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Friday, June 22, 2018

MLR Power Rankings: Glendale Still On Top

Not a tone of change in this week's rankings.

1. Glendale Raptors (Last Ranking: 1): Both the Raptors and the Seawolves had depleted squads due to international call-ups but the Raptors seemed to manage it better as they won 33-11. That secured the top spot in the standings for the Raptors and put them in a good position heading into the playoffs. They can end with a perfect regular season record if they beat San Diego this weekend. Up next: at San Diego

2. Seattle Seawolves (LR: 2): Despite losing to the Raptors we're still keeping the Seawolves in second place. They have consistently shown they are the second best team in the competition and are on a collision course with the Raptors for the final. Up next: Regular Season Finished

3. San Diego Legion (LR: 4): So far our rankings match up with the MLR standings. At this point in the season that shouldn't be a coincidence. The Legion have done alright even with some international gone. They beat Austin and looked good doing it. After their first match against Seattle they have rebounded nicely and could make some playoff noise. Up next: Glendale

Take the jump to read more.

Preview: Eagles Look To Extend Streak Over Canada

The Eagles enter new territory this weekend against Canada. Never before has the team come off a win over a Tier I nation. Will there be a letdown or will the team keep their momentum going? That's the question the Eagles are going to answer this weekend. All of the signs point to the Eagles winning fairly easily in Nova Scotia but in a rivalry match anything is straightforward. The U.S. are playing some fantastic rugby this year. They have yet to lose under head coach Gary Gold and seem to be playing better each and every match. On the flip side Canada are struggling mightily capped off by their loss to Russia last weekend.

The match starts at 3:00 p.m. et/12:00 p.m. pt and will be shown live on Flo Rugby.

The Team

Gold has had to make a couple of changes to his team. Joe Taufete'e is out for personal reasons while John Quill is out with an injury. Coming into the line-up is Dylan Fawsitt at hooker and Ben Landry at flanker. Neither of those changes are super surprising. The other change in the line-up has Bryce Campbell moving to the bench with Nate Augspurger going into the starting line-up. Augspurger will play on the wing while Brache moves to the centers. That move makes the U.S. a little quicker in the backs which given how slow Canada were last weekend isn't a bad idea.

Take the jump to read more.

College All-Americans To Play Glendale Raptors

Press Release

n an effort to expose the next generation of elite athletes to national selection, USA Rugby will host a Men's Collegiate All-American Selection Camp this Aug. 9-17. Set to take place at Infinity Park in Glendale, CO, the event will bring together 100 of the best college athletes for training and exhibition games under the direction of National Team and Major League Rugby coaches.

At the conclusion of the week, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team All-Americans will be named while all athletes will be evaluated for the October 2018 Americas Pacific Challenge with the Men's Selects (XVs). Athletes who have no remaining eligibility will also be evaluated for post-graduation contracts with Major League Rugby.

"The Men's Collegiate All-American program has has historically been a major contributor of talent to the Men's National Team," says General Manager of Men's 15s Programs, Dave Hodges. "We are looking forward to bringing this year's collegiate talent into Glendale and evaluating them with the goal of becoming Men's Collegiate All-Americans and future Eagles."

"The City of Glendale has long been committed to the growth of rugby in the United States," said Linda Cassaday, Deputy City Manager. "Infinity Park was created to support the training and development of these future Eagles, and to promote the development of professional rugby in this country, so we are thrilled to be hosting this camp."

To be considered for the 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American Selection Camp, coaches and conference commissioners are evaluating athletes on the following criteria:
  • Ability to confidently represent the United States well on and off the field of play
  • Be easily recognized by peers and coaches as one of the best in their position -- both in playing actions and behaviors -- on a national level
  • Meet the basic minimum physical requirements of a representative player
  • Possess a strong will to better himself and those around him
Currently, representatives from NSCRO, DII, D1AA, and D1A conferences are submitting player recommendation forms, after which conferences will vote on which athletes should be named as All-American candidates. Candidates will then be evaluated within their respective region -- either East or West -- where 50 players from each region will be selected to form the Top 100 All-American invite list.

The Top 100 All-Americans will then travel to Glendale, CO on August 9th to participate in rigorous testing, training and trial games. The first two days will be spent in a high performance training environment, with trial games on the third day serving as a filtering process where 30 athletes from the original 100 will be chosen to stay on in preparation for a match with the Glendale Raptors on August 17th.

The players who remain in camp will spend the next four days training and meeting with coaches one-on-one. The final day will feature an exhibition match between the Glendale Raptors of Major League Rugby and the 30-man Men's Collegiate All-American squad. 1st, 2nd and 3rd Team Men's Collegiate All-Americans will be selected following the contest with the Raptors.

The final invite list for the 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American Selection Camp will be completed in July, with the program running from August 9-17th at Infinity Park. Select training and trial games will also be covered across USA Rugby's digital and social media platforms.

The experience will give athletes a series of unique face-to-face interactions with professional and national team coaches and staff throughout the trial experience.

In order for players to have the best opportunities to succeed both on and off the pitch, community support is vital. To support the All-American program and help athletes achieve their goal of national team selection, visit USARugby.org/trust or click here.

Hawks Overseas: Championship Takes Center Stage

Nearly every player has the weekend off. The exceptions are in the Championship and League One in England.


