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

Zimbabwe's Mbare Rugby Academy

Special Report by Benedict Chanakira

When you hear people mention Mbare, a suburb of Harare in Zimbabwe, images of poverty, crime and filth often come to mind.  There is not many good things to say about the area, but amongst the rough lies several gems: its famous market, Zimbabwe’s biggest and most successful soccer team, Dynamos; and the Mbare Rugby Academy.



Mbare Rugby Academy (Credit: www.lilfordia.com)
In 2007 Milton Rankeni and Victor Pekani decided to develop the game with the help of Zimbabwe Rugby Union. With little to no funds they have managed to produce a handful of players for the Zimbabwe under 13, under16, under 18 and 7′s teams. The coaches that assist Victor and Milton are all volunteers and all hold the same vision and dream: to grow the game in Zimbabwe, bring out the best in under-priviledged kids who are all required to be in school and be studying.   

I decided to visit the team at the Harare Sports Club for one of their scheduled training sessions held on Sundays, which typically has in excess of 150 players in attendance. The ratio of girls to boys is 30 -70.  The five coaches are split between the three groups of fourty-five players who run drills with the players who range in age from five to twenty one.   I was particularly surprised not only at the high skill levels, which was rather impressive, but also the size of the players. All quite small, and hardly a difference between the backs and the forwards.   Size aside, the adcademy has had some great sucesses with wins over St Georges under 16s,  development of several National age-group side players, and a successful showing at the Middelburg 7s tournament.

With a tour to South Africa later in the year, the future sucess of the academy looks bright.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Phaidra Knight aiming for Rio and needs you support

Former Eagle and previous podcast guest, Phaidra Knight, is looking to make her International rugby comeback.   She is looking to take part in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and needs help in raising funds to realize her dream.  

Her campaign in currently running on Dreamfuel and offers multiple contribution tiers with a great selection of goodies.  All funds raised help fund her training goals, which include working with elite coaches and nutritionists.

To help fund Phaidra, head on over to http://www.dreamfuel.me/athletes/7/campaigns/10

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Follow Northeast ODA at LV7s with Real-Time Rugby

Follow the Northeast ODA in Vegas! 

Share Real-time scores, pic/videos, chat and receive alerts for changes in date/time/venue of the matches you follow. Create your own Real-time personalized scoreboard that scrolls across your home page. Create your own Followed Matches list that updates all your scores in Real-time. 

Who will survive the Pool of Death, featuring reigning champion Serevi, Tiger-1823 and Northeast Development Academy?   

Download Real-Time Rugby to follow the Men's and Women's Elite Brackets of the LVI and HSBC-­IRB Sevens in Real-time. Engage with players and fans.

Download from Google Play
Download from iTunes

Buffalo Rugby Hosts Winterfest 7s

The Buffalo Rugby Club invites you to the 20th Annual Winterfest 7's Tournament, Saturday, February 22, at Houghton Park in beautiful Buffalo, NY. 

The tournament historically draws dozens of teams, from senior sides to collegiate teams to alumni groups, competing in multiple divisions (Men's A & B, Women's A & B), with a guarantee of 3 games (minimum) for all entrants. 

For more information on the tournament, including how to sign up, please visit www.buffalorugby.org or contact Dave Cieslik at dmcieslik@gmail.com.

Empire GU: Level 1 Referee Courses Schedule

All Empire GU clubs are now required to provide one (1) person to serve as a referee. That person must be certified as a referee and allocate a minimum of three (3) days throughout the year. The following are upcoming Level 1 Referee Certification courses. Additional courses will be scheduled in Central and Western New York State, and will be announced accordingly.

Saturday February 1
Christian Brothers Academy (Lincroft, NJ) 
9:30a - 5:30p  
Moderate activity indoors  
** Please check to see if registration is still open **

Saturday March 1
Fordham Prep (Bronx, NY)
9a - 5p  
Moderate activity outdoors  
Please register by February 19

Register by going to USA Rugby > Referee Courses and click "Register" next to the appropriate listing.  

* Forward your email confirmation to bk.rrsny@yahoo.com

Registrations after January 22 (CBA) and February 19 (Fordham Prep) may still attend but may not have course materials available.  Registration may be closed early if a course fills up, so please register early.

