Friday, August 8, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lasell College Rugby: 2014/2015 Assistant Coach Roles (Men’s & Women’s)

The Lasell College Rugby program is currently recruiting assistant coaches for the 2014/2015 year. The right candidates will have prior experience playing or coaching rugby.

Their men’s team competes in NERFU DIII competition against the following programs: UMass Boston, Curry College, Tufts University & Salem State. They are a very ambitious program and they have had success in their short life so far. The women’s team is brand new for 2014/2015 but have recruited an enthusiastic group of girls who have been hitting the practice field since last fall.

Practices will be held early mornings with most games on Sundays. They would like the appointed candidates to attend some practices and games but are also interested in hearing from candidates that could only assist us on game days.


Basic duties will be as follows:

  • Teaching the core skills of rugby
  • Coaching of the team, units (backs/forwards) and individuals
  • Coaching of the scrum, lineouts, breakdown and/or back play
  • Assist with team meetings / video analysis sessions
  • Develop both rookie and experienced players
To apply for one of these positions please contact:

Sarah Richardson (Assistant Director of Student Activities) | srichardson@lasell.edu | (617) 243-2475
Robin Peers (Head Coach) | robinpeers@hotmail.com | (617) 939-6435

with details of your playing and/or coaching background. Applications will be treated on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please note: this is a volunteer position.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Seeking National Championship Naming Right Sponsor for Jacksonville

The Jacksonville Axemen are now seeking a Naming Rights Sponsor for the USA Rugby League National Championship Game that is being hosted in Jacksonville on August 23.

They are hoping to secure a company that is based, headquartered or has strong ties to Jacksonville, and will be proud to help us drive the City of Jacksonville as the host location, however all options will be considered.

The partnership offers the Naming Rights to the National Championship game, and will be supported with branding and promotions from the USARugby League and all the teams that cover an area from Boston to Tampa, and across the USA via the Rugby community.

At minimum the event will be broadcast via a live stream around the world, and large audiences from Australia, United Kingdom, New Zealand and other Rugby stronghold nations will be watching as the USA RugbyLeague Championship is shown to them live. (We are also currently discussing local TV broadcast for the Jacksonville Market)

Visual, Event POS Materials, direct marketing items, verbal, online, social media, and other branding medium are included. But the most impressive part will be the USA Rugby League Championship will be TITLE and NAMED after your company, and you will be included in 100% of all PR for the event, both in the USA, and Internationally.

There is also an opportunity for a “Presenting Level” Sponsor that will include a variety of advertising options.

Expressions of interest are invite to email Daryl "Spinner" Howland directly at spinner@jaxaxe.com or call him at 904-536-7501. The partnership will be supported with Marketing and Promotional Help from Slover Consulting (www.sloverconsulting.com)

Interview with Nicolas Di Nápoli, President of Ecuador Rugby Federation

Special Report by Leandro Conde for A Rugby Life
Ecuadorian National Rugby Team
The Ecuadorian National rugby team have an impressive performance and win the CONSUR "C" Rugby Tournament in 2014.  Their president, Nicolas Di Nápoli, talked to me about it and the new challenges for the development of rugby in the country. 

ARL: How is rugby is going in Ecuador and what are the challenges you face as President at Ecuador Rugby Federation?
ND: For some people, rugby is non-existent and they think that it is not here. However, for those who I work day by day with, we are proud to see that rugby is growing and the joy of winning the CONSUR "C" cup and bronze medals in the Vargas 2014 tournament in Venezuela.

ARL: Tell us more about Ecuador’s key to success? and Who are responsible for it?
ND: The key of Ecuador’s success was to choose our best players focussing on the Human factors; working as a team and being committed to the team. We also invest in physiotherapy and conditioning.

Nicolas Di Napoli (left)
ARL: Where did you learn about rugby? What lessons did rugby teach you in your life?
ND: I'm from Argentina and when I was 4 years old I learned rugby at the school.  Getting into rugby with all my friends was especially supportive.  If I my children can learn the same life lessons rugby taught me, I will become a very happy Dad!

ARL: How do you see the present of the Pan American Rugby? 
ND: Rugby is growing fast in North, Centre and South America, especially rugby sevens. Countries like the USA and Canada are leading it.  At the same time, Guatemala, Panamá, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Bolivia and Ecuador, maybe also Guyana, are growing but need more support financially, with human resources, and developing the the structure to play.  I believe that with patience and with help from Peru, Colombia and CONSUR,  our country will continue grow strong.


