Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Where Eagles Dare - SU Agen winger Kevin Swiryn flying the flag

Great article provided courtesy of

Exclusive Feature: Where Eagles Dare - SU Agen winger Kevin Swiryn flying the flag

By Colin Spiro,

Agen's American winger Kevin Swiryn in action
Soaring Eagle: Agen's American
winger Kevin Swiryn in action

Photo: Eric Vincent / SU Agen

Seven years ago Kevin Swiryn was a talented American footballer pursuing his sporting dreams courtesy of a scholarship at St Mary’s College in California. As a wide receiver he had pace, nimble feet, good hands and a knowledge of the game – all valuable attributes - but then fate played its card. St Mary’s were boxing above their weight and couldn’t afford to continue funding their successful but over-stretched team. The football budget was terminated, the entire programme closed down and the dream appeared to be over.

As 19-year-old Kevin pondered his future, and considered switching universities, he took up an offer from two friends to join them for an afternoon of rugby – a sport he had never seen, let alone played. Within a week he was hooked, within a year he was touring with America’s combined universities side, and by the age of 24 he was a fully-fledged international after making his debut for the US against Ireland in Santa Clara.

Two years later and he has come to the end of his first season with SU Agen, the historic French side which has managed to retain its status in Top 14 at the first attempt after gaining promotion as ProD2 champions.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Collegiate 7s rugby Head2Head starts today

Baldwin, NY - Rugby Head2Head (H2H) will kick off its "Collegiate 7s Rugby H2H" tournament on June 24th. All 16 collegiate participants in the CRC 7s in Philadelphia will be represented by best of breed highlight videos that rely on fan voting to determine the winner. The tournament is available at . 

The first round match-ups are listed below.

  • Battle 1 - 6/24-6/26 Cal v UNC
  • Battle 2 - 6/27 Utah v Notre Dame
  • Battle 3 - 6/28 BC v Texas
  • Battle 4 - 6/29 CWU v Oklahoma
  • Battle 5 - 6/30 Arizona v Navy
  • Battle 6 - 7/1 Dartmouth v Temple
  • Battle 7 - 7/2 Penn State v LSU
  • Battle 8 - 7/3 Army v Ohio State
  • Semi-final and Final Rounds to Follow
Rugby H2H sponsors and partners in this effort include Royall Rugby, USA Sevens, Rugby Mag, and World Rugby Shop.

Rugby H2H, powered by Oktane Media, represents the best in on-line fan
engagement and sport development. The H2H platform has proven successful throughout the sports and entertainment world, and has held particular success for NHL properties. Based in Baldwin, NY, H2H strives to connect fans to their passion through unique social networking and online engagement.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Podcast Episode 15: Waisale Serevi (Serevi Rugby)

It's not everyday you get the chance to sit down and talk with a rugby legend, but for my latest podcast I have the honor to chat with Fijian International and King of Sevens, Waisale Serevi

We talk about his early playing days, the recent launch of the Elite Academy Series in Seattle, and the Island Kings Campaign (see video below), a program to help players in Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga. He also shares his involvement in the Olympics and his thoughts on the Rugby World Cup.

You can catch the interview on the player below or head on over to iTunes, our Facebook page, or our RSS Feed, where you can listen to this and previous episodes.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Angry Ref - "The Blame Game"

I was basically a terrible player. I think I’ve mentioned this before. OK, so maybe not terrible, but certainly not elite. I never played on a winning team. When I was an A side player I was usually somewhere between the 13th and 15th best player on the team. Some of the reasons for this were pretty obvious. For one, I just simply wasn’t all that athletically gifted. For another the coaching I received was pretty spotty at times. Some coaches assumed I knew things I didn’t know and then didn’t bother to correct me when I did things wrong, possibly figuring I was just being difficult. Some coaches also didn’t know the things I didn’t know and so had nothing to teach me. But I’m not here to blame my coaches or myself.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

NYC Rugby Cup Cocktail Benefit, Friday June 17th

There are still tickets available to the Play Rugby USA NYC Rugby Cup Cocktail Benefit, now only two days away! This amazing event is their primary fundraiser, and the funds raised help support the cost of the NYC Rugby Cup. Tickets can be bought hereor by clicking the image below. A full list of items in the silent auction will be released tomorrow, so keep an eye out for that!

