Olympic Development Academy

Olympic Development Academy


  • To train future Olympians
  • Identify Olympic athletes
  • Improve the level of club play


  • 9- to 10-month training
  • 2 Rest months
  • 200 Rugby sessions
  • 75 matches (7s) or Equivalent XVs
  • 50% Matches at Club+

To Date

  • 30+ Tours at Club+ Level
  • ~$1mm in developing athletes
  • Multiple Eagles
  • Increased parity in club game



USA Rugby’s Olympic Development Academy (ODA) is a long-term, systemic approach to athlete development through a year-round training program. ODA’s goal is to narrow the gap between amateur domestic players and international sevens rugby by accelerating the development of athletes not in full-time residency at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

National Development Academies (NDA) are independently operated entities that collaborate with USA Rugby based on a set of key deliverables. It is an iterative pathway between the Eagles coaching staff and the NDAs to offer the athlete the best chance of growth and success over the course his development.


The ODA is designed for up-and-coming male players who are not yet performing at the international level, but have demonstrated the potential to be; players who have played at an international level but are not in the USOC residency program; and men’s national team pool players who are aiming to evolve into the USOC residency program in the future.

It is designed for domestic-based club athletes, non-collegiate age-grade athletes, and collegiate athletes whose university programs are not yet fully delivering a high-performance rugby experience. Current national player pool university students are encouraged to have a formal connection with an NDA for out of season progression in conjunction with that athlete’s collegiate coaches.

NDA athletes do not have to play for the club affiliated with the NDA. They will however, need to train with the NDA on non-club training days to fulfill the standards of the NDA.


  • 10-month training commitment
  • 75 Sevens matches per year, per athlete (one XVs match counts as three VIIs matches)
  • Two by four-week recovery periods per year
  • Six by single-week recovery periods per year (at the end of each cycle)
  • At least three rugby specific training sessions per week, per athlete
  • Two to three strength, speed, and/or conditioning sessions per week
  • Minimum of 150 rugby specific training sessions per year, per athlete
  • One rest day minimum per week
  • Testing every cycle
  • Video of matches and training sessions
  • Strength Development: approved facility space; Olympic lifting instruction; Speed coaching
  • Medical:
    • Insurance coverage program
    • Trainer access for training/matches, rehab, treatment and recovery
    • Functional Screening; entry and exit physicals
  • Data entry into national system
  • Bi-monthly communication with Eagle’s Coaching Staff
  • Annual evaluation of program by national staff


Yearly Program

The calendar roughly parallels the national team schedule, with multiple periodization peaks throughout the year.

Each athlete should have two months free of rugby-specific training. These two months would include eight weeks on aggregate of active recovery entirely away from the rugby field. Typical NDA rugby-free windows would be the six weeks in between the Thanksgiving holiday and the beginning of the New Year, and / or the month of June. Each NDA and each athlete will have individual programs based on their domestic competitions.

In addition there should be an active-recovery week off period built into every five to six week training cycle throughout the year.

On the whole, the goal is 60 to 75 matches of seven-a-side rugby to be played by each athlete each year, with 50% of those matches played above the domestic club level. Those additional 50% can be from academy tournaments, international tours, and/or national camp scrimmages.


ODA athletes are expected to do rugby specific training three times per week, with at least one rest day each week for 10 months of the year. At least one of these rugby trainings needs to be 7s specific each week.

During the domestic club 15s season, two of these sessions can be with the athlete’s local 15s club. They must get at least one 7s session in with the ODA each week during this time, even if the local 15s club trains three times per week.

NDAs will delivery 2 to 4 strength, speed, and / or conditioning sessions per week in addition to the three rugby-specific sessions. Depending on what periodization phase, this could include 3 lifts, 2 speed sessions, 1 aerobic session; 4 lifts, 1 speed session, 1 anaerobic session; etc.


ODA Tournaments

ODAs to compete in three to five tournaments a year with each other.

To date, this would include USA Rugby Elite City 7s, the Serevi Rugbytown 7s, the World Club 7s events, the Las Vegas Invitational, and an international tour of the NDAs choosing.


OPAs will test each athlete every five to eight week training cycle in the following:

  • Aerobic : 1K and / or Yo-Yo Intermittent Level I
  • Anaerobic: 150 meter shuttle
  • Explosiveness: Vertical Jump
  • Speed: 10 meter and 40 meter sprints
  • Strength: back squat to parallel; bench press; max weighted pull-ups; bent-over row.
  • Agility: Pro-agility

These evaluations are subject to change. In the medium-term, skill based evaluations will also most likely be a part of the testing protocol.


NDAs and/or individual players will need to be in good standing with USA Rugby. Costs incurred for participation in NDA training and tournaments are delivered by the NDA and/or the player. USA Rugby will only cover costs once an athlete assembles with the national team.


NDAs are independently operated entities. Permission to use the USA Rugby logo and name needs to be approved in advance by USA Rugby’s communication department. OPAs are not allowed to use the USOC logo or affiliated trademarks.