Rugga Warriors & LIMA High Performance Training

Special Report by Benedict Chanakira 

Rugga Warriors' Andrew Howitt (far left),  Liam Peterson (far right),  Ryan Lok (send from right)
with Eddie Andrew (second from the left)

I recently spoke to some gents on a mission; they are passionate about development and sports growth.  In an era where sport has turned professional and where majority of kids are more interested in playing video games than playing outside, Rugga Warriors and LIMA High Performance training are in a bid to not only unearth future stars, but to build the social, physical and mental side of young athletes.  

Who are you guys?
Rugga Warriors and Lima High Performance Training is a highly qualified team made of Ryan Lok, Liam Peterson and Andrew Howitt.

Why the focus on Sport?

Sport is a essential part of life, so many aspects of life can be taught through playing sport. The qualities and disciplines that can be taught on the sports field can be applied in the lives we live everyday. It's also a language open to everyone. No matter what background we have, no matter where we come from, we can all be equal on a sports field. It's a great way to stay fit and most importantly, Sport is a great unifying tool for individuals and society. We all at Rugga Warriors have a love and a passion for Sport and in particular, we all love rugby. We want to pass on our knowledge to the sporting heroes of tomorrow. This is something that we are striving to achieve.

What is your purpose?

When athletes leave our training facilities they are better equipped to handle themselves on the sports field. Rugga Warriors strives to improve and hone the skills needed by the individual for his or her sport.

How was your first clinic?

Our first clinic which was held at False Bay Rugby Club and was a huge success. The week long program was extremely well attended by a variety of boys from different rugby schools throughout the
Western Cape. The poor weather experienced didn't hamper the enthusiasm of the coaches nor the boys who were in attendance, instead everyone was making the best of the situation where wet weather skills
could be worked on. The parents of boys were extremely excited about what we did and what we have to offer, many of whom are already enquiring about the next clinic and when it is being held.

Do you operate over the school holidays only?

At the current time, yes, however future plans do have us operating all year round.

What are your short and long-term goals?

Our short term goals are simple, we would like to steadily grow and at the same time host holidays clinics where we are educating youngsters about the beautiful game of rugby. The skills and lessons learnt in our holiday clinics we hope will stand the boys in good stead for their rugby season back at their schools. 

Our long term goals are to hopefully one day become an academy, where we work with young and aspiring athletes from all sporting codes, not just rugby. We want to become a well known athletic academy. By being associated with us, it will mean that your sporting attributes for your specific sport will improve helping you make the leap to the next step in competition and hopefully earn national colours in your sport.

Who are the partners involved in this venture?

We are currently in talks and although we were sponsored merchandise wise for the first clinic, we don't yet have an agreement with the respected parties for us to mention them.

What is your target age? Do you cater for females?

We cater at the moment for all rugby players from 6 - 16 years of age. In the future we will be catering for females and various codes of sport through our LIMA High Performance section of Rugga Warriors. This is where we train the athlete to be exactly that, an athlete. Working on things like, speed, agility, flexibility, strength, conditioning etc. These are all aspects of sport needed by any athlete
in any type of sporting activity. 

At the current time we are only providing rugby specific training, however we are providing training
for the pure athlete and anyone who would like to maintain a healthy life style. We believe in a healthy and active life style and sport is a great way to achieve this while having fun and making friends, male
or female.

What do you incorporate in the course, and also what makes your
Institute the best?

We incorporate skills training as well as athlete conditioning. What makes Rugga Warriors the best and what makes us different is that we targeting and training specific sporting skills that need to be learnt but most of all we have the High performance training being run alongside the skills training. The overall conditioning of the human body is essential to being able to execute the necessary skills on the
field and this is what we train our athletes to be able to do. Speed, agility, core stability, endurance, flexibility and strength are just some of the examples of what can be looked forward to in the High Performance Training.

When the athletes graduate what qualities do you hope will be embedded on them?

When athletes leave our facilities we hope to have installed in them qualities that will enable them to succeed not only on the sports field but in every faced of everyday life. we believe in "hard work
beats talent, unless talent works", which means that with hard work, we can achieve anything. Hard work, respect, discipline and integrity are all vital to succeeding in life and on the sports field and this is
what we hope  to embed in our athletes.