You must be a member of USA Rugby (CIPP) to register for a course.  If you are not affiliated with a club, you may register first with USA Rugby as a member of your local referee society:
Rugby Referee Society of New York - for Metropolitan NYC
New York State Rugby Referees Society - for New York State north of the Catskills

Contact Brad Kleiner at bk.rrsny@yahoo.com with any questions.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Southeastern Rugby League announces three new teams in the Southeastern United States

From Southeastern Rugby League LLC

Southeastern Rugby League LLC. (SERL) was formed 8 years ago to develop and grow Rugby League in the Southeastern USA. It also 100% owns and operates the Jacksonville Axemen. They focus on-field success and commitment to bring more Championships to the City of Jacksonville and its community of fans and supporters, will remain the priority with the Jacksonville Axemen, while assisting the development of the sport in regional cites. They also know that with the addition of teams in a closer geographical area, and the creation of new and exciting rivalries, the Axemen will continue to advance as one of the best-known brands in the Jacksonville market, and continue to offer a high level of sporting entertainment.

Due to the increased awareness of Rugby League, that they directly attribute to the fans, supporters and sponsors of the Jacksonville Axemen, the interest in the sport has grown in the southern region. A combination of the “Minor League” teams that have been operated throughout Florida over the past three years, the constant success of the Axemen, and international events that we have hosted in Jacksonville, have led to this initiative. We have no doubts that every person or business, which supported any of our teams or events, can proudly stake claim to being apart of the biggest advancement of Rugby League in the Southeastern USA.

SERL is very excited to announce that we have agreed to partner with various individuals and groups, who have identified themselves as having the desire, ability and business plan to create Rugby League teams in their own cities. We consider it a great honor to be able to assist in the application to the USA Rugby League (USARL) for full member teams to be operated in the following areas: Tampa, FL, Central Florida (Combined Daytona/Orlando), and Atlanta, GA.

Each of the three teams are finalizing their applications to the USARL, and SERL is preparing an application to have all four teams become known as the Southeastern Conference starting in the upcoming 2014 season. We would also like to confirm that an additional partnership for the Atlanta team has been developed with one of the most iconic Professional Rugby League teams in the World. An announcement from that team is expected within a few days.

Peter Illfield (USARL Chairman) has congratulated SERL on their continued efforts to focus on the growth and development of the sport in the region, and was equally excited at this announcement. “The professional operation of the Jacksonville Axemen by Southeastern Rugby League has seen them become the consistent benchmark and flagship team in the USA. Based on them taking that style of operation and vision with them into these new partnerships, the potential for Rugby League in the Southeast region is limitless. This is one of the most exciting announcements to ever happen for our sport in the USA.”

In achieving this milestone we would like to say a sincere thank you to every person who has attended an Axemen game or one of our many international events. This is also extended to those international fans who have purchased merchandise and thus supported our vision. We are equally grateful to many international teams from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and Jamaica who visited Jacksonville over the years. Thanks as well to all the media that has covered any of our past events, and to the volunteer staff and officials who make our teams safe every week. Thank you to our sponsors, past and present, big and small, as well our fellow USARL clubs, USARL Executives and all the players who commit to playing Rugby League, “The Greatest Game of All”.

In an effort to better explain the importance of this announcement we have listed some of the questions that have been asked during this process, and our answers.

WHO ARE THE NEW PARTNERS – With the operation of the Minor League teams that we have run in Tampa, Daytona and Orlando over the last three years, some individuals have expressed an interest in progressing the idea of creating full member teams. When we contacted a group in Atlanta who had shown interest, the vision of assisting with development as a partner came to fruition based on redirection of funding for all teams on travel needs, to regional growth needs.

Tampa - will be led by Billy Nielson and other members who have a connection with the Tampa Krewe Union team, and we hope the future sees a combined force of both Rugby codes to progress together in the Tampa area. Billy has also been involved with the Jacksonville Axemen operations and was responsible for the entry of the Tampa Inferno minor league team in 2014. The player pool that is available in the Tampa area, along with the number of expatriates from Rugby playing nations, will make the Tampa team very competitive. We must also mention that early in the Axemen operations British expatriate, Steve Towell, had gained great interest with his Bradenton Bulldogs team located just South of Tampa, and we hope this allow some of those participants to return to the sport.

