USA Rugby Executive Committee – What is it?

Last month, USA Rugby officially opened nominations and applications for the soon to be formed Executive Committee or “EXCO”. This committee will comprise of appointed representatives from the USA Rugby Board of Director, Congress and National Office to correspond regularly and streamline communication between each entity. The committee is designed around proper representation of the rugby public and its constituents, particularly in the youth, High School, Collegiate, Club and International athlete communities. Given challenges that regularly exist in communication between larger groups, these appointed officials will look to properly communicate on behalf each segment in a focused and more efficient fashion. Outside representatives of each body however are welcome to submit application for inclusion on the committee. The USA Rugby CEO will interview and select the members of the EXCO, which require Board of Directors approval.

Interested parties can either nominate an individual or apply themselves. 

USA Rugby EXCO Requirements

• Must be currently active in a division of USA Rugby membership, i.e. Youth, High School, College, Club, High Performance, Administrative and Congress. 
• Must be available for quarterly meetings.
• Must meet the requirements to collect and disseminate information, bilaterally.
• Please submit your nominations by February 15, 2019.

To apply for the USA Rugby Executive Committee, please visit here.

Restructuring of Rugby International Marketing (RIM) announced as USA Rugby Partners

  • As part of overall restructure, commercial operations of Rugby International Marketing (RIM) have been reintegrated with the national office, now recognized as USA Rugby Partners, LLC.
  • Mark Griffin officially appointed as Commercial Director, reporting directly to USA Rugby CEO, realigning partnership activities with the union.
  • Direction of USA Rugby Partners to focus on developing partnerships with influential specialists and brands across priority categories to optimize opportunities across sponsorships, broadcast and events.

LAFAYETTE, CO – USA Rugby announced today the reviewed restructure of its commercial strategy with Rugby International Marketing (RIM) becoming reintegrated into the national office and renamed USA Rugby Partners, LLC. After careful evaluation of how USA Rugby can best be supported by commercial efforts, bringing the department and Commercial Director directly under the NGB leadership tree allows for partnership support to be better suited with needs of the organization. Commercial Director, Mark Griffin, will report directly to the USA Rugby CEO.

“It has been a long process, but a necessary one as we took careful review of how commercial partnerships can truly best support the game,” noted Young, “The first step was to firmly centralize operations with the organization, which we are very confident in as Mark Griffin joins leadership at the national office. Consistent communication and a first-hand understanding for organizational needs will prove critical in leveraging the benefit of our corporate relationships.”

Centralization of operations involved an intensive workout process, alongside the prioritization of existing partner relationships and the creation of new processes to provide a foundation for the commercial department to rebuild. Going forward, focus aims toward rebuilding the commercial team to enrich the current partner experience and effectively welcoming in new prospects to our USA Rugby family. In developing current and future relationships, USA Rugby Partners has put a priority on ensuring a broader benefit to the union and more importantly, its members.

“I am very excited this year to have transitioned full-time into leading USA Rugby’s refreshed commercial efforts. Now as a fully integrated priority of our go-forward strategy, we truly have the opportunity to ignite opportunities that can not only grow the game in the immediate term but can be game-changers, over the long term. To do this, our focus will be on designing and delivering unique experiences with our partners to benefit our major stakeholder groups.”

With the new strategy, commercial income will become more global as the organization looks to drive revenue by building the brand equity of American rugby. Therefore, prioritizing partnership deliverables toward foundation building and enriching experiences across broadcast, events and sponsorship. In return creating more impact within the sporting community.

Young concluded, “We’re incredibly confident in our bearing here, and very much want to express our appreciation to those who have contributed to the reintegration. The support and patience of the rugby community has been outstanding, of which we are grateful. In particular Mark Lambourne for driving the restructuring process and Pam Kosanke for filling the RIM leadership void as interim CEO during the same period.”

For those with a passion and proven experience in sports-related marketing, sponsorship or business development, you may apply to USA Rugby’s open commercial roles here.

USA Touch partners with USA Rugby

  • USA Rugby adds “Touch” membership category through partnership with USA Touch Rugby
  • Partnership supports strong touch game with new services and opportunities.
  • In the interest of broadened inclusivity, Touch Rugby offers more accessible game play to new rugby athletes.