Namibia qualification to RWC

Special Report by Benedict Chanakira


While controversy swelled all over the world as to why the games where not played at the same time, it took no glitter off any of the results. Namibia have qualified for the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.
Congratulations to them. They showed determination, character and peaked at the right time. Having lost their first game against Kenya, followed by a come from behind win over the Sables there was hope. They had to win by a mammoth 53 points or more against Madagascar. They came out and blew the hosts away. They knew what they had to do and executed perfectly. Led by Pumas loose forward Renaldo Bothma who was in devastating form.

Bothma was quoted as saying "We have the belief and we are still in it after the first two games. We hope for a favorable result between Zimbabwe and Kenya." It played out well. They had everything in their hands from there.

This was a day full of ups and downs. Zimbabwe looked to have qualified after their win over Kenya. Kenya who were in pole position blew it and failed to grab the required bonus point try in the end for automatic qualification. The Sables executed well and exploited their opponents' weaknesses. Zimbabwe put in a brave onslaught on defense in the last five minutes on their try-line. The Sables' only criticism would be the decision not to go for the corner instead of settling for the three points.  This decision haunted them in the next game as Madagascar was put to the sword by Namibia despite a second half flurry of beautiful interplay between the hosts.

The Sables now must turn their attention to Siberia where they will face Russia in a few weeks. A win will then set-up a clash against Hong Kong/Uruguay. This was a fascinating tournament and the best team won. Namibia did their job and can book their flights. The rest of Africa now stand behind the Sables in their quest not to only make their first World Cup in twenty-two years but claim a third World Cup spot for Africa. 

Rambai makashing Sables! (Remain brave Sables!)

Monday, June 30, 2014

African RWC Qualification - Round 1

Special Report by Benedict Chanakira

South Africa one of world rugby's powerhouses are the only side from Africa with automatic entry into the Rugby World Cup. One spot is up for grabs and Zimbabwe,  Madagascar, Namibia and Kenya are vying for it. Whoever finishes top will qualify and face the daunting task of playing the New Zealand All Blacks. Runner up will have another bite at the cherry by facing Russia. That will be a much more difficult route.

After round one we have Zimbabwe top of the group and that is thanks to an easy win after a close first half against the hosts, Madagascar. Not much could be taken from this clash as the forward onslaught Zimbabwe gave the Madagascar pack was expected.  Madagascar had a rather light weight team. While they lacked in brawn, they made it up in elusive and quick play. When it went right they displayed silky hands and skills which exposed defensive frailties in the Sables side. Zimbabwe did the business though and coach Brendan Dawson will be pleased, but if a first appearance at the World Cup since 1991 is to be realized a few tweaks must be made.

Towards the end the machine was in full steam ahead.A tough test awaits next and this should shed light on how good the Zimbabweans really are. A win over their arch-rivals Namibia for the first time in over a decade should see the Sables take a huge stride towards England 2015.

Namibia will have to pick themselves up quickly. A shock loss at the hands of a well prepared Kenya side blew this tournament open and threw a curve ball to all spectators.Kenya are now favorites to go to the World Cup. They showed character, determination and hunger. It looked as though at 12-0; Namibia would run away with it but Kenya had other ideas.

As we  approach the second round we can expect more clarity. I firmly believe Kenya will beat Madagascar. To set up a potential final with Zimbabwe should they over-come the mental barrier that is beating the Namibians. Namibia need to win to keep their hopes alive. All to play for in this game.Whatever happens we expect a cracker of a wednesday. There are still twists in this Tournament and we hope whoever qualifies will fly Africa's flag high.

Benedict Chanakira: Chatting with David Denton

Special Report by Benedict Chanakira
David Denton (left) and I
It was a sunny mid-afternoon day as I met Zimbabwean-born Scotland number eight; David Denton. A freak of nature on the field and quite some Zimbabwean presence.  One of the most devastating ball carriers in the world. He was one of the few highlights of the Scottish's Six Nations campaign.

Only able to visit home once a year on what is a tough schedule as an international player David enjoys his visits home. He enjoys seeing all his mates and how well they are doing.

From Heritage to Scotland? How did that transpire? David was first coached by his best mate's dad Andrew Mama, who had an impact on him. The Mama brothers also on a rise in England and we could see the Mama-Denton duel one day. A notable landmark was being moved from lock to wing and he beams as he recalls the year, "it gave me confidence and it all took off from there. In grade 7 having missed out on national selection I was moved by coach Ashley Denman to flank. The beginning of a journey".