Central Florida – this team will combine the progress of the Daytona Gearheads and Orlando Adrenalin minor league teams. The longest serving Axemen player, Craig Howitt, along with other former Axemen players from central Florida have long wanted a chance to run a top tier team in the area. Kenny Britt has also committed to assist in the development and operations of the team. With their combined leadership, the addition of former Axemen players who live in the area, that include Gaz Walker, Bart Longchamp, Jay Mombu, along with many from the minor league teams, they will come out as an instant favorite. It will also make for some “interesting” match ups on the field when former teammates are pit against one another in serious conference and national title battles.

Atlanta – After visits to the Atlanta by Drew Slover and Spinner Howland that allowed meeting with key members of the Atlanta Renegades Rugby Union organization, along with some key individuals who had area interest, an operations group has been formed. The Atlanta team will draw on a variety of personnel for on and off field success. Greg Frost, who is a young Australian business man living in the area will help operate the team as well as join the playing ranks. He will be joined on the field by members of the highly successful Renegades Union team, and we imagine that members of other areas teams will soon show an interest in the May training camp. There are also a number of Universities in the region who have very successful Rugby programs underway. The Atlanta Rugby League team will be open to all athletes from any area Rugby team, as well as those with other sporting backgrounds. There is also an announcement coming soon about a partnership between the Atlanta team and one of the most iconic professional Rugby League Team in the world.

Team Names and Venues will be announced as soon as they are confirmed. We are waiting on a variety of venue details, sponsor confirmations and other items before releasing all information.

WHY THE CONFERENCE VISION – All developing sports have finances as one of their largest challenges, and the largest budget item for teams operating over a large geographical area is travel. This is not only for Axemen operations having to fly to all away games, but also for all USARL teams that are required to travel to Jacksonville during the regular season, and potentially again during playoffs. At an average cost of $7,500 per game when travel, accommodation, meals, etc, are considered, the creation of a conference system will allow for the “re-allocation” of those funds to more local development goals. With five trips per year, SERL can now direct more assets to local Jacksonville progress, and also assist the new partners in the start up and operation of their teams. It will also allow for all other teams within the USARL to free up 1000’s of combined dollars, and apply them to the growth of their own teams and regions. Conference play will also spark the creation of some great new rivalries, as well as the creation of a conference Board of Directors, who can work together for overall regional growth of the sport. It is also important to recognize that the conference system is something very familiar in American sports, and it will create an additional Conference Championship for all teams, while they are competing for the National Championship. It creates potential conference wide sponsorship to increase revenue streams, and it allows for the consolidation of certain items such as the creation and online sale of merchandise in an effort to stop duplication of tasks, on already limited resources. All of the potential benefits allow for faster, overall development and growth.

HOW WILL IT WORK – The four teams in the Southeastern Conference will play a home and away schedule to determine a 1 through 4 seeding by the end of the regular season. Then with single elimination conference playoff games (1 v 4 and 2 v 3) two teams will advance to the Conference Championship game. The winner of that game will progress to the overall USARL National Championship playoff series. With final USARL 2014 competition structure to be finalized, there may also be a need for the selection of a “Wildcard” team for the playoffs that may allow for further teams to enter into national playoff contention.

WHERE WILL THEY PLAY – We are in the final stages of confirming the venue for each team. Each venue will meet the minimum standards for USARL requirements that provide a safe and comfortable environment for both players and fans. Things such as the ability for on-site food and beverage sales, ample seating and the basic amenities for fans and team operations, are all considered. In addition to those standards, we are also considering the ability of the venue to provide ample opportunity for the advertising and promotion of sponsor materials during game day operations. These include such things as suitable areas for visual advertising banners, access to public address system for sponsor and game day announcements and internet connection to consider live streaming of games. All items for the overall ability to display a professional approach to both the integrity of the game, our commitment to provide value to fans, as well as exceeding the advertising and marketing expectations of our sponsors. We will confirm venues as soon as each has a signed contract.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS A FAN– As we announce further details for each team, we encourage all fans and supporters to assist us in promoting the upcoming season and to be apart of the inaugural season for Rugby League across the Southeastern region, and the USARL in general. Websites, social media accounts, venues, tickets and other action items are all in the works and we are committed to release as soon as each is confirmed.

