Head Coach Gary Gold and Men's Eagles attend Florida High School rugby match
Gary Gold and his Men’s Eagles team practiced in Fort Lauderdale, FL before journeying to South America for the Americas Rugby Championship tournament. On Saturday, Jan 26, Head Coach Gary Gold, Team Manager Chris Hanson, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Huw Bevan, flyhalf A.J. MacGinty, and Marcel Brache (serving as Eagles Captain with Blaine Scully out with injury) traveled to Sharks Field in Jupiter, FL to watch a high school match between the Jupiter Sharks and the Boca Raton Junior Buccaneers.
Before kick-off, Gold addressed the players, coaches and the parents with words of encouragement for youth rugby in the USA. MacGinty and Brache chatted with the reserve players on the sideline during the match, which left quite an impression on the young ruggers.
When asked what could be done to improve youth rugby in the USA, Gold’s first response was that youth rugby leagues should be playing touch rugby, not tackle, until the players are teenagers. He said that young USA ruggers needed more work on the fundamentals of passing, pass catching, use of space and teamwork. Gold said he had no worries about American tackling as that seems to come naturally.
Currently, in the Florida Youth Rugby Union, the boys teams start tackle rugby at the under 9 ages and that continues through all age groups. As a result of Coach Gold’s remarks, the union will be considering a possible change to the International FIT Touch Rugby rules for their under 9 through under 13 teams for the 2020 season.
Head Coach Gary Gold and the Eagles were great ambassadors for USA Rugby and their visit and advice will be remembered a long time by the Sharks and the Buccaneers.