"I went on to represent Eastern Province and... " I cut his sentence short and inquired which team he supported growing up. To my surprise he responded, "Mate, I never supported South Africa, because I'm not South African",  beaming with pride and joy.

"My dad being Zimbabwean and my mother Scottish I grew up being a Scotland fan. I wanted to be an international for them and I have managed to attain that."

At Edinburgh he is colossal and after some notable performances was called up to the national side. David goes on to speak about how much of an impact Andy Robinson had on his career, a coach he feels has tactical brilliance.  "Andy believed in me, and on my debut said this to me, you not going out there to add numbers or be ordinary. Got be the best. I went out and was named Man of the match. I was sad to see him go and hope to work with him in the future.  That sort of belief is special for a player".

After a promising Six Nations, Scotland where on the rise and finished third. Hoping to compete this year and kick on they had a disastrous season, David added "It was disappointing for all of us, we felt we took a step back. We felt we should have won that game against France and if we had won, its a different campaign. We are building for the World Cup and we are in a tough group. I feel we can get out and our young team keeps developing".

"A look at the tour now, we only have a few of our regular players but a couple guys have raised their hands. Depth is building and bar injuries I feel our best XV can compete with any nation in the world. This is an aspect South Africa,  New Zealand, etc. have an advantage on us in terms of depth".

Determined, optimistic and hopeful. Despite a poor campaign Denton was the only Scot in the RBS team of the tournament and it was achieved by at times difficult circumstances.

Having a stormer against rivals England he was taken off, he was having the best day for a Scotland player. His frustration was evident. "I went to speak to Jonno after the game, and he explained the tactical reasoning and how they needed a ball playing loosie in the backs after a yellow card.  Fair enough,  but it was tough".

"I was dropped for the Italy clash and that p***** me off.  I managed to retain my starting role the following week and add a Man of the match award. The most important accolade was learning that I can't rest on my laurels. A situation that returned my focus, and helps me continue to push to be their best player".

Another player who qualifies for Scotland who has joined their ranks Sean Maitland has had an impact on the team. "Sean is one of the nicest characters I probably know. Humble, brilliant and has brought a winning culture from New Zealand. Its important for us to develop that culture".

"A good highlight was when we reached the Heineken Cup final with Edinburgh.  Pity we not as consistent as we want but our rivals have also managed to beat Munster and narrowly lose to Leinster. Its coming and I feel we are on the rise. Going in the right direction as Scotland".

On his aims for the future? He candidly responds, "Realistic expectation would be making the quarter finals or the semi finals. We need to get out our group. I think every player deserves to have a good World Cup and that is my aim".

"I also hope to make the British and Irish Lions. I was disappointed to miss the last one. I had less than 15 games under my belt in an injury ravaged season. I had no chance to try make the squad and thats what got to me. Unfortunately thats sport, and hopefully after a World Cup appearance I can aim to play for them in their next tour".

His toughest opponents being the mighty All Blacks, and he feels since England failed to beat them the only side that looks likely to stop their juggernaut is South Africa; A side who he plays well against and is a derby for him.

"I have history being from Africa,  played against most of them at school and I feel there is always a point to prove from both ends.  I dive into that tackle; yes, the one from JP Pietersen as a wing smashes one of the best number eights in the game".   David laments with a grin and some disgruntlement, " Mate, I see it alot on adverts and don't like it a bit. He had the angle on me, he backtracks a bit and lauds JP. He is a good player and he put in a good hit. I was hoping I would set it all square the next time we the two sides meet".

He displays another form of African pride as he was delighted to see Nigeria and Algeria do Africa proud. He is hopes the Zimbabwe Sables will be able to go all the way and make it to the World Cup. To think Denton could have been in the green and white hoops.

He has vowed that when he has made a big enough name for himself he will come assist Zimbabwe rugby development.

A return to Africa to play has been considered. Denton admires the coastal lifestyle and who knows he could don the Sharks or Stormers jumper one day. For now he is focused on Edinburgh and Scotland.

Fastest rising number eight in the game, friendly, humble and definitely a different species from the one on the park for 80 minutes.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Georgia Tech Women’s Rugby Football Club seek Head Coach

The Georgia Tech Women’s Rugby Football Club is seeking qualified candidates to be their next Head coach. They are in search for a coach with experience in the back line to complement our existing forwards coach.

The team is a collegiate women’s Division I club in Atlanta, GA and a member of SIRC- the South Independent Rugby Conference. The club is made up of a core group of third and fourth year students with a plan to have many rookies in the fall. The Georgia Tech women’s team made it to 7s and 15s Nationals this year and aim to be playing at the National level in the following years as well.