WHAT CAN I DO AS A POTENTIAL SPONSOR – Until further notice, all sponsor questions should be directed to either Drew Slover (drew@sloverconsulting.com) OR Spinner Howland (spinnerhowland@comcast.net)
We are sourcing all levels of sponsorship for teams in ALL FOUR CITES and are also excited for potential discussion for conference wide partnerships that will cover such a large geographical market.

WHAT DO I DO IF I WANT TO PLAY OR ASSIST WITH A TEAM – For now send player/assistant enquiries to Spinner Howland (spinnerhowland@comcast.net) and direct contact will be confirmed with the correct team partner.

WHAT IF I HAVE A VISION OF CREATING A TEAM  – You are invited to apply from any part of the country to the USARL (via www.usarl.com) to discuss expansion plans. SERL is of course hoping this progress ignites further efforts in the expansion of the “Minor League” model for anyone with the vision of progressing a pathway to full USARL member team in the Southeast Region.

Of course all teams from around the USA are welcome to some of the basic marketing materials that have been created by Slover Consulting (www.sloverconsulting.com). Axemen Co-owner Drew Slover, who owns and operates Slover Consulting, has created some incredible sponsor proposal packets, and other advantageous tools for those wishing to consider starting a team(s) in their area.

SERL is always willing to share the model for the Axemen and/or the Minor League Framework with anyone who has a desire to grow Rugby League in the USA.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Major USA Rugby League Announcement, including 3 new teams, coming this Monday

MONDAY Jan 20 - Hear the live Radio and TV announcement for USA Rugby League and the creation of the Southeastern Conference, that will announce three new teams and include the Jacksonville Axemen.

3.30pm Monday on The Mike Dempsey Show, Mike Dempsey will host Spinner Howland for the exclusive release.  People in Jacksonville can hear it on 1010XL radio at 92.5fm or 1010am.
Those from other parts of the USA or International locations can listen via the live stream at http://www.themikedempseyshow.com/

For those unable to listen at 3.30pm, an exclusive TV segment will air with Sam Kouvaris on Jacksonville Channel 4 News ( WJXT4 The Local Station ) during the 6pm hour in the sports segment.

Both Mike and Sam have been great media partners for the Axemen over the years and we are excited to partner in this release with them.

Radio - 3.30pm
TV - 6pm news hour
Then the full press release will be posted at www.usarl.com and at www.jaxaxe.com later than evening.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Empire GU: USA Rugby Level 200 Coaching Courses

The Level 200 courses consist of a required prerequisite online session and a one-day in person workshop. The shift in theory in the new course gets coaches on the field with ample opportunity to put into practice there coaching style and technical application.

*Level 200 will be the minimum certification requirement for all coaches of contact teams starting on 8/31/2014  

What do I have to do to complete this level?

Complete the Level 100 Coaching Rugby: FUNdamentals course
Complete the Level 200 online pre-course work
Attend the 1 day in person Level 200 clinic

Saturday January 18 - Batavia, NY, 8a - 5p  
Saturday February 15 - Fordham Prep (Bronx, NY), 8a - 5p  

USA Rugby announces High Performance Player Pathway


BOULDER, Colo. – In conjunction with the American Rugby Model, USA Rugby announced Thursday the High Performance Player Pathway, which ensures players at all levels have multiple ways to achieve growth and reach the next level of development.

“As the popularity of rugby surges across America, USA Rugby plays the leading role in efforts to increase access, improve quality and expand rugby opportunities for rugby athletes wanting to maximize their potential as elite rugby players,” USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer and President of Rugby Operations Nigel Melville said.

From Rookie Rugby and Physical Education classes to the Eagles national teams, the High Performance Player Pathway follows the five phases of the American Rugby Model: Play, Develop, Compete, Excel, and Lead.

PLAY

During the early Play stages, players develop physical literacy and enjoy participating in organized games in safe, community-based programs. At this stage, skill development is placed ahead of competition. Early specialization is discouraged through engagement in multiple sports.

To support the early stages of development, USA Rugby has created Rookie Rugby – a safe, non-contact, easy-to-play game for boys and girls of all ages. Played in schools, parks, recreation leagues and community organizations across the country, Rookie Rugby is easy to learn with minimal equipment required.
Visit the Rookie Rugby website for more information and contact your local State-Based Rugby Organization here.