USA Rugby and USA Touch Rugby today announced a strategic partnership between the two organizations that will see both organizations increase the opportunity for non-contact rugby across the United States. As a new category within USA Rugby membership, the form of the game commonly referred to as “touch” will now be a full supported and covered membership category under the union’s structure. USA Touch has been a successful organization fielding developmental and high performance teams at events like the Touch Nationals and the Federation of International Touch World Cup.

“This enhanced partnership with USA Rugby vastly improves the opportunities we have to improve the participation and awareness of the sport of Rugby,” noted USA Touch President, OJ Hawea, “We are excited to utilize the expertise of USA Rugby to manage the business side of the game as it allows us to focus more on building the game. This partnership highlights the work that has been done by both organizations to offer more to the public by way of participation and I can’t wait to see where the next couple of years takes us”

As measure of the agreement, current USA Touch Rugby members will join the USA Rugby membership, receiving full value of USA Rugby membership registration, insurance coverage and benefits. Additionally, the USA Touch Rugby national teams will partner with the USA Rugby High Performance department for sharing and advancement of both organizations. This linkage is key timing with the 2019 Touch World Cup in Malaysia happening in April. USA Rugby Clubs will additionally have a new opportunity for domestic competition, with the Touch Nationals happening each year.

“This is a fantastic partnership for the sport as a whole here in the United States,” said USA Rugby Interim CEO, Ross Young, “Touch rugby provides a perfectly accessible non-contact form of the game to eager new rugby players and broadens the inclusivity of USA Rugby. Fittingly in-line with World Rugby and USA Rugby’s plans for retention and offering more opportunity in our sport.”

The new membership opportunity opens this weekend with the announcement of the partnership at the 2019 National Development Summit. Existing registered members of USA Rugby in a contact rugby program can register for a touch membership for only $15. New touch members registering for their Touch Membership will pay $35 to affiliate with a touch program.
For more information on the game of touch or how to get a program built in your area, contact OJ Hawea at or Kurt Weaver at Also visit USA Touch Rugby’s website at

About USA Touch Rugby
USA Touch is the official provider of Touch through the Federation of International Touch in the United States. What is touch? Touch is a minimal contact sport played on a pitch area of 50m x 70m. The game emphasizes running, agility, passing, catching and communication. Touch is often referred to as Touch Rugby, but there is NO tackling, lineouts, scrumming or kicking involved. This makes it appealing to a wide range of ages and abilities, from juniors to masters and from slight to heavy builds. Touch is one of the few team sports where men and women compete on teams together not only socially but at an international level.

USA Rugby 2018: Year in Review

From the CEO:


As an eventful 2018 comes to a close, I can confidently look back on the year and appreciate what a meaningful stretch it has been. Through what has evidently been a challenging year, some incredible highs float to the surface and provide notable benchmarks we all can celebrate. Through it all, I want to thank each and every member, athlete, coach, referee, administrator and fan for their unwavering dedication to the sport of rugby. The very core of what we strive to support and build upon was rightfully displayed on a number of stages this year, where looking back on it all, is an absolute honor. On behalf of USA Rugby, I want to wish everyone a very happy holiday season and look forward to a momentous 2019.

Ross Young
Interim CEO, USA Rugby

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Oh what a year it has been.

Love, victory, movement, parody, trust, debate. All one-word terms that loosely encompass 2018 in American rugby. While structures, faces, rankings and direction have all seen change since this time last year, one constant still remains and that is the game of rugby was played.

The USA Rugby Men’s and Women’s National Teams set new benchmarks throughout the year, not only in results, but in the sporting landscape. The Men’s Eagles finish the year at No. 12 in the World Rugby rankings thanks to an unbeaten streak through the Americas Rugby Championship and a pair of notable wins over Scotland and Samoa.

The Women’s Eagles made their anticipated return, not only on home soil, but in front of an American crowd like any the program has seen before. With a new full-time duo of GM Emilie Bydwell and Head Coach Rob Cain in the driver’s seat, the No. 5 ranked squad is situated with a foundation to target a New Zealand 2021 podium.

The Women’s Eagles Sevens notably made waves in 2018 after completing their first ever HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series with a pair of medals; earning silver in Dubai and bronze in Langford. While still in the calendar year, the 2019 season kicked off strong under new Head Coach Chris Brown with another silver at Glendale, officially welcoming the women’s sevens circuit back to the United States.

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Las Vegas is still on high after the Men’s Eagles Sevens shook the rugby world with their first ever gold medal win at home. Setting up an electric energy in San Francisco mid-summer, Mike Friday’s squad left a lasting impression on American sports fans that was poetically documented through the groundbreaking series, The Pioneers.