Qualified head coach candidates will have knowledge of current USA Rugby laws and have a current USA Rugby Coaching Certification (or be willing to complete a course). He or she will be expected to teach safe and proper technique to beginning level players while challenging and integrating the skills of higher-level players.

The head coach will be expected to plan and implement two-hour practices twice per week and attend matches on Saturdays and some Sundays for tournaments during the spring and fall seasons, as well as coordinate with the assistant coaches. The club are looking for individuals who conduct practice in a dynamic manner and for a coach that can guide us to becoming a Varsity team.

There will be a small stipend and travel expenses will be covered.

All interested parties, please contacpresident@gtwrfc.com

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Interview with Alejandro Molinuevo, Coach of Tucuman Province, Argentina

Interview by Leandro Conde for A Rugby Life

Tucuman Province is one of the most recognized provincial teams in Argentina and who have maintained an air of mystique over the years.  I sat down with with Tucuman's Coach,  Alejandro Molinuevo, to learn more.

2014 Argentine Provinces Champions Tucuman Province 
ARL: What was your motivation to coach the Tucuman Province team? What are looking to do in 2014 after the Argentine Provinces Championship?

AM: Being part of the Tucuman’s Province Team is a great honor, here  you will live and feel special things for the rest of your life. The support of my family and friends encouraged me to face this challenge. About the future, I don’t like to think about it. The committee of the Tucuman’s Rugby Federation will take the decision.

ARL: Tell us more about Tucuman’s key to success?

AM: The key of Tucuman’s success was to become a human teamwork where discipline, team goals and the commitment environment was respected by everyone.

At the same time all coaching staff did a great job, respecting our history of the Tucuman’s  Province  in terms of ball possession and contests it in each starts of game. Also the board of the Federation and the provincial clubs worked together providing us players, rugby fields and another sources in previous matches.  The new calendar approved by the UAR  (Argetinian Rugby Union) allowed the participant teams to bring their best from the athletes, increasing the game’s  level.

ARL: Through it's history until present day, Tucuman’s Province has a lot of players selected for the  Argentinian National Team (Los Pumas).  What's your opinion about professional rugby in Argentina?
AM: I believe that the professionalism into the argentinian rugby is a mandatory step to compete within the best nations. This fact helps to create an appropriate body conditioning  to compete in several  international tournaments scheduled, as:  RWC, Rugby Championship and others. However the most important thing  is not to lose the Amateur  Philosophy typical of the argentinian’s players. In our country the Rugby belongs to clubs not schools or universities and the UAR (Argentina Rugby Union) is responsible to assist and support them.


Tucuman Province Coach Alejandro Molinuevo (center)
ARL: What lessons did Rugby teach you in your life?

AM: When I was a child my father  taught me to love sports. He was responsible for my passion with Rugby. At home he taught us to have fun and play with our friends. He also said that our family was a better team and that we must protect ourselves and always move forward together. Then at the Huirapuca Rugby Club (Tucuman) I was fortunate to play Rugby with my brother Tristán, my cousin Leandro and some other best friends,  people with great values, and this doesn’t have a price! Today this is the message that I pass on to my son and my players. The Rugby taught me to respect and to be respected and to live in a better way. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

National Essential Service Provider has stepped up for USA Rugby League

Courtesy of Daryl "Spinner" Howland

The Jacksonville Office for Republic Services of Florida, which is a part of the National Republic Services Family, has partnered with the Jacksonville Axemen, and the USA Rugby League, with two incredible initiatives.
The first is to provide new uniforms for all game day officials in the entire USA Rugby League, and the second is to allow all children under the age of 15 into Axemen games for free by asking them to place a recyclable item into bins, which will be provided at all home games.

Republic Services provide the essential service of Household and Commercial Waste removal for over 13 million customers across the United States, and haul over 100 million tons of waste each year. This essential service is often overlooked, or never really considered, by most people in their daily routine. It is a fitting partnership that will see the Republic Services Logo placed on the “Essential Service” of Rugby League, for a group of dedicated game-day officials who are also sometimes overlooked when it comes time to provide support. “The truth is that most of us rarely focus on how our referees and sideline officials are provided with the things they need to do the job they do on weekends in our sport”, said Spinner Howland, who facilitated the partnership. “Too often we forget about the Refs when it comes time to find sponsors, or ways to get them new gear, yet without them games can’t be played. It was during the meeting with Republic Services that I started to think about the similarity of how much we take for granted each week with our trash being picked up, and how we sometimes take for granted that the ref will show up and look professional for our games.”