DEVELOP

Players moving to the Development stage of the American Rugby Model are introduced to increased amounts of competition between the ages of 10-16, which includes middle school, high school and club programs. In these programs, players continue to develop their skills while also playing competitive games regularly, raising the level of play as the player’s skills are put under increased pressure. Players will develop core skills and start to specialize in chosen positions in both the 15s and sevens styles of rugby.
Players may begin to represent their high school teams and attend local high performance programs in which elite players are selected to participate in advanced skill development programs.

COMPETE

Once a player reaches high school, he or she may be selected to represent a high school or State-Based Rugby Organization (SROs) age-grade team. USA Rugby currently runs 34 boys and 22 girls state high school championships, which can be viewed here. A growing number of SROs are also holding state high school sevens championships for boys and girls, a number which will be increased in the next five years.

State high school championships provide players with an excellent opportunity to be seen by state and regional selectors. USA Rugby currently runs the Boys High School All-Americans, an age-grade national team that holds two selection camps in the winter and summer and participates in tours to Europe and South America each year. The Boys High School All-Americans (BHSAA) sevens team plays in the world’s largest high school sevens event – the HSBC Rosslyn Park School Sevens – in London each year.  Visit the Boys High School All-American page here.

Selections for the BHSAAs and Stars v. Stripes High School All-American Camp are made at the annual Regional All-Star Tournaments (RASTs), held at seven venues each May/June. These events bring together the best high school players in America and expose them to elite coaches and a high performance event.  For more information on the Regional All-Star Tournaments, click here.

EXCEL

Post-high school players move either directly into college rugby or find work. USA Rugby caters to both categories for both men and women with nearly 900 college rugby programs playing in conferences at Division I, II, III and IV levels. Each level has a national championship match with multiple rounds of playoffs, including the College 7s National Championship with more than 48 men’s and women’s teams.  More information regarding college rugby can be found here.

Post-high school, non-college players graduate into the USA Rugby club program, in which more than 700 clubs regularly run teams and compete for a national championship at the Division I, II and III levels. In the elite club category, the Elite Cup represents the highest level of competition for men and theWomen’s Premier League for women.

USA Rugby also runs the Men’s and Women’s Junior All-Americans, the national U20 teams. The MJAAs compete annually in either the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy – which was won on home soil in 2012 – or the IRB Junior World Championship, while the WJAAs play two to three international matches each year.

Players who excel at the college level may be invited to play in an increasing number of college conference all-star teams being developed in 2014. In 2015, it is planned to coordinate completion for college all-star teams to provide All-American college selectors with an opportunity to attend the All-American combine camps and selection for the AIG Men’s and Women’s Collegiate All-American teams.

The Men’s Collegiate All-Americans play three fixtures each year during the summer, alternating between an overseas tour and domestic competition. The MCAA Sevens team competes in sevens rugby events during the summer, as well. The Women’s Collegiate All-Americans (WCAAs) team is an evolving program with plans to develop an annual fixture list similar to that of the MCAAs.

During the next few years, the club game for men and women will be a focus of USA Rugby’s efforts to retain college and high school players in the game of rugby. This will be achieved by improving the level of competition and continuing to improve facilities and the quality of the “club rugby experience” for men and women.

Newly-formed Geographical Unions (GUs) are developing and raising the levels of administration of the game at the local level and are encouraged to develop all-star teams to play in a national tournament. In 2014, there will be a number of GU all-star teams playing games within their respective regions and hosting teams from outside of the area. USA Rugby national team selectors will have representation at these games and players identified as potential Eagles will be invited to attend future Eagles camps or perhaps participate in the Eagles Stars v. Stripes Games.

Men’s Eagles Head Coach Mike Tolkin is developing a 2014 Stars v. Stripes Elite Camp, to which the country’s best domestic players will be invited to play in a tryout match. Successful players will be invited to join the Eagles Select squad, which represents USA Rugby in the Americas Rugby Championship.

Men’s Eagles Sevens Head Coach Matt Hawkins also selects a Falcons Sevens team each summer to compete in a small number of sevens tournaments against top domestic and international competition around the world.