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The future remains bright for each program as 2018 saw over 20 assemblies of the USA Rugby High Performance development teams, from High School All-Americans to Falcons and Selects. The Boys High School All-American Sevens ventured to Buenos Aires placing 5th in the Youth Olympic Games while the Men’s Collegiate All-American Sevens laid a stamp on global opposition with a 3rd place finish at RugbyTown 7s. Despite loses to Canada and England in the Tri-Nations Cup, the Women’s Junior All-American assembly proved to be dynamic as four athletes from the squad would go on to earn caps with the Women’s Eagles in November.

Off the field, the launch of the C.A.R.E Program and Project SOAR begin to further support the extended success of each USA Eagle and cement the indelible impact left by departing High Performance General Manager, Alex Magleby. After the new year, Magleby will move on from his role with USA Rugby, but keep with the game as CEO of the New England Free Jacks of Major League Rugby.

Individual athletes made headlines this year with Perry Baker collecting his second consecutive World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year honor and Carlin Isles finishing atop the series try scoring charts. Olympians Ryan Carlyle and Zack Test announced their official retirement after memorable careers and to the pleasure of fans alike, ensured their continued involvement in rugby.

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With Rugby World Cups and Olympic Games on the visible horizon, the upward trajectory of each national team remains encouraging for fans and the organization.

In support of those teams, USA Rugby fundraising efforts again broke the $1M barrier for the 4th straight year. With the help of the newly assembled Eagles XV Club, new contributions have been established to fund the Men’s and Women’s fifteens side to the effect and magnitude of the Golden Eagles supporter group. The included addition of a Supporter option within USA Rugby membership and increased donations from the community helped carry the total funds over the expected seven-figure goal line.

The successes at the top level remain part of community rugby as 2018 Club and College D1 competitions again overlapped with the international teams and saw noteworthy finishes each championship season. In the women’s club world, the San Diego Surfers owned the top spot with titles in 7s and 15s. Having won the Club 7s National Championship in New York and Women’s Premier League (WPL) title in Georgia, the Surfers became only the second team ever to win both tournaments in the same year. No easy task, particularly in sevens, as competition reform reduced the number of qualifiers in 2018, providing one of the more competitive Club 7s seasons to date. The WPL celebrated 10 seasons this Fall while also re-introducing promotion/relegation to the league, bringing Life West onto the roster of teams for 2019.

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In the D1 collegiate bracket, it was the year of Lindenwood. Having claimed National Championships in Women’s 7s and 15s, along with a title in Men’s 7s and a 15s D1A semifinal appearance – there was no stopping the Midwest rugby powerhouse. The women of Dartmouth won their first NIRA title, dethroning three-year champion Quinnipiac while Vassar won their first Fall College Championship more recently in North Carolina. The five-year streak of Life vs Saint Mary’s came to an end in D1A as Life defeated Cal in the May National Championship, furthering the notion that parity and quality competition is continuing to grow in the largest competitive demographic within USA Rugby. The National Small College 15s Cup Champions Iowa Central Community College had an amazing showing winning their first title. While NSCRO Challenge Cup winners MiraCosta College rounded out the mens 15s brackets. On the women’s side, NSCRO Womens 15s Champions Wayne State continued to dominate the table taking home the title. NSCRO 7s winners Claremont College men were crowned national champions, and Wayne State continued their winning ways with the women taking home the national 7s title once again.

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Domestic rugby again made international headlines in 2018 with the Gotham Knights finishing runner up at the 2018 Bingham Cup held in Amsterdam and the announcement of the Golden Oldies landing in Denver come summer 2020.

Continuing the notion of big rugby stages, it was an action-packed year of domestic events ranging from community competition to a first ever Rugby World Cup on American soil. The year was understandably headlined by the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 hosted in San Francisco from July 20-22. The historic event set a handful of US records from attendance (100,000+) to viewership as the Saturday and Sunday broadcasts on NBC earned two of the networks top three rugby broadcasts on record. A total of 8.7 mil
lion unique viewers tuned in throughout the span of the tournament.

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While Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 did not result in a cash positive venture for the union, the investment made into the commercial viability of rugby was sizable enough to reflect in positivity. Thanks to the efforts of the tournament legacy program, Impact Beyond, the three-day parade donated approximately $200,000 to Bay Area youth rugby programs and engaged over 22,000 kids across 85 schools. In the eyes of our sport’s future, the Rugby World Cup Sevens beacons as a meaningful inspiration.