Player Development Advantages

  • Better and more effective training
  • More Seven-a-side matches per year
  • Top Instruction
  • Players receive integrated oversight from Academy coaches and the Men’s Eagles Coaching Staff in their local environment.
  • A clear pathway to international rugby
  • Players compete on a more regular basis against current national team players
  • Regular Game and Training Evaluations by Men’s Eagles Coaching Staff

ODA Advantages

  • Access to the latest coaching intellectual property
  • A national presence to sell to local supporters, contributors and sponsors
  • An elite environment to build grassroots clinics and camps for all-ages
  • Increased number of elite athletes in the local club scene

AtlantaLifeDan PayneThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
BostonNortheast - New EnglandJosh SmithThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
ColumbusTigerPaul HolmesThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Little RockAmerican Rugby Pro Training CenterJulie McCoyThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
New York CityNortheast - EmpireSean HoranThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
San DiegoATAVUS AcademyMatt HawkinsThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
SeattleATAVUS AcademyChris TombsThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Test Title One

You think water moves fast? You should see ice. It moves like it has a mind. Like it knows it killed the world once and got a taste for murder. After the avalanche, it took us a week to climb out. Now, I don't know exactly when we turned on each other, but I know that seven of us survived the slide... and only five made it out. Now we took an oath, that I'm breaking now. We said we'd say it was the snow that killed the other two, but it wasn't. Nature is lethal but it doesn't hold a candle to man.


To be filled in by Bradley & Company.

Coaching Staff

Peter Steinberg Head Coach State College, PA
Peter Baggetta Defense Coach Washington, D.C.
John Coumbe-Lilley Skills Coach Chicago, IL
Luke Gross Forwards Coach Broomfield, CO
Richard Walker Backs Coach
Bill Le Clerc Scrum Coach West Point, NY
Richard Ashfield Kicking Coach Providence, RI
Farrah Douglas Forwards Skills Coach Washington, D.C.
Johnathan Atkeison Performance Analyst Chapel Hill, NC
Adam Russell Player Performance Washington, D.C.
Paul Cater Strength & Conditioning Salinas, CA
Ian Jones Assistant Strength & Conditioning Cork, Ireland
Amy Valenta Medical Denver, CO
Katie Gloyer Doctor State College, PA
Roshna Wunderlich Manager Harrisonburg, VA

Become a XV

How to Represent the US at Rugby

USA Rugby has restructured its women’s high performance program. Creating a clearer pathway, the Women’s Eagles, Collegiate All-Americans, and Junior All-Americans efforts have been combined into one program and now include the pathway for both 7s and 15s players.

Talent Identification

All talent identification opportunities will be for the top teams in the pathway, from the Junior All-American to the College All-Americans to the Eagles. Coaches will identify players who should be in the pathway and then they will get to play at the highest level they are capable. The goal of all players should be to be invited to the National All-Star Competition, which is the critical selection vehicle for all the National teams.

There are multiple opportunities to be seen:

  • High School All-Americans
  • Scouting of National Championship Events
  • Online Nominations
  • National Development Academies
  • USA Rugby Academy powered by
  • National Recruitment Festivals
  • Key Championship Events
    • May 22-25: College 7s National Championships (tbd)
    • May 30-31: Club 15s CR Championships (San Francisco, CA; Charlotte, NC)
    • May 30-31: CRC 7s (Philadelphia)
    • June 13-14: Club 15s National Championships (Glendale, CO)
    • June 20-21: Girls HS South Regional Cup (Charlotte, NC)
    • June 20-21: Girls HS Northeast Regional Cup (Devens, MA)
    • June 20-21: Girls HS Mid-Atlantic Regional Cup (Pittsburgh, PA)
    • June 20-21: Girls HS West Regional Cup (Denver, CO)
    • June 20-21: Girls HS Southwest Regional Cup (Bakersfield, CA)
    • June 27-28: Girls HS Midwest Regional Cup (Loves Park, IL)
    • June 27-28: Girls HS Northwest Regional Cup (Portland, OR)
    • August 8-9: Club 7s National Championship (tbd)
    • August 14-16: Serevitown 7s (Glendale, CO)

USA Rugby Academies powered by

July 18-19 Notre Dame College Register
July 19-23 Rutgers University Register
August 2-6 University of WA Register
August 4-8 Hypo2 Sport Center Register
October 10-11 Simsbury, CT Register
October 24-25 Philadelphia, PA Register
November 7-8 Murfreesboro, TN Register
December 12-13 Fort Worth, TX Register
December 12-13 Charlotte, NC Register

National All-Star Competition

The NASC will be the primary selection vehicle for the National Teams. Senior, college and U20 teams will be formed and will compete at their level during the week. Players will play at the highest level they are capable so they are able to accelerate their pathway to the Eagles.

The National All-Star Competition (NASC) will be held three times a year. The tri-annual events will be held for senior, college, and U20 levels of players. The competitions are weeklong events, seeing the invited players assigned to teams for competitions through an elite-level environment.

Dates for 2015 NASC

  • June 1-6, 2015 – James Madison University
  • August 11-16 – TBA

Coaching Staff

Peter Steinberg Head Coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Peter Baggetta Associate Head Coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Martha Daines Collegiate All-American Head Coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Danielle Miller Junior All-American Head Coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.