The USA Rugby national teams, for men and women in both 15- and seven-a-side rugby sevens styles of play, are called the Eagles. Each team has a comprehensive playing schedule that includes the IRB Rugby World Cup (15s and sevens), the IRB HSBC Sevens World Series (men), the IRB Women’s Sevens World Series, Pan Am Games (sevens men and women) and Olympics (sevens men and women).

Details of the National Academy Program will be released next week.

Visit www.usarugby.org for more information.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brumbies Super Rugby 2-Day Advanced Coaching Course - University of Vermont 25 & 26 Jan, 2104

The Brumbies Super Rugby Franchise has announced that their final 2-Day Advanced Coaching Course will be held at University of Vermont in Burlington on Sat 25 and Sun 26 January, 2014.

Between 2011 and 2013 the Brumbies Super Rugby team ranked with the Crusaders from 1996 to 1998 and the Qld Reds 2009 - 2011 as achieving the greatest turnaround in Super Rugby history.

However, the Brumbies achieved it with the youngest and least experienced team in the Super Rugby Competition.

This course outlines how this was achieved in such a short period of time, while also providing tips on how to drive all of the interdependent variables and networks that incite performance.

Through participation in these courses, Coaches will be provided with practical solutions that are applicable for all levels of coaching - from youth through to elite.

The course costs $205.00 and a link to the registration page can be found below:

Click Here to Register for this Event

Participation in this course attracts 10 Coach Professional Development Credits through USA Rugby.

For a course agenda, course summary and detailed unit summaries please click here(Please download document Instead of 'Preview' for full functionality).

A link to documentation outlining the Brumbies Competitive Advantage and also comparison summaries outlining what the Brumbies have achieved over the past 2 years please click here.

Finally as a teaser for the event, an interview conducted with Head Coach Stephen Larkham can be viewed here.

While an analytical look at 'Individual Scrummaging Body Position' with one of our 2013 Commercial Academy Members can be viewed here.

Please note that registration for this event will strictly close on Wednesday, 22nd Jan at 5pm EST. Please ensure you register early to ensure your place.

NSCRO to Inaugurate Women's Small College 7s National Championship

NSCRO is thrilled to announce that it will be teaming with ACRA (American Collegiate Rugby Association) in holding its first Women's Small College 7s National Championship. The joint event will be held on May 3-4, 2014 at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The eight team NSCRO Women's 7s National Championships will be held in conjunction with the ACRA D1 and D2 Championships, and will be composed of teams invited based on results from selected 7s tournaments and conference schedules.

NSCRO is currently identifying 7s tournaments around the country and will assist schools in coordinating schedules. Specific details on the qualification process will be announced no later than Feb. 7th.

Bryn Chivers has been appointed as the NSCRO 7s Women's Commissioner to oversee NSCRO's interests and planning. Bryn is well-known in the world of women's rugby in the US having devoted his many talents to its growth and development since 1982. He is past coach of the USA Rugby's Women's U20 National Team and is currently the head coach for Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

To learn more about NSCRO Women's 7s, contact Bryn at bryn.chivers@gmail.com or at 773-308-4540

NSCRO announces its Spring schedule for the Men's 15s National Playoffs

Many of the 216 men's small college rugby clubs started last September with a "carrot" of a national championship held up as a goal. The remainder of the clubs are starting their run this month. The pathway to tho reach this is the Road to Infinity Park, the finest rugby venue in the country.

NSCRO is pleased to hold its championship event there for the 3rd consecutive year. All matches will be live streamed on the web for those who cannot attend in person....as over 10,000 fans have watched the championship on line in each of the past 2 years. NSCRO has sponsorship opportunities available for this great event...contact Steve Cohen (
sdcohen4@mindspring.comASAP to find out more.

NSCRO National Championship


April 26-27 at Infinity Park, Glendale, CO - Rugbytown, USA - http://infinityparkatglendale.com/

The pathway to Infinity Park is as follows:

Region 1 - Northeast
Complete and Champion is heading to Infinity Park.
New England College (Henniker, NH) is the "repeat" Champion in this Region having won in 2012 in their first year of league competition after the club was re-formed in 2011. NEC finished 3rd in the 2013 National Championship and is looking to improve on last year's performance. A remarkable success story indeed.