The Americas Rugby Championship returned to the United States for a 3-game set with two landing in the Los Angeles area. In partnership with AEG Rugby, the soon to be home of the 2028 Summer Olympics was re-engaged with the spirit of international competition after the Men’s Eagles pulled off a last second victory over Argentina XV. The HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series returned to the US after a year hiatus, fittingly landing in RugbyTown at Infinity Park of Glendale, CO. With impressive attendance and the Women’s Sevens earning a silver medal in front of a home crowd, the opening round of the series established a strong foundation for the event to grow upon in years to come.

The Rugby Weekend brought its 2018 edition back to Chicago in the form of a “Triple Header” with The Legacy Agency again partnering with USA Rugby to bring the fall spectacle to life. The Men’s and Women’s Eagles faced off with the Māori All Blacks and New Zealand Black Ferns respectively, bookending a match between Ireland and Italy. Again hosted at Soldier Field, the three-game set was a first of its kind and provided an extensive day of elite international rugby on both the men’s and women’s side.

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The Emirates Airline Summer Series landed in Houston and Denver this past June. Notably the Men’s Eagles upset No. 6 Scotland in the humid Texas air, additionally the USA vs Russia match in Denver was paired with a Friday night lead in game between the Glendale Raptors and Houston SaberCats at Infinity Park. With the emergence of MLR, USA Rugby will continue to partner with the league and strive to coordinate national team matches with the growing rugby markets.

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The USA Rugby National Championship Series continues to grow with an estimated 16% growth in attendance across the fall and spring championships. Continued end-to-end coverage of the USA Rugby Club and Collegiate Championships brought each match to viewers digital devices following the new partnership with FloRugby.

FloRugby took a massive leap into the USA Rugby space in May after acquiring The Rugby Channel from Rugby International Marketing. With extensive coverage across domestic and international competition, the programing on FloRugby increased by 51 live events and over 200 matches. Aside from live programing, FloRugby continued their content support with USA Rugby through on-and-off the pitch features including player profiles with the likes of Mike Te’o, Kelsi Stockert and Cam Dolan.

Linear coverage kept its mark on rugby throughout the year with CBS Sports expanding its D1A coverage to both the semifinals and championship, as well as ESPN promoting the Men’s Sevens final in Las Vegas to ESPN2. Much has of course been recognized around NBC and NBC Sports coverage of the Rugby World Cup Sevens.

The digital presence of USA Rugby hit an all-time high across, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The “Big Three” social media platforms saw over 80 million impressions and 1.4 million engagements. The 24% increase in engagement from 2017 shows that rugby fans are not only seeing content on a daily basis, but more importantly, interacting with it. As social media continues to be the most accessible and interactive touch-point with USA Rugby fans, the focus on bringing each follower more personably into the storyline will become a focus in 2019.

Each achievement above understandably deserves its spotlight, but the foundation of those benchmarks continues to be a grassroots institution of growth that, in its own right, had a remarkable year. Training and Education within USA Rugby saw incredible growth as more referee courses were delivered than any year prior. Encouragement from around the community drove this progress to not only build up the population of officials, but also to educate developing athletes on the rules and flow of the game. Prior to the start of 2018, the USA Rugby Training and Education department set a goal to substantially increase the number of women certified as coaches and referees, far exceeding the target. With the goal of supporting more women in leadership roles, the progress has set a new standard for rugby development.

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Additional courses were made available to the public, including Introduction to Technical Zone and Citing. Furthermore, an intro to USA Rugby Education was developed to both give insight into the union’s academic strategy and offer first steps toward becoming a World Rugby educator. To ensure a broad audience has the opportunity to access each course, all are now offered in Spanish.

Youth and Rookie Rugby welcomed four new Regional Development Officers (RDO) bringing the total to seven and coast-to-coast representation. 2018 ends with a record number of High School varsity rugby programs across the country, tallying 59 registered with USA Rugby. The dual benefit to this particular growth see’s rugby more recognized as a standard scholastic sport as well as school funding coming into play for those athletes.

