Hey USA Rugby – It’s time for a change (part 2) “Hope, but no Expectations” 6

Many readers of this blog, will be 28 years or older.  28 years ago, the first RWC was played. Japan, Argentina and USA were part of the inaugural Rugby World Cup. This is an excellent point in time from which to start a comparison for ‘progress’ in rugby playing nations.

Here are the results, Argy and USA both finished 1-2.  Japan 0-3.

Argentina RWC 1987 pool results

Argentina RWC 1987 pool results

USA & Japan Rugby pool results RWC1987

USA & Japan Rugby pool results RWC1987

Because the RWC results are the only metric we have to measure relative progress to other nations, I fast forward to the RWC 2015 results…

RWC 2015 Pool Results Including USA and Japan

RWC 2015 Pool Results Including USA and Japan

I’ll summarize:

USA: 1-2 in 1987.  In 2015, 0-4 in pool play, outscored 83-0 in the 2nd half by the two Tier One countries we played.  Lose to South Africa by 64-0

JAP: 0-3 in 1987. In 2015, are 3-1 and the first team ever with three wins not to advance to a QF. . Beat South Africa!!

ARGY:  1-2 in 1987.  In 2015 Argentina are IN THE RWC 2015 SEMIFINALS!!!!!!

Wake up USA Rugby Community!!

Despite claims that sound good in the media and to whomever is listening to the babble, there is no progress. We are getting left behind.   We have as a rugby playing nation wasted 28 years.  Again, it’s no ones fault.   There just has been a complete lack of vision, planning, and most importantly leadership at the helm of USA Rugby.

This is the United States of America. We are doormats in no domain.  Except rugby.

Here’s what I am doing

I am working with a close group of people, creating a plan for the rugby community in the United States that contains a one year plan, an 5 year plan and a 20 year vision.  Not dreams, not hopes, but executable plans. This is a bigger issue than “we should have kicked less than against Japan”.  Our problems start at the girls Under 7’s and elevate and are most noticeable at the Eagles level.  A global embarrassment.

Within this plan is to create a culture of rugby in this country.  Yes, a rugby culture.  Grass roots culture.  We have a plan to make the USA competitive on the global stage while we simultaneously build this culture domestically.  Don’t say it cannot be done.  We have thousands of incredibly passionate, hard working, volunteering in rugby in this country.. who deserve a pathway to the culture we all desire.  This culture will be the rising water that raises all boats.  Quality of play will get better, events will get better, etc.. Yes, professionalism is absolutely part of the program at the top.

This is not time to get caught up in details; trust that I am working with a top combination of rugby guys (all w/ international experience for the USA) who are also proven, and successful business leaders who understand the Executive function in any organization.

We all know this is the right thing to do. Some people’s feelings are going to get hurt.  But, they’ll toast us when USA plays in its first RWC quarterfinal.

Hope, But no Expectations

Here is a quote from a wonderful rugby gal… She loves rugby as much as I do and I respect that… She refers to the WSU Cougars (perennial Pac 12 doormats)…



  1. So we’re just going to ignore that Japan and Argentina have had the majority of their players being full-time professionals for over a decade (Japan with the Top League; Argentina’s players have all had easy access to European visas that Americans don’t have)?

    Argentina also made its first RWC quarter-final appearance in 1999, and has made four out of the last five quarter-finals. Comparing the United States to such an outfit now seems a bit silly. Are we supposed to go back in time and be mad about the lack of development in the 90s and early 2000s when other nations dove head-first into professionalism? Or are we supposed to develop an *actual* platform for moving forward? Until there’s more Americans playing full-time professional rugby, it’s ridiculous to even waste time with comparisons like this.

    You want to be mad at USA Rugby? Be mad there’s not a pro league. Nothing else makes sense to be mad about.

    • EA, you still haven’t advised your rugby pedigree. Clearly your perspective and mine are completely different. Here’s the deal.. you don’t want to compare us to Argentina? If not, then 24 years down the track when we are settled midway into the pack of Tier 3, we will look on these as ‘the good old days’ of American Rugby.

      We are getting left behind.

      There is no counter to that argument. None. We are now bordering on entry into ‘Tier 3’. In 2006, the CEO and Chairman of USA Rugby declared..”We are looking to make the QF in RWC 2011″. 2011, my friend. In 2015 we are 0-4. I say some people need to go. That is what I am working on. Very hard.

      • This line of logic is getting tiring, Tony. I’m saying that your perspective is skewed if you want to compare America to a nation that passed it 20 years ago. Is that a shame? Yes. But it’s irrational to look at 1987 and then 2015 and pretend as though Argentina didn’t make all the right moves in the 90s while America didn’t.

        When rugby turned professional, most other nations embraced it immediately and/or made every effort to get their players pro contracts. Because America doesn’t have the same ease acquiring visas for European work that others do (and didn’t start its own league), it was left behind.

        I’m not throwing my hands in the air about, no matter how much you like to say that. Quite honestly, your motivational-speaker-esque logical fallacies are becoming tiresome. You can’t just say that people don’t believe hard enough because they disagree with your assumptions. Nobody is saying it’s “okay” that America isn’t performing well; people are saying that your comparisons are imperfect.

      • EA, I think you are getting lost in the detail. If my comparison’s aren’t perfect, I’ll live with that. I am one guy right now with a team around me. If you are satisfied with the state of rugby in this country, stay on the sidelines. I am not, my constituency is not, and I am committed to making a difference. Are you ‘with me’.

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