For a full listing of play-off results, a report on the event, and individual player awards from the NYC Rugby Cup please visit the Play Rugby USA website. Photo highlights will be displayed later this week on Play Rugby USA's Facebook Fan Club and the Rookie Rugby Club with full size images available for download at Play Rugby USA's online Gallery.

Play Rugby USA is an extraordinary wellness and prevention resource: Tackling the challenges facing America's Youth. Our mission is to "develop youth through rugby". Play Rugby, Inc is a registered 501 (c)3 non profit organization, based in New York City, NY, USA.

Reaction to the Women's rugby - or lack of it - on TV for CRC 7s

I am reposting this on behalf of good blogger friend and past podcast guest Wendy Young (Your Scrumhalf Connection).

Letter to the Editor: Reaction to the Women's rugby - or lack of it - on TV for CRC 7s
This arrived in my in box in response to the lack of TV coverage on NBC during the USA Sevens Collegiate Rugby Championship earlier this month. If you feel the same, or differently, drop a line at and get the dialog going. The question NBC asks, though, is there an audience for women’s rugby? The note below would indicate yes.
Thank you for being one of the very few people to even pay attention to the fact that women competed in the CRC, and thank you too for not belittling their participation. I love Sevens. I certainly loved watching the men’s games, and the coverage of those games was commendable. But it’s regrettable, offensive, inexcusable, unjustifiable, patronizing, ridiculous, passively misogynistic, and (fill in your own various negatives here) that not only was the women’s competition barely mentioned, but there was zero coverage of it. We didn’t get to see it broadcast on TV and, to add insult, can’t even watch it on Other than a couple highlight moments that can be found if one digs hard enough, it appears that, as far as Universal/NBC is concerned, there was no women’s competition. The biggest attention paid on-air was to rub salt in the wound by mentioning the inequitable GoDaddy scholarships — $20k to the men, $5k to the women. I’d like to believe we were slowly but at least surely evolving past the “oh, they’re just playing the girls’ version; girls can’t really play sports; no one cares or wants to watch them; men play the real game” mindset, but the complete lack of coverage combined with that discrepancy in scholarship rewards pretty much belies any hope of doing so. My mother’s and grandmother’s generations probably would have been less excited about Title IX if they’d known how little things would progress in the four decades since.
I understand that you were not personally responsible for Universal’s/NBC’s error, and in fact you’re to be applauded for not blindly following their lead in ignoring the women altogether. But yours was the address I managed to find when trying to figure out to whom I could send this complaint, so I’m afraid you “won” by default. Feel free to pass the message along to more appropriate recipients if you think there’s the slightest hope it would ever actually make a difference.
And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I guess I’ll go don pearls, pumps, and hoopskirt and find something appropriately estrogen-acceptable and nonathletic to do. (I suppose if I wanted to preserve any chance of this viewpoint being paid attention, I should pretend I’m male, but I just can’t bring myself to do it.)
Thank you for your time and for your respectful articles.
Raven McKnight
Are you upset about the lack of women’s coverage? Let your voice be heard! Post in the comments section of this post and at the original article here. Also post on Twitter with hashtag #2011CRC and please mention @USASevensCRC as well.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

MARFU Men's 7s Individual testing and open camp

Chris Harvey, MARFU Men's 7s Head Coach,  and his staff will be picking 12 individuals to represent the MARFU Men's 7s Team to play in the ITT National 7s All Star Tournament in California in August 2011. From the ITT team, USA Rugby Sevens Head Coach Al Caravelli will be selecting roster spots for the USA Rugby 7s squad competing, for the first time ever, in the Pan Am Games.
The camp is open to any male rugby player registered in MARFU. The individual must be C.I.P.P. registered with USA Rugby and have personal insurance. Any player under the age of 18 must have written permission by his parents and/or Guardian. Each individual player must sign a Waiver and Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk Form ("Waiver and Release").
The camp will take place on Sunday June 26th at Alapocas Run State Park, Wilmington, DE. Their is a $20.00 per player registration fee.  To register, click here and for further details, check out the camp website at

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Inaugural Rugby Professionals Network meeting tonight in NYC

A few friends and I enjoying a spot of rugby at Dorian Gray
This evening the Rugby Professionals Network kicks off their first meeting in New York city.   This event is scheduled to take place on the second Wednesday of every month to bring together professionals who share a passion for the game of rugby on and off the field.

Tonight's event will run from 7pm to 10pm and takes place at Dorian Gray, 205 East 4th Street, New York (East Village).  