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In reflection of it all, we can take a look back on what was a very transitional year in American rugby. CEO Dan Payne moved from the offices in Lafayette to a leadership position with Rugby Americas, continuing his influence on the organization from a new perspective and leading future development with North and South America as a whole. Ross Young was welcomed in as interim CEO following Payne’s departure and has led the organization into what will be a pivotal stage in the sport’s history. New members were additionally welcomed to the Board of Directors as Julie Lau, Jim Brown, Paul Santinelli and Agustín Pichot joined the leadership group. The ultimate goal going into the new year for Young and USA Rugby will be to reintegrate the commercial operation of the union and reevaluate a purposeful direction to follow a robust strategic plan.

Understandably, meaningful change never happens overnight, or even in the span of a year. However, when a 10,000-foot view is taken, there can always be some positive demonstrations of progress visible in front of us.

Only days remain on the 2018 calendar and as ruggers from each corner of the nation begin to settle into the holiday season, USA Rugby again forwards a sincere thank you for the past year and fixates its eyes on a fundamental future.

Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 generates positive impact for San Francisco Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Custom research commissioned for Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 and conducted by Nielsen Sports has found that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 generated both a positive economic and community impact on the San Francisco Bay Area.
USA Rugby and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 event organizers brought in Nielsen Sports to analyze spending associated with the three-day in-stadium event, as well as to explore visitor and resident attitudes toward the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018, and interest in hosting future major rugby events. The latter was studied to help serve the event’s host city in its efforts to attract future marquee events to the region.
The first Rugby World Cup on American soil, Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 saw 101,000 attendees come through the gates at AT&T Park over the course of three-day event, held July 20-22. Nielsen surveyed a representative sample of attendees and found that 91% believed the event enriched the region, 70% said the experience exceeded expectations, and 94% would likely attend similar sporting events held in the region.
USA Rugby Interim CEO Ross Young said, “The response we saw from the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 has really set a new standard in terms of the public interest and excitement about rugby, as well as the financial influence the growing sport of rugby can have in America.”
To determine the financial impact, Nielsen extrapolated spending by the event organizers, event visitors and associated event media value.
Organizer Spend: Collective spend by the event organizer and suppliers within the host economy, from accommodation to marketing to sponsor activation.
Visitor Spend: Collective spending by local, U.S. non-local and international spectators in the local area – in particular, transportation and accommodation. Sixty percent of event attendees were non-local and traveled to Northern California for the tournament. Of this number, 97% said they came to the region specifically for the Rugby World Cup Sevens.
Media Value: Visual and verbal mentions attributed to the host city during television broadcasts, which was tallied at more than 30 million viewers. With the entirety of the tournament broadcast across NBC and NBC Sports Network, a significantly increased value can be placed on Bay Area branded exposure, providing a high frequency of global eyes on San Francisco.
“Our syndicated global research shows strong growth in rugby fandom worldwide and the custom research conducted around Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 indicates the impact that this event had in the U.S. not just locally but nationwide,” said Jon Stainer, Managing Director, Nielsen Sports Americas.
In addition, event organizers focused on creating an impact beyond the stadium walls. Impact Beyond, the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 legacy program, was developed to benefit from the philanthropic efforts of the event. Northern California youth rugby organizations received approximately in funds raised and engaged 85 Bay Area school and more than 22,000 kids with the sport of rugby.
“We’re incredibly proud that Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 made a resounding impact beyond the stadium walls,” said Rosie Spaulding, General Manager for the event. “We believed that Rugby World Cup Sevens could not only deliver significant economic impact to the San Francisco Bay Area, but also impact the future of the sport of rugby in the United States and leave a real legacy in our local communities.”
Based on the research from Nielsen Sports, USA Rugby and event organizers believe the United States now has the opportunity to establish itself as a market for ready future rugby events of this magnitude, not only with in the World Rugby space, but also domestically as the American sports market continues to embrace rugby as both participants and spectators.

Premiership Rugby to welcome 50 US coaches to UK through professional development program

  • Two groups of 25 domestic rugby coaches will be selected to participate in professional development program through Premiership Rugby and Friends of the British Council.
  • Scholarship winners will gain first-hand experience on coaching professional rugby in the UK, while also taking part in a series of high-level rugby and knowledge transfer sessions
  • Applications will be accepted through Dec. 16 for the March 2019 trip

50 American rugby coaches will soon have the chance to travel to England in 2019 on Premiership Rugby Scholarships as part of an initiative between USA Rugby and Premiership Rugby, supporting the development domestic coaching. This initiative is designed to progress the game in the US by empowering coaches through immersive professional development experiences in the UK.

Selected coaches will travel to England in two groups with applications for the first 25 – those who will participate in March 2019 – now open.

