LAFAYETTE, Colo. – In partnership with English Premiership Rugby, NBC Sports, Friends of the British Council and AEG Rugby – USA Rugby is excited to support and promote a new long-term initiative with Premiership Rugby’s ‘American Series’. The Series is a multi-year partnership which will bring at least one regular season Premiership match to the USA – this year Newcastle Falcons vs. Saracens at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia September 16th at 5 p.m. ET.
USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne was quick to jump on this opportunity stating, “First and foremost, this is world class rugby, with seven British & Irish Lions, multiple Internationals, and most notably, several of our Eagles playing for both teams. Equally, the community and grassroots program that will accompany this match through the multi-year partnership will bring quality experiences and long term development growth to many of our markets.”
The Series brings together new grassroots opportunities for the American rugby community including:
- Player clinics for ages 15-24
- Coaching Clinics
- Coach Shadow Opportunities
- Referee Shadow Opportunities
- Youth Flag Rugby Tournament
As part of new initiatives brought together from the Aviva Premiership Rugby match, 10 female and 10 male high school players, along with 10 coaches, will have the opportunity to earn scholarships to attend player and coach clinics in England in the Spring of 2018. These all-expense paid trips will offer players and coaches a once in a lifetime experience to train and learn from the Premiership Rugby Academies. Payne is especially excited for these initiatives geared towards our community saying “These clinics provide players and coaches with the opportunity of a lifetime,” he continued “player and coach development is an important part of grassroots growth in the US and for members of our community to be able to partake in these initiatives is a huge development for our members. We are very excited to be partnered with Premiership Rugby to provide these opportunities and thank everyone involved in making these scholarships a reality.”
Applicants to the program can apply either by attending a clinic or by submitting a video at premiershiprugbyusa.com. If you’d like to learn more about the clinics and how to sign up please go to www.premiershiprugbyscholarship.com.
In addition to the player and coaching clinics happening around the match, USA Rugby has partnered to bring it’s AIG Men’s Collegiate All Americans together for a match against storied Oxford University in a curtain raiser match beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET.
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Premiership CSR and Community Director Wayne Morris said of the initiatives; “Following Premiership Rugby’s first year of coverage on NBC Sports now comes the American Series initiative,” Morris continued, “work in the community with our world-class coaches is in the DNA of Premiership Rugby and we are committed to help grow the game in America. When we approached USA Rugby to stage this regular season match in Philadelphia we discussed not only the match and long term growth, but engagement and sustainability at the grassroots and commercial levels.”
AEG Rugby’s Dan Lyle, former Eagle and Bath Rugby Captain, discussed a broader vision, “having played in the Premiership and having children of my own, we want aspiration for young boys and girls.” Lyle added, “All of the partners involved share the ambition to grow rugby in America and we believe this will happen, not only through the match between the Falcons and Saracens, but with this game-changing grassroots community program that has the potential to change people’s lives.”
The British Council has been a key partner in the establishment of the groundbreaking scholarships. Erin Sullivan, Executive Director of the Friends of the British Council (FOBC), said “Rugby is a dynamic game born in England but made for America in so many ways. The FOBC’s goal is to broaden the appeal and values of the game of rugby and with Premiership Rugby’s quality, USA Rugby’s youth & market goals, NBC’s reach and AEG’s expertise, we have a wonderful future partnership developing.” Sullivan continued, “this international experience will empower the chosen players and coaches to return to the US with a growth mindset of sharing what they learned with their peers and communities. They will join the global community of rugby ambassadors.”
Sign up for a player or coach clinic, here.
Upload a video application, here.
Learn more about and sign up for Coach and Referee Shadow opportunities.