Dear USA Rugby fans,
The Eagles’ match against Russia Saturday was one of the team’s best performances in a year, a 28-7 win against a tough team desperate for a win. Unfortunately for anyone not at Allianz Park, the match was not available for view.
Both Russia and ourselves were keen to broadcast this match as it was a rematch of Russia’s first entry into the Rugby World Cup in 2011 and a Tier Two matchup that would test our boys to the fullest extent. Domestically, we did not have the platform to make it happen. We agreed to webcast the game on USA Rugby TV, but were told late in the week prior to the match technical issues would force a significant increase in price of the stream. Reluctantly, we both agreed the cost was prohibitive and we would not stream.
USA Rugby has improved immensely in recent times in terms of making its events available to the masses. All national championship events this year were streamed, including collegiate and club championships, while the IRB Nations Cup was streamed live over the course of two weeks in Colorado.
I am personally disappointed we could not web stream our national team’s match live and that the only alternative was to upload our analyst’s video to our YouTube channel. In the future, we will not be playing games in Europe where we cannot get an appropriate feed and will do better by having more control over the broadcast elements of our fixtures.
We recognize seeing rugby live on television or through a stream is the greatest catalyst to growing the game. Therefore we appreciate your criticisms and enthusiasm—it highlights Americans’ dedication and passion to exposing our country to rugby.
Let us not overlook our team’s performance today; Georgia’s win against eighth-ranked Samoa this afternoon showed just how far the squad has come in a very short time. Your support at home matches like the ones against Ireland in Houston and the New Zealand Maori All Blacks in Philadelphia have not gone unnoticed by all involved with growing the game in the United States.
Chief Executive Officer & President of Rugby Operations