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The Premiership Rugby coach scholarship program was designed in response to direct feedback from the rugby community after Premiership Rugby visited a number of US cities throughout 2016 and 2017, delivering free coach workshops and player clinics. In March of 2018, a first group of 14 coaches and 16 players from the United States visited London for a week of total immersion inside Premiership Rugby.

“Based on a review of the pilot group to England, we felt the largest impact we could have on the US rugby community would be to assist in coach development and ongoing support, creating a longer lasting legacy,” said Wayne Morris, CSR and Community Director at Premiership Rugby.

The Premiership Rugby Scholarship winners will gain first-hand experience on coaching professional rugby in the UK, while also taking part in a series of high-level rugby and knowledge transfer sessions. During the week in England, coaches will take part in a Level 300 coaching training course, which will be co-delivered by Premiership Rugby and USA Rugby. Participants will take part in tailored coaching sessions on the pitch covering coaching fundamentals but will also cover topics like nutrition, strength and conditioning, video analysis, and mental growth mindset.

“We are excited to work with Premiership Rugby in continuing to elevate the standard of our coaches’ skillsets and knowledge of the game,” said interim CEO of USA Rugby, Ross Young. “Seeing the expansion of this program after input from the rugby community is very encouraging and I’m eager for those selected to enjoy the experience.”

Coaches will also learn about and engage with Premiership Rugby’s award-winning community programs that use rugby as a tool for social change, covering all methodologies used in these life changing initiatives. Coaches will gain insight into various ways Premiership Rugby clubs are engaging their players, fans and communities to instill the core values of rugby.

“This is a great opportunity for those selected and we look forward to seeing what they can bring back to their local communities,” continued Young.

Coaches will have two opportunities in 2019 to take part in this professional employability program, with trips planned for spring and fall. The first group will visit London, staying at the impressive Bisham Abbey – home to Sport England. In addition to their training course participants will also have the opportunity to:

• Visit Premiership Rugby clubs Saracens, Harlequins and London Irish
• Attend a Gallagher Premiership Rugby fixture
• Visit Twickenham Stadium, home of England Rugby
• Explore Rugby School, where the game was invented in 1823
• Guest appearance on BT Sport’s Rugby Tonight show
• Welcome reception at Westminster Abbey at House of Commons
• Historical tour of London

This short-term intensive program will be accompanied by long-term mentorship through an online coach education platform, with all participants in the Premiership Rugby Scholarship program having access to this ongoing resource.

“The majority of coaches in the US get paid very little to nothing, so regardless of financial means we wanted to provide this experience to everyone involved in our rugby community. We are extremely grateful to various partners that have already contributed to this scheme, ensuring this enrichment opportunity is available” added Dallen Stanford, Director of Sports Partnerships for Friends of the British Council.

This initiative is funded primarily by Friends of the British Council, through the generosity of individual donors, foundations, corporations, clubs and organizations, who recognize the value of international exchange and networks for professional development.

To apply for the opportunity, submit a video application by December 16, 2018 to be considered for selection by Premiership Rugby.

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How to Win:

• Film and upload a video submission to YouTube or Vimeo
• Videos can be filmed on any device but must not exceed 90 seconds
• Visit the Premiership Rugby Scholarship Website to complete the entry form
• Share your entry via woobox on social media using hashtag #PremRugbyScholarships

What should the video submission include?

• Candidate’s full name
• Rugby team coaches and organization affiliations
• Background and experience in the sport of rugby
• How you coach or demonstrate the value of Rugby Union (Teamwork, Respect, Enjoyment, Discipline and Sportsmanship)
• How attendance in the scholarship program will benefit you
• The program is open to all female and male Level 100, 200 and 300 USA Rugby certified coaches that reside in the US and who are 18 years of age and above on 1 September 2018. Coaches will need to have their Level 200 certification completed before traveling in 2019

USA Rugby Board Meeting Review: October 2018

  • Leadership group met for fourth quarter meeting in conjunction with representation at HSBC USA Women’s Sevens in Colorado. 
  • New members Julie Lau and Jim Brown attended for their first gathering; discussion topics included RWC7s, the USAR Partners Board and continued governance review. 
  • Transitional member, Paul Santinelli, nominated for Vice-Chair of board. 

LAFAYETTE, CO – USA Rugby’s Board of Directors have concluded their fourth quarter meeting at National headquarters in Colorado. Board Chair Barbara O’Brien and Interim CEO Ross Young led the meeting.

