Eagle Alumni Network Spotlight: Brian Barnard

First taking the pitch in 2001 at California Polytechnic State in San Luis Obispo, Brian Barnard fell in love with rugby and continues to play today as a member of the Classic Eagles. Learn more about his rugby journey.

USA Rugby Trust:When and where did you play rugby?
Brian Barnard: I started playing in 2001 as a junior in college at Cal Poly SLO and from there I played for the All-Americans, in New Zealand, San Francisco Golden Gate, Frankfurt, Germany, Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Olympic Club and Classic Eagles. Also did North America 4 (NA4) and played for multiple territory all-star teams.

USART: When did you play with the Eagles?
BB: I played with XVs primarily in 2006 and in the lead up to the 2007 World Cup. With Sevens, I was in the pool off and on until 2011.

USART: What is your favorite rugby memory?
BB: Getting selected for the Eagles is up there, but on the field I’d say it has to be the huge second-half comeback win against Air Force in the Final Four.

USART: Where are you now?
BB: I live in San Francisco with my wife Sara and work in tech sales.

USART: What do you believe is the most important factor in growing the sport of rugby in the US?
BB: Obviously grassroots is critical because more people playing sooner will yield dividends. We have some really great educators developing successful youth/age-grade leagues and academies. That said, I’d say that we need to improve the high performance/professional path domestically. The latter has proven time and again to be extremely challenging, but I think we are close and I like [USA Rugby CEO] Dan Payne as a leader.