The 1014 Rugby predict a USA Rugby Revolution.

We examine the new structures put in place. How the Olympics changed rugby forever. And we look at the exciting MLR, Major League Rugby as it starts up.

A brief history

We touch on a bit of history to put the USA Rugby scene into perspective. The fact the Men’s team has won two Olympic golds, the Women’s team a World Cup and their Men’s Sevens two tournaments since the last Sevens World Cup should not be ignored. Nor should the huge jump in sustainable numbers playing the game.

Olympics

The long and the short of it is the Olympics has changed everything.

Rugby Sevens inclusion in the Olympics has captured the minds of the USA sports fan. The engagement numbers are astounding. By some metrics, the uptick in engagement whilst the Sevens were being played in Rio was 120-times; that is not 120%; 120-times!

the Olympics has changed everything

MLR

The MLR has arrived. The USA professional league kicks off this weekend. Lessons have been learnt from the last time, sustainability is near the top of the agenda and finally, the US rugby fan has a league of their own to follow.

Exciting times!

Here at The 1014 Rugby, we urge you to get involved in creating content for the community if you are in or around the rugby scene in the USA. There is so much going on and the rest of the World wants to know about it. If you have that story jump on over to our Join the Team page and get involved.

From The Shed

The 1014 Rugby

Author: The 1014 Rugby

The 1014 is servicing the needs of a passionate and respectful global rugby community by producing world-class content based on three important values – Passion, Integrity and Respect.
All content is through the pure eyes of two children starting out on their journey in life. The 10 and 14 represent the two characters on this journey and everything produced is through their outlook on life.

1 COMMENT

  1. I know this is long but I gave it some thought, and this is my rugby dream for the USA:

    I am huge supporter of rugby in the US. I think the the season placement is just perfect, it can become a bridge for football fans between the end of Pro and college football in the winter and the beginning of those sports in the late summer early fall. I think eventually if they do it right, you will see a season similar to Super Rugby, with the Union touring on a schedule like a Southern Hemisphere team and the US will be the fifth team in the Rugby Championship, with our USA XV in the ARC, or a Pan-Pacific Championship. If the broadcast partners get behind this league like they did with MLS, I can see the US being a top ten team in a decade or so.
    In the short term, I think an official Pacific Island Exile team on the west coast should be a added as a club in the next couple of years where the club has official links with the unions in Tonga, Fiji, and Samoa and any other unions that want to get on board, and the club can get a steady stream of rugby athletes that don’t necessarily want to or aren’t quite good enough to go to France or Japan. I could see those unions playing games in USA like South American soccer teams do in Europe.
    Foreign players will be important initially, and American football converts will be important always, but Academies will be the lifeblood of the league and the sport moving forward (unless 15s becomes a scholarship sport in NCAA). But they will need to put A TON of money into the grassroots, and all of the U’s (i.e. U-18, U-20), when the U’s are competitive internationally, that’s when we know the USA has arrived.
    The second most important task, or maybe actuall 1a, is to massively grow our coaching population, initially it will have to foreign born coaches, but there needs to be a push for homegrown, I would prefer Kiwi/Australian coaches to English or South African.
    I think the US will adopt rugby much easier and quicker than we have soccer, it seems more in line with our national character. It all depends on the funding.
    Down the road: I hope to see a rugby scene something akin to hockey; a regional sport popular during the playoffs and international window, and competitively not the premier international program but capable of beating anyone on any given day.
    Men’s Professional fifteens:
    ⦁ 15-20 teams located in major metro areas and rugby hotbeds split between east and west: NYC; LA; SD; DEN; SEA; SF; HOU; DAL; PHI; CHI; AUS; NO; ATL; Orl/MIA/TAM/JAX; HAW; TOR; VAN (one of the west coast/Hawaiian teams would ideally be a Pacific Islander Exiles team);
    ⦁ Could also try to grow rugby is college football hotbeds with no professional sports franchises (i.e. Nebraska; Alabama; Mississippi; Arkansas; Oklahoma). The appetite for football in USA, especially the South, is enormous and rugby could fill the Spring and Summer void in these areas with high football interest and civic pride (college towns would be good for this I would think)
    ⦁ The season schedule should mirror Super Rugby;
    ⦁ Eventually I would like to see a MLR-Super Rugby game similar to World Club Challenge (NRL-Super League);
    ⦁ Preseason tours, matches, PLAYER LOANS, and COACHING EXCHANGES between Super Rugby and MLR teams (I would like to see each MLR team to have an official relationship with at least one overseas club/franchise where loaned players would not count as a foreign player, nor fully against their salary cap);
    ⦁ U-23/U-18 league played between the academy teams and perhaps university teams since most of those are currently non-scholarship;
    ⦁ Coaching staffs should have an official mentoring program with an towards teaching USA/local coaches the game;
    Men’s Professional Sevens:
    ⦁ Each of the MLR teams should be required to have a 7s team;
    ⦁ MLR 7s play a shadow league/tournament for feeding into the USA 7’s;
    ⦁ Season is at the end of the 15’s season and make it a U-23 tournament (similar to Premiership 7s but a couple of more dates)
    Women’s Rugby:
    ⦁ Each MLR team should have Women’s academy with an eye towards having fully formed teams within a certain amount of time until a full 15s league is instituted
    ⦁ Season would be concurrent with Men’s perhaps providing double headers early in development cycle
    ⦁ The teams should run 7s teams which would be feeders to USA Eagles W7s.
    Eagles Mens 15s:
    ⦁ Eventually having a completely domestic based professional team;
    ⦁ Touring on same schedule as SANZAR (Host in Summer and tour in Fall/Winter);
    ⦁ 5th team in Rugby Championship with Eagles XV playing in ARC;
    ⦁ Aspirationally, I see two real possible options:
    ⦁ 1: Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Japan included in a larger tournament with USA, Arg, and SANZAR (not every year; maybe treat it like UEFA Euros every 4 years at the halfway mark of World Cup cycle as an 8/9 team tournament);
    ⦁ 2: Have an A and a B Rugby Championship where the participants are the same as #1 (NZ; AU; SA; ARG; USA; TON; FIJ; SAM; JAP). The top five teams are in A; the bottom four are in B; with the 5th place A and 1st place B playing for promotion/relegation every year
    ⦁ Or option #3 do both: with yearly relegation/promotion and then one big tournament every 4 years
    ⦁ All teams are currently in top 16 of IRB world rankings (top 17 of world rankings are currently 8-9 split between European teams and Rugby Championship/Pacific teams)
    ⦁ All of this with an eye towards eventually hosting World Cup and getting on the Lions touring schedule as well
    Eagles Mens 7s:
    ⦁ Use the MLR clubs and academies as feeders for the National/Olympic 7s program, and just keep getting better.

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