O’Brien began with the introduction of newest directors on the board, Julie Lau and Jim Brown. Lau is a managing director with KPMG and Brown is a principal with JBC International. “It was good to meet the rest of the board and really engage in the work today.” explained Lau. “I am still learning about the organization, but already see places I can dig in and contribute to support USA Rugby’s membership and mission.”
Interim CEO Ross Young presented a brief update from the operations of the national office, national teams and development programs; highlighting key items around advancements on data collection and analytics to better understand and support the game in the Unites States. Chief Financial Officer Eric Gleason followed with review of financials around USA Rugby and Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018 in San Francisco.

Also in attendance and presenting her final report to the board was RWC7’s General Manager Rosie Spaulding. Her report included the detail of feedback surveys from teams and attendees, financials, ticketing and commercial successes. Spaulding’s work to finalize and codify the processes and event learnings in to a usable document provides USA Rugby with a strong economic impact report to help prove the commercial viability of the game domestically.

Visiting the meeting as a guest was the chair of the new USA Rugby Partners board, Jon Bobbett. Jon discussed the restructure of Rugby International Marketing in to the new USA Rugby Partners. The organization has undergone recent change to better fit the needs of the national governing body’s commercial interested, focused on direct integration in to the national office and board of directors. Commercial Director Mark Griffin was also in attendance to update the board on current and potential commercial partners.

The afternoon topics of the meeting centered around updates on the strategic planning process and a review of the governance structures of USA Rugby. CFO Eric Gleason updated the board on its working group focused on reviewing all levels of governance, bylaws and committees. The board asked for additional participants to be added to the working group to ensure all demographic voices would be represented.

Finally, the board aligned each current member with existing seats and terms, nominating Paul Santinelli as the Vice-Chair of the board; pending ratification from USA Rugby Congress.

Ross Young was hopeful after the meeting: “Barbara and the board are really focused on the basics at this point. They are holding myself and the national organization accountable and helping us to set a strong vision for our work. We’re leaving this meeting with plenty of notes and action items, not least formalizing our operations plans and deliverables through to the end of 2019.”

For more information about the USA Rugby Board of Directors or to view complete minutes of previous meetings, visit the Board of Directors page on

USA Rugby and Wear Your Roots team up to inspire and support grassroots rugby

  • USA Rugby and Wear Your Roots look to support community rugby through new collection of apparel.
  • A portion of all sales will support USA Rugby development programs, coast to coast.
  • Fans are encouraged to share their rugby story through #WearYourRoots for the chance to win free apparel and have their story shared on USA Rugby social media.

At one point in each rugby life, the game is introduced to us in a special way. Whether that be through a school, local club, friend or family member – the roots of rugby run deep throughout the United States. In an effort to inspire and support those grassroots foundations, USA Rugby and Wear Your Roots are excited to announce an all new collection of apparel available now. Through each item purchased, a portion of revenue will be donated directly to USA Rugby development programs.

In addition to supporting the bedrock of the sport, USA Rugby is looking to share individual stories on how current players, coaches, referees and administrators first found the game through the hashtag #WearYourRoots.

Fans are encouraged to share their own photos and stories on where their rugby roots lie, while including #WearYourRoots for a chance to win free WYR gear. USA Rugby will also share some inspiring stories that come through the hashtag.

“Plain and simple, this is exciting,” said USA Rugby Chief Development Officer, Chris Reed, “A nationwide campaign and additional support system for the growth of the game is something to easily get behind. The idea of celebrating where rugby stems from in each of us is inspiring.”

As part of the campaign, several Men’s and Women’s Eagles were asked to share their rugby roots. From high schools to national championship winning clubs, each player gave recognition to the programs and people who helped them reach the top and compete on behalf of their country.

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Men’s Seven and Wear Your Roots ambassador, Martin Iosefo, shared his beginnings and the significance of the apparel, “I think it’s important for everyone to represent your roots because it’s who you really are, it’s authentic.”

“My roots are from all over the place, I was born in Hawaii but mostly raised in Samoa. That’s where my roots are from and I carry that very close to my heart.”

“Wear Your Roots is so excited to work with USA Rugby on this campaign,” said WYR Owner, Brandon Slocum, “As a company, we are always looking for ways to give back and when the opportunity to help develop the game we love came up, we simply could not say no.

“We would like to thank all the people who have helped us get to the point where we were able to partner with such a great organization.”