Officials in the USA Rugby League are a small group of dedicated and committed guys, who have just as much passion for the sport as the players. John Freeman, who helps administer the Officials in the Southern Conference said, “We are paid a small amount each game to cover basic expenses like gas and other minor items, but to replace uniforms for the entire league would have been self-funded through fees, or it would have been put off for another season. This partnership to provide new uniforms will go a long way to allowing more Officials to be trained and certified, and to look professional at every game. I don’t think you can over emphasize the perception this will provide when we are trying to attract more people to consider officiating as a way to be a part of the sport.”

The Axemen piece of the partnership is designed not only to allow all kids to enjoy Rugby League events at no charge, but also to educate them about the responsibility of recycling. “Not only do we want kids to bring one item of recyclable material to our games to get free entry”, added Spinner Howland, “We will also be looking at ways to reward those kids who embrace the idea that recycling is not only smart for the planet, but can also be cool. We are working on potential contests, or other incentives, that will promote collection of recyclable items used during our games, that rewards the kids with Axemen Merchandise.” Spinner went on to explain that the Axemen Players will be expected to lead the charge in delivering the message that recycling is not just smart and responsible, but it actually makes you a cooler person.

Republic Services is a Fortune 500 organization that is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: RSG). Their nationwide operations combine decades of best practices and experience from the most successful companies in the industry. Their oldest company has been proudly serving customers for nearly a century.

We encourage all Axemen fans to embrace the planet and recycle, and to consider Republic Services for any business needs they may have in the Waste and Recycling management area.

All Services can be found at www.republicservices.com or by calling in the Jacksonville Area on 800-331-2909

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Interview with Jose Gomez Bavaresco of Caciques Rugby Club, Venezuela

Special Report by Leandro Conde for A Rugby Life

Mr. Jose Gomez Bavaresco or "Pepe" is another unsung hero from the developing rugby world. He talks to me about how rugby is progressing in Venezuela. 



ARL: How did the Caciques Rugby Club begin and where do you compete? 

JGB: Caciques was born in the Carpiera neighborhood (Venezuela) through the motivation of our friends and neighbors to play rugby on the weekends.  In 2012, Edgardo Lopez, the Director at the Sports Institute of Sucre district, suggested to me consolidate the club to represent rugby in Sucre. 
Currently, we are participating in the 2nd Division at the Venezuelan Middle Tournament with clubs from Caracas, Valencia, Los Llanos and Aragua. 

ARL: What are the principal obstacles for a development club and how is possible to make progress? 
JGB: The obstacle are the people. People think that rugby is an aggressive sport without understanding rugby's value and its lifestyle.  It also needs continue support from the members of the club to travel, to buy uniform packages and rugby equipment, etc. 
In my opinion, the progress comes from the support of sponsors, rugby events organized by the club members, and a collective consciousness believing that the club is our family. 

ARL: Can you talk about South American Rugby and the National Team of your country? 
JGB: South American Rugby is growing considerably and has a big push from Argentina. They are working on the children base and it is a good example to copy. 
My country, Venezuela is developing and the principal representative is our Women's National Team. Venezuela have talented players, however, we need more support for them. 

ARL: What have you learned from Rugby? 
JGB: Rugby fills our soul and spirit. Rugby teaches to not weaken but continue running, and to fight for your dreams. The competition is with ourselves. Rugby is Caciques, Rugby is tribe. 

Interview with Maser Madueño, President of the Peruvian Rugby Federation

Special Report by Leandro Conde for A Rugby Life

Peru has great potential to be the next big rugby nation in South American with its solid economy and infrastructure, plus the support of the Olympic Committee.  I talk to Mr. Maser Madueño, President of Peruvian Rugby Federation, to learn more.
Maser Madueño, President of 
the Peruvian Rugby Federation
ARL: When did you first discover rugby?
MM: I began playin
g
 rugby when I 
was
 16 years old at the Newton College. In th
ose
 days, we took part in the Lima Cricket Club To
u
rnaments, playing against French and English teachers. As well as playing club level, I also played for over 10 years for Peru National Team where I 
 met
 nice friends, and understood that 
to be
 
a Rugby Player is being part of a nation that shares the same values. 

