STATEMENT RE: EAGLES v RUSSIA

STATEMENT RE: EAGLES v RUSSIA

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.

Thank you,

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Chief Executive Officer & President of Rugby Operations
USA Rugby

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Comments (35)

  • Guest (GrowTheGame)

    "We recognize seeing rugby live on television or through a stream is the greatest catalyst to growing the game."
    Really? Then do something about it.

  • Guest (Great Game but one Question?)

    I'm ecstatic for the USA Men's Rugby team but my only Question is - How many of the guys playing were actually Americans? The two names I heard who scored goals didn't sound like they were born in this country. Then again we are quite the mixture of cultures and races so who knows. I think in this country we should be able to put a competitive squad out there without taking guys on from other countries. Just my opinion.

  • Guest (Kate)

    In reply to: Guest (Great Game but one Question?)

    wow. i don't believe you asked this question. smh

  • Guest (5Lock4ward)

    In reply to: Guest (Great Game but one Question?)

    Nobody scored any goals today guy. This wasn't a soccer or hockey game. Samu Manoa was born in Concord, California which you may impressed to find out is actually on the North American continent. In fact it's located right here in the USA. Chris Wyles was born in Connecticut, a place which also proudly flies the Stars and Stripes. Cam Dolan, the other TRY scorer was born in Ft. Meyers, Florida in...You guessed it...the UNITED STATES of AMERICA! We're a melting pot country. We're proud of all the people who live here, even our Polynesian AMERICANS. Folau Niau, a Polynesian American whose name might not sound like John Smith, was also born in America. I'd do a little research before you go making such statements next time. Just a friendly piece of advise. We have about as many imports on our squad as England and New Zealand if it makes you feel better.

  • Guest (Oregonbobby)

    Apology accepted. I'm over it. The analyst video will be appreciated.
    An error was made and USA Rugby owned up to it.

  • Guest (Max)

    When can we expect to see the game recording on Youtube?

  • Guest (5Lock4ward)

    I don't know why anyone is so surprised by the lack of coverage. Instead of partnering w/ ESPN, NBC, CBS etc. USA Rugby went with Universal Sports which nobody in America actually gets. Under Nigel Melville's watch USA Rugby has completely lost control of the college game, seen the Super League go t*ts-up and remain unable to bring in a marquee coach. Unlike Canada [who is united at all levels under one vision (that of their men's 15's head coach) with one goal; to grow the game and become more competitive against the traditional powers] the USA has no feeder system whatsoever for the men's national team, thanks to the previously mentioned loss of control of the college game and loss of the Super League. We have a comparable number of pros to Canada and man for man they're in a fairly comparable position within their respective careers and yet they consistently beat us and are ranked substantially higher. USA Rugby has no idea how to raise money to cover things like televising this game. Perhaps if all the merchandise available wasn't garbage and was stuff that people would actually like to wear there'd be a lot more money coming in. Do yourself a favor, check out the Atlanta Thrashers (former NHL team that relocated to Winnipeg) logo. Look familiar? $20 says the same graphic designer at the same advertising firm created it. Real original. Why can I find anything I can imagine for my favorite NFL, NHL, NBA team but all the USA Rugby gear looks like something a kid on a college team pieced together for the team's end of season t-shirts and jackets sale? It might all sound trivial but teams make money based on sales as well as on the pitch results. The results are good over the last 2-3 matches. Great. What is Nigel Melville doing to grow and sustain those results? Nothing. What is he doing to generate more revenue to get these matches televised and attract bigger name coaches? Nothing. The proof is in the sh*tty sweatshirts available on the rugby shop and the fact that nobody who wasn't in London watched this match today. It's time that he be replaced, either by an American who has a known interest in rugby such as Mark Cuban or a foreigner who has a genuine interest in waking up "The Sleeping Dragon" of rugby.

  • Guest (Mike Lyons)

    I'm glad Nigel refers to members of USA Rugby as ":the masses." Not!

  • Guest (Fan)

    TV aside, there were less than 2000 people actually attending the game in London including both teams! There are plenty of Americans in London and probably even more Russians. Pre- match publicity was scant. Is this an IRB issue or do the US and Russian Rugby Boards to blame? The IRB was much more likely to be consumed by the New Zealand and South African tours to Europe - but if they are serious about developing Tier II, they need to dedicate effort to publicise those games as well. There are lots of opportunities to do that in the UK but, for example, there was nothing in The Rugby Paper or promos on the usual rugby tv round-up shows. Money problems or lack of effort?

  • Guest (Eric)

    I'm a young rugby player, and in my town rugby is not very known to the high school level. How do you expect rugby in the USA to have a future if you guys cannot secure footage of our Eagles taking on Russia? What's worse is that you guys knew you couldn't stream the match prior and did not even have the audacity to inform rugby fanatics such as I and everyone else. Things like this (matches and TV broadcasts) are crucial if rugby is to ever grow in the United States as well as gaining the attention of young men and women that will go on to become rugby players.

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