At the Men's Eagles international test match against Ireland in Houston earlier this month, USA Rugby took a moment to look back and honor its founding members and to celebrate what they started almost 40 years ago.
During the 1960s and 1970s, rugby saw a resurgence in the United States, and it became apparent that a more centralized structure was necessary. In 1975, the Midwest, West, Pacific Coast, and Eastern regional rugby unions met in Chicago, Ill., to form the United States of America Rugby Football Union, which later became USA Rugby. There they set forward rules and regulations that would guide a board to govern the sport in the United States and built the foundation upon which the American tradition of rugby could be re-established and grow.
As pictured above, those in attendance for the occasion were (from left to right): Peter Baigent (Eastern), Gail Borden-Tennant Jr (West), Terry Fleener (West), Vic Hilarov (Midwest), Keith Seaber (Midwest), Dick Smith (Midwest), and Bob Watkins (Pacific Coast).
Each founding member was presented with a plaque on the pitch at BBVA Compass Stadium a few minutes before the match by the current USA Rugby Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Melville, and International Rugby Board Executive Committee Member, Bob Latham, to commemorate the importance of their commitment on and off the field to rugby in the United States.
Today, USA Rugby continues to strive to fultill the mission started by these men. If you are interested in supporting USA Rugby programs, please visit USA Rugby Foundation website to make a donation or learn how you can get involved.