ARL: What was your motivation to lead the Peruvian Rugby?
MM: W
hen I was 39, I bec
a
me Coach of the National Sevens Team, which I did for 3 years.  I had a background in Economics and combined with my work in management, I was able to create a successful, 
high performance program
. I also had a very good relationship with the clubs and my work for the development of Rugby motivated me to lead the Peruvian Rugby Federation. 
  

ARL: What are you doing in particular for Rugby in Peru?
MM: Presently
, the
 Peruvian Rugby Federation is working to increase 
its
 base through the different devel
o
pment programs around the country. We have recruit
ed
 a Sports Management CEO with expertise in Spain a
nd
 together with our Devel
o
pment and High performance team, plus our Head Coach and 
 Tournament Director, we looking to make rugby 
the
 Peruvian sport
 that grows the most

ARL: Talking about Panamerican Rugby, what are the challenges with integration of CONSUR-NACRA? 
MM: I think that CONSUR and NACRA must work together.
  
There are 15 National Union in NACRA and 8 at CONSUR.  Also more National teams such as Panamá, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Mexico are also engag
ed
 and looking to play.  
A consequence of this gro
w
th is that 
we
 have to consider all the levels of game for these N
a
tional Teams and not just the Conferences.   
 

ARL: What is your message to people about your Rugby life?
MM:  Rugby brought me 
to 
competitive matches with rivals that became friends; to tours, to joys and to sorrows. However, rugby is
 about
 
its
 lifestyle to change people and now I working to share the passion 
that r
ugby brought to me
 Rugby never end
s!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The State of Play Podcast - Episode 5: USARL

In this latest episode, I get the lowdown on the recent developments in Rugby League from USARL’s Daryl “Spinner” Howland.

We chat about the expansion of the South Eastern Rugby League, and new partnerships with clubs like the Leeds Rhinos.  Plus the formation of the league's first National developmental team, the USA Pioneers.

You can listen to podcast via the player below as well as via iTunes, Stitcher, and Feedburner

And as mentioned in then show, I welcome your feedback! 
Post your comments and questions on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ etc. using the hashtag  #TheStateOfPlay

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The State of Play Podcast - Episode 4: The NRFL

I welcome back USA Rugby correspondents, Grant Cole (Ruck Bottom) and Ted Hardy (Rugby America), as we discuss the National Rugby Football League (NRFL); a US based professional rugby union league.  

We are joined by special guest, George 'Mac' Robertson of Rugby Law LLC, the organization behind the league.

You can listen to podcast via the player below as well as via iTunes,  SoundcloudStitcher, and Feedburner

And as mentioned in then show, I welcome your feedback! Please share your comments and questions on TwitterFacebookGoogle+ etc. using the hashtag #NRFL or #TheStateOfPlay

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The State Of Play - Episode 3 - Pacific Rugby Premiership

For my latest podcast, I hosts a discussion with USA Rugby correspondents, Curtis Reed (This is American Rugby), Grant Cole (Ruck Bottom), Ted Hardy (Rugby America), and Kevin Sullivan (Rucking Insurance) to talk about the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP). 

You can listen to podcast via the player below as well as via iTunes,  SoundcloudStitcher, and Feedburner

And as mentioned in then show, I welcome your feedback! Please share your comments and questions on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ etc. using the hashtag #TheStateOfPlay

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Asad Ziar: Rugby in Afghanistan

Special Report for A Rugby Life by Asad Ziar, CEO, Afghanistan Rugby Federation.  

After the rugby was introduced into Afghanistan, I saw many locals fall in love with it from day one.  I have seen many leave other sports clubs to come and join in a game that they’d never heard of before.  Rugby perfectly suited their physical and robust nature as well as having a pretty similar DNA to the national sport of Buzkashi (minus the dead goat).

As the force behind the development and progress of rugby, I have been traveling the country spreading the word and opening up rugby clubs wherever I can.  This is a huge undertaking for Afghanistan Rugby Federation ( ARF ) and have also been teaching everyone the game from kids to adults, giving them the basic skills they need to play.  

I am also very committed to introducing rugby to each and every kid in Afghanistan.   My aim is to support the youth, both boys and girls, who are choosing rugby against a backdrop of violence, conflict and suffering.  I'm not making judgments about the war, or about individuals.  It’s all about the sport, doing something positive, and having fun.   The positive aspect of this is that we will attract our new generation towards rugby while providing them the opportunity to not to be part of the violence, war, and drug addiction.   