I'll be at the event, so look out for the guy in the photo on the far right (yep, that's me).  See you tonight!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2011 NYC Rugby Cup this Saturday, June 11th

This Saturday will see the NYC Rugby Cup hosted by Play Rugby USA.  Sixty Four teams will compete in the free culminating tournament where all students get to compete and showcase their skills.   The games take place on Randall’s Island, Fields 70 - 75 and kick off at 9am. All are welcome.

As you may imagine, such an event takes a considerable amount of effort to prepare and if you are interested in helping out on Saturday please contact Office Manager, Bryan Vale, at

As a volunteer myself last year (I was a team manager) which was a real blast!  Its a great opportunity to see kids enjoy a spot we all love and support a great cause.   I'll be the event again this year, so please come on by and say hi!

PAC 7's June 25th

The 29th Annual PAC's 7's tournament is heading back to Virgina this year with a 4 field venue in Fairfax.  Here are the details:
Entry Fee: $250 for the Men's and Women's divisions and $110 for the u-19 division.
Mail payments by check (preferred) to:
Potomac Athletic Club,  P.O. Box 76030, Washington, DC 20013-6030 or use PayPal with the email: 

There will be a full service concession stand with coffee and doughnuts in the morning. Gatorade, Soda and Water all day along with granola bars, power bars etc. PAC will also have a grill and fry stand for everyone’s food needs. 
From 6 p.m. onwards, June 25, there will be a celebration of rugby and sports in Washington DC at the PAC Sevens Tournament Post-Party.
For more details, head on over to the tournament website or email Stefan Hankin at

Head Coach Position: American University Womens Team

American University Women's Rugby (AUWRFC) is looking for a Head Coach to join them this upcoming Fall 2011 season.

AUWRFC is a competitive DII collegiate club which practices Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 5PM-7PM (4PM-6PM during Daylight Savings Time) in the Tenleytown area. Games are generally every Saturday during the season at locations throughout the MD/DC/VA area.

The coach's travel expenses will be covered by the team. We also have assistant coaches that are willing to stay on and help out our new head coach as much as possible.

Previous leadership and/or coaching experience is desired, but not required and we welcome recently retired players who are interested in coaching. USA Rugby coaching certification is required but AUWRFC will help the right person obtain this certification.

If you are interested or have questions regarding this position, please contact Kelsey Cadden (Club President), at or 703-772-4399

Thursday, June 2, 2011

All-star Sports quiz night in NYC to feature USA Eagle Phaidra Knight

Host and Cricket legend, David Gower

The St. George's Society of New York and GEORGE are pleased to announce that they will be partnering with Captain's Knock and Sparks once again for a Sports Quiz on July 13th, 2011. 
The quiz will be hosted by former England cricket captain, David Gower and will take place at the prestigious New York Athletic Club, 180 Central Park South, from 6pm - 10.30pm.

St. George's Society 2011 members are entitled to a discounted price of $150 for individual tickets (regular tickets start at $175). Tickets include a three course meal, open bar cocktail hour, wine and beer throughout, and participation in the quiz and charity auctions. Tables of 10 are also available for $1,750.

The quiz will include questions across all sports from American Football and Baseball to Rugby and Aussie Rules.  Bear this in mind when assembling your table/team of ten.  If you buy individual tickets they will help assemble teams.  They will use the same interactive technology they use for the electronic auction, with tables competing against each other, with countdown clocks and fun animations.

Joining David on a panel of guests will be legendary Liverpool, Spurs and England goal keeper Ray Clemence.  Ray played over 660 times for Liverpool and is involved in the current England set-up.

July will make a year to the Olympics being held in London, so joining the panel will be Denise Lewis and Sir Matthew Pinsent.  Denise won the heptathlon gold at Sydney 2000 and Matthew has the incredible feat of winning 4 gold rowing medals in successive Olympics from 1992-2004.  Sir Alan Collins, British Consul-General will open the quiz with a look forward to 2012.

Also in attendance will be the New York Red Bulls whose table last year featured US soccer greats, Claudio Reyna and Jeff Agoos.  Also from the soccer world will be Chris Bart-Williams, former Nottingham Forest Captain, who is currently coaching in Connecticut.

They will also be joined by special sporting guests from the NY area, including US Olympic medalists and Phaidra Knight, one of the world's all-time greatest women rugby players (
and former podcast guest of ARL)

For sponsorship opportunities, including an exclusive VIP reception and a legend hosting your table, contact Richard Sexton directly at

Popular Posts