Region 2 - Mid-Atlantic South

4 participating teams determined as follows:


Nov. 16 - East Penn RU Champion - Widener University (Chester, PA)


Nov. 23 - MAS Qualifier #1 - Montclair State University (Montclair, NJ)

Mar. 1 - MAS Qualifier #2
Mount St. Mary's University vs. Lord Fairfax CC at LFCC in Middletown, VA


Mar. 15-16 - South Cup Qualifier
Hosted by the University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL.
4 teams. The Champions from the Dixie and Deep South Conferences, Florida and Georgia Unions.  
UWF Host Contact = Will Nield, wen1@students.uwf.edu


March 29-30 - Mid-Atlantic South Championship
Hosted by the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL
4 teams. Widener University, Montclair State University, MAS Qualifier #2 winner and South Cup winner.
UNF Host Contact = Alex Mross, 
alexjmross@gmail.com

Region 3 - Central

Complete and Champion is heading to Infinity Park.
St. John's University (Collegeville, MN) is the "repeat" Champion in this Region having won in 2012 in their first year of NSCRO competition. SJU went on to win  the 2013 National Championship and is looking to defend its title.

Region 4 - PacWest

4 participating teams determined as follows:
Pacific Northwest Union Champion is Gonzaga University (Spokane, AR)


Nov. 3 - Mid-America GU Champion - John Brown University 
(Siloam Springs, AR) 


Mar. 22-23 - Cowboy Cup Qualifier
Hosted by St. Edward's University, Austin, TX
4 teams. The top 2 finishers from the Eastern Rockies RFU and Lonestar Conference.
SEU Host Contact = Brannen Ellyson, brannenellyson@yahoo.com


Mar. 16 - Pacific Coast Cup Qualifier Play-In 
NorCal Conference #2 vs. Gold Coast Conference #2. Hosted by GC #2.


Mar. 23-24 - Pacific Coast Cup Qualifier
Hosted by California Maritime Academy, Vallejo, CA.  4 teams. Gonzaga University, PC Cup Qualifier Play-In winner, Champions from the NorCal and Gold Coast Conferences.
CMA Host Contact = Steve Hiatt, stevenhiatt@sbcglobal.net


April 5-6 - PacWest Championship
Hosted by Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA
4 teams. John Brown University, Cowboy Cup winner, and Pacific Coast Cup winner and runner-up.
Occidental Host Contact = Dallen Stanford, dallenstanford13@yahoo.com



For additional information, please visit www.nscro.org or contact Steve Cohen, NSCRO President (sdcohen4@mindspring.com)

Rugby Athletic to Distribute BLK

MINNETONKA, Minn.  – Rugby Athletic has announced it will start distributing the brand BLK (#BeyondLimitsKnown) starting immediately.

“After 12 years, we have decided that a new direction will be refreshing,” Rugby Athletic’s Chris Babiash said. “We started this business based on service and transparency and in order to continue that RA tradition, we will now be working to launch custom BLK apparel to all teams in North America.”

BLK operates with the attitude that nothing new ever comes from the known; that real innovation, real design and real improvements in performance come only from operating outside the boundaries of everything that’s gone before.

This philosophy was instilled in BLK from its early beginnings as KooGa Australia. Today, that philosophy is reflected in the ground-breaking training gear and performance apparel worn by over 4,500 teams around the world, including the NZ Kiwis, Connacht, Stade Toulouse, Sharks, Melbourne Rebels, QLD Reds, Western Force, Wellington Lions, Tasman Makos, Manu Samoa Rugby Union, Fiji Rugby Union and Canterbury Rugby Football.

“There’s a reason why so many of the top rugby teams are wearing BLK,” Babiash added. “They have the best product for the best prices and we can’t wait to introduce the apparel to our North American teams.”

BLK’s innovative approach to its apparel, in addition to its commitment to giving back to the game has really this partnership a no-brainer for both companies.

“We are very excited to have Rugby Athletic become our distributor in the USA. Our companies share the same values and it’s crucial to find a company in line with our goals,” said Tyron Brand, BLK CEO.

For more information on BLK, feel free to visit http://blksport.com/. If you wish to learn more about the products available to your team or club, please contact Rugby Athletic at sales@rugbyathletic.com or via phone at 952-542-1725.

