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.
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…
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)…