First introduced to rugby at an activities fair on the University of Virginia campus, Jamie Burke has taken the pitch as a member of the D.C. Furies, Berkeley All Blues, Beantown RFC, Raleigh Venom and Glendale Raptors. After earning her first cap in 2004, she continued to be a well-known face on the Eagles for a decade. Learn more about Jamie in her interview with USA Rugby Trust.
USA Rugby Trust: When and where did you play rugby?
Jamie Burke: I started playing rugby in college at the University of Virginia. Played there from 1998-2003. After graduating, I went on to play for the DC Furies from 2003-2005; Berkeley All-Blues from 2006-2008; Beantown from 2008-2011; Raleigh Venom 2011-2012; Glendale Raptors 2013-2014. I retired from playing after the 2014 World Cup and now stay engaged with the game coaching Glendale and refereeing.
USART: When did you play/participate with the Eagles?
JB: I got my first cap in 2004 against New Zealand at Churchill Cup in Canada. I then continued to play for the next decade, playing in 51 matches and 3 World Cups.
USART: What is your favorite rugby memory?
JB: There are honestly way too many to name! Most of my favorites are in the small moments shared with my teammates on tours from ridiculous skits to card games to touring other countries. The community that rugby builds is what I fell in love with and so it also holds those most precious memories!
USART: Where are you now?
JB: I am living in Denver, CO, working for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado and coaching the Glendale Raptors. I retired from the Eagles after the 2014 World Cup so I could spend more time with my family (and start a family). Now I am a proud mom to a fiery future prop daughter!
USART: What do you believe is the most important factor in growing the sport of rugby in the US?
JB: Developing youth rugby really is going to be the biggest step in growing rugby in the US both from a numbers perspective and a skill perspective. Having kids starting to develop the skills early on will lead to longer term participation. In addition, making rugby the complete family experience.