For more information on Rugby Athletic, please visit http://www.rugbyathletic.com/ or email Sara at swright@rugbyathletic.com

#GameOn! The Pacific Rugby Premiership is here


The Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) Captains Launch (Credit: pacificrugbypremiership.com)
Following months of behind the scenes planning and preparations the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP) is set to kick off its much-anticipated inaugural season on February 1st.  To celebrate the launch of the competition, elite representatives and captains from each of the seven teams - OMBAC, Denver Barbarians, Belmont Shore, San Francisco Golden Gate, Glendale Raptors, Santa Monica, and Olympic Club - gathered in San Francisco for a photo shoot in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

In speaking about the photo shoot, league official Sion Williams couldn’t help but comment on how energized each of the players were to participate in the competition:  “There was a real buzz amongst the guys; they were excited to be playing their part in taking domestic club rugby to the next level.”

The PRP was started in order to allow top domestic clubs the opportunity to showcase and develop U.S. players.  With 43 games during the regular season U.S. players will be given more chances than ever before to test themselves against fellow elite teams:  “The launch of the PRP is a real statement as to the ambition of the clubs involved.  It's about raising the profile of US rugby on a national and international level, providing our players with top quality matches week in - week out,” explained Williams.

The season will start on February 1st and end in a title match on May 17th between the top two regular season teams.  All told, it will be the longest competitive playing season offered in America for premier teams.
 
Opening weekend is set to feature several anticipated match-ups with last year’s Elite Cup champions SFGG taking on Santa Monica, Denver traveling to Belmont Shore, and Glendale playing Olympic Club.
Visit www.pacificrugbypremiership.com for up to date news, fixtures, match previews and reports.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Rugby Athletic Partners with Max Rugby


MINNETONKA, Minn.  – Rugby Athletic has announced that it is an official partner of Max Rugby. Max Rugby was created by award-winning photographer Max Haynes and centers around the notion that rugby is the most beautiful sport in the world.

In addition to heavy cross-promotion between the two entities on Facebook, Max Rugby will also be accompanying Rugby Athletic to Las Vegas for the Las Vegas Invitational and USA Sevens event.

“We are very excited to have this official partnership with Max Rugby,” said Chris Babiash of Rugby Athletic. “We already have been working with him for a while and really admire his talent. It makes sense for us to join forces as we share similar values and a love of rugby. This partnership will definitely prove beneficial for both entities.”

Having just confirmed that it will be the official vendor for the Las Vegas Invitational, Rugby Athletic looks to have a strong presence at this year’s event in late January. In addition to the LVI, Rugby Athletic and Max Rugby will also be attending the “San Diego Rugby Party” held Friday night at The Ainsworth, the premier upscale sports lounge in the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, and will be hosting various promotions and contests throughout the weekend.

“Max Rugby is energized by the announcement of this partnership,” Haynes said. “This will expand opportunities for both companies and I am looking forward to working with some of the best professionals in the business.”

For more information on Max Rugby, please visit www.maxrugby.us or follow Max Rugby and view photos at www.facebook.com/maxrugby.us.

If you wish for Rugby Athletic to consider partnering with your company, please contact Chris at cbabiash@rugbyathletic.com or via phone at612.590.0065.

For more information on Rugby Athletic, please visit http://www.rugbyathletic.com/ or email Sara at swright@rugbyathletic.com

Georgia RU Division 3 Spring Schedule


Here is the 2014 Georgia Rugby Union Spring Schedule (thanks to Greg Neate of Hilton Head RFC for sharing it).
Date Home Team Away Team
02/08/2014 Renegades B High County
Athens North Atlanta
Savannah Hilton Head
02/15/2014 Black Out Date - IRB Atlanta 7s
02/22/2014 Hilton Head Renegades B
High County Athens
North Atlanta Savannah
03/01/2014 Athens Renegades B
Savannah High County
North Atlanta Hilton Head
03/08/2014 Savannah St. Pat's Tournament
03/15/2014 Hilton Head Athens
Renegades B Savannah
High County North Atlanta
03/22/2014 Savannah Athens
North Atlanta Renegades B
High County Hilton Head
03/29/2014 Black Out Date - USA Eagles vs Uruguay
04/05/2014 Make-up Games
04/12/2014 Championship Game
Seed #1 Seed #2
04/19/2014 Easter Weekend
04/26/2014 OPEN
05/03/2014 Southern Conference Final 4
05/17/2014 National Championship East Final 4
05/31/2014 National Championship

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