I know this it is only possible with the help from people around the world. 
I encourage you to check our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/afgrugbyaz and appreciate your support!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Mount Beats Lord Fairfax in first NSCRO Spring Playoff Match

Special report by Steve Cohen, NSCRO President

The NSCRO spring playoffs have begun. The weather cooperated in Middletown, VA - the home of Lord Fairfax Community College - which stands at the gateway to Skyline Drive leading to the Blue Ridge Mountains. After the winter we've had in the Mid-Atlantic area, cooperation is no rain or snow and above freezing temperature. It was a dry day with temperature in the low 40s.  It was a 225 mile drive for me from Medford, NJ to attend this match. 
I was there to support the efforts of Aaron Painter and Stuart Freakly, coaches of the Lord Fairfax CC rugby club, who in less than 3 years have built a fine rugby team and created a strong foundation for the future at a community college. Very few rugby clubs exist at community colleges due to the challenges of a very non-traditional student population.

Lord Fairfax CC, the Cardinals Collegiate Conference Champion, was scheduled to host the Mount St. Mary's University, the Potomac Collegiate Conference Champion, from nearby Emmitsburg, Maryland in a NSCRO Mid-Atlantic South Region Qualifier. The winner would qualify for the MAS Region Championship in Jacksonville, Florida on March 29-30 hosted by the University of North Florida RFC. 
St. Marys Team Photo (Credit: NSCRO) 

Jay Myles, the Mount's Head Coach was concerned about match readiness for his players. Both teams have had a rough time preparing due to the unusually harsh winter conditions making outdoor pre-playoff matches impossible.


The match started and the Mount went to work right away with strong mauling and ball control when center Edmund Piper made a line break for 30m and passed to winger Brady Parson to put his club up 5-0 with just 4 minutes gone. About 10 minutes later, second rower David Harrison scored from a driving maul off a lineout. Then 2 minutes after this score, another driving maul by The Mount freed scrumhalf Sean Hartig for a fine 30m run and with his conversion, the Mount was off to a quick 17-0 lead. Tyler Long broke the Mount's defense and scored and with the conversion Chance Ramey slotted the conversion, it was 17-7. However, the Mount answered with 3 more first half tries taking a solid 32-7 halftime lead. The second half found Lord Fairfax picking up the pace and mounted an attack deep into the Mount's end when Renber Hernandez broke through the defense for a try just 3 minutes into the half. Then only 5 minutes later Derrick Hayes found a gap in the normally stingy Mount defense for a try and all of a sudden the score was 32-17. With the momentum favoring Lord Fairfax, the Mount woke up and began to assert themselves. They add 3 tries in the final 20 minutes to pull away with a 49-17 win when referee Simon Smith's final whistle sounded.

Full details about NSCRO and its small college national playoffs are found at www.nscro.org.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Interview with Brazil Womens 7s stars, Edna Santini and Luiza Campos

Special Report by Leandro Conde for A Rugby Life

The Brazil Women´s Team are a rising star in the South American game.  As they are preppering for the IRB Women’s Sevens Series, I talked to Edna Santini and Luiza Campos, two promising players representing Brazil in the series.

ARL: How are Brazil Women's Team getting ready for upcoming IRB series competitions?

EDNA: Each series have a goal. We are building up the strengths and fixing weaknesses. If the individual skills are going well than Team will be fine. Also, the coaches are doing a great job.

LUIZA: The Team is working together in São Paulo. Training day by day to know each one of the players , focusing to grow individual skills and consolidate the Brazilian´s Game.  

Edna Santini
ARL: What are the differences between Brazil Women's Team and the principal opponents from Oceania?

LUIZA: I think that the principal difference is in the physical body composition because the athletes of the other teams have come from a rugby environment since being children.  This is just happening in Brazil. 

EDNA:  In my opinion the South American rugby must grow in the future. If the countries does the work to grow the children bases, so the rugby will grow and greater the play will be.
 
Luiza Campos
ARL: What's is the message about the development of womens rugby you like to share?

EDNA: Everyone is welcome to rugby and it offers so much to you. It is more than a colour uniform or playing for a club. You must be a true player on and off the field too. 

LUIZA: Girls, rugby has a lot to teach to you. Now you are in a circle, in a great family and they will support you everytime. Rugby is a life style.

ARL: Thank you and I wish good luck in the series!

To follow the ladies progress in the series, follow Edna on twitter @EdnaSantini and Luiza on Facebook at www.facebook.com/luuizacampos

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