Fans and supporters can visit now to view and purchase the apparel.

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USA Rugby Congress Meets in Denver; Ratify two new board members

  •  Congress meets for second time in 2018, discusses RWC7s, RIM and new board of directors nominees
  • Two new membership tiers approved for non-contact and community partner rugby.
  • Julie Lau and Jim Brown seated to USA Rugby Board of Directors after congress ratification

DENVER, CO – Meeting for the second time in 2018, USA Rugby Congress convened in Denver, Colorado to review current events and discussions within the rugby community. By close of the weekend, Board nominees Jim Brown and Julie Lau were ratified by majority vote and seated on the USA Rugby Board of Directors.

Presentations began with a closed Congress session on Friday with discussions on the SRI report, the consulting partner responsible for reviewing governance structures within USA Rugby, and their to-date review led through representative Ron Watson. Priorities included reviewing the nomination process and identifying needed expertise within the Board of Directors. There was then an interactive workshop session on the roles and responsibilities, competencies of Congress.

Given the transitional phase of the union, bylaws have become a focus in recent weeks as the possibility of amendments are on the table along with structure and terms of reference of committees.

Moving into Saturday, primary topics of discussion unfolded to be reflection of the Rugby World Cup Sevens in San Francisco, updates on RIM and the financial status of the organization along with an activity report from the National Office.

Interim CEO Ross Young and Interim Chair Barbara O’Brien started the day with a state of the union address, presenting congress with updates on general matters, front office reorganizations and review of the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2018. Newly appointed USA Rugby CFO, Eric Gleason, made his first appearance with the union providing an update on the current finances of USA Rugby, new policies and procedures, and the establishment to better the long-term health of the organization. Jon Bobbett, current Chair of RIM also provided by video conference an update on the fiscal state of the organization and the progress to re-integrate the commercial activities back within the full oversight of USA Rugby.

After discussion and examination, Congress ratified two new tiers of membership. The Adult Non-Contact Membership Tier was approved as an option for those participants playing touch or flag rugby as adults. A Community Partner Membership opportunity was also approved by the body, targeted toward community organizations like after school programs, YMCA’s and Parks and Recreation departments. Many of these organizations currently offer rugby, but there was not an option to affiliate them to the national office.

Zach Fenoglio additionally presented updates and progress with the newly formed US Rugby Players Association.

Moving to the vital work of nominating board members, Marni Vath and the USA Rugby Nominations Committee presented selected candidates for possible seating on the USA Rugby Board of Directors. Two nominees, Julie Lau and Jim Brown, were approved by the currently seated board and ratified by vote from congress.

A resident of Lincoln, Massachusetts, Julie Lau is a Managing Director at KPMG, one of the big four auditing and tax services companies in the US. Lau has had an exceptionally successful career in the finance, tax, and audit space, bringing a fundamental skill set to the Board of Directors. She has played rugby at the college, club, and all-star level, and is very interested in leading USA Rugby into the next chapter of success both fiscally and strategically.

Jim Brown lives in Park City, Utah, and is a Principal at JBC International. He has managed and advised multiple international sporting events, including the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, as well as the United States bid for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. His strengths in commercial licensing, broadcast media, and the technology are highly welcomed by USA Rugby in the development of union event management, as well as marketing and communications. He played rugby abroad as a young man and has a great desire to work with USA Rugby.

Congress finished the day with discussion around restructuring of USA Rugby governance, setting out a plan to review operational committees, the make-up and structure of Congress and the bylaws of USA Rugby and agreeing that the process will be overseen by Eric Gleason and a working party including representatives from key stakeholders.

For more information about the USA Rugby congress, visit

Nominations Committee forwards next Board candidates to USAR BOD and Congress

LAFAYETTE, CO – The USA Rugby Board nominations committee has selected candidates for the open positions in the Union leadership group and have forwarded each individual’s profile and experience to the current board of directors and congress for review. From a pool of over 40 nominees, the review and approval process to fill three at-large seats will commence over the next week, in lead up to the USA Rugby Congress meeting on Saturday, September 29th. 

Upon receiving the nominees, the current USA Rugby Board will first evaluate the candidates using a competency matrix to align the candidates with the appropriate skill sets required. Should all three be approved by the board, each will then move on to congress for ratification. Congress then sits as the final stamp of approval, where each candidate much receive majority vote to officially be seated on the board.  

More information on possible candidates seated to the board will be released following the September 29th congress meeting.