in the setup I can see include Nese Malifa, Will Holder, Max D'Acheval, and real outside chance Volney Rouse...


Niua and Shalom Suniula seem preferred to Roland Suniula based on recent selections. Don't forget Garrett Brewer of St Mary's. He was called into the domestic camp prior to Uruguay and the St Mary's attack has been dominant.

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby martin.dunham » Tue, 29 Apr 2014, 02:43

Coloradoan wrote:
martin.dunham wrote:Hopefully Siddall is healthy for the summer, otherwise I imagine we're looking at Roland Suniula. Other guys that could end up being in the setup I can see include Nese Malifa, Will Holder, Max D'Acheval, and real outside chance Volney Rouse...


Niua and Shalom Suniula seem preferred to Roland Suniula based on recent selections. Don't forget Garrett Brewer of St Mary's. He was called into the domestic camp prior to Uruguay and the St Mary's attack has been dominant.


Ahhh forgot about Niua, was thinking of him as center. And damn, I had a a feeling I picked the wrong Suniula. Brewer could be an interesting option depending on his availability!
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Re: USA Rugby

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 29 Apr 2014, 03:25

martin.dunham wrote:
Coloradoan wrote:
martin.dunham wrote:Hopefully Siddall is healthy for the summer, otherwise I imagine we're looking at Roland Suniula. Other guys that could end up being in the setup I can see include Nese Malifa, Will Holder, Max D'Acheval, and real outside chance Volney Rouse...


Niua and Shalom Suniula seem preferred to Roland Suniula based on recent selections. Don't forget Garrett Brewer of St Mary's. He was called into the domestic camp prior to Uruguay and the St Mary's attack has been dominant.


Ahhh forgot about Niua, was thinking of him as center. And damn, I had a a feeling I picked the wrong Suniula. Brewer could be an interesting option depending on his availability!


He's probably better as a center, but he didn't look bad when he came on against Canada at 10 last year. Brewer should be available. I think he graduates this spring but summer is always easier for availability for college players than October/November. Maybe he gets his first cap in his hometown of Sacramento!

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Re: USA Rugby

Postby martin.dunham » Tue, 29 Apr 2014, 04:33

Tolkin has talked about the goal now for the next 2 seasons (leading to RWC) while trying to win is to also add depth to the squad, getting new guys into the system. Let's see how his selections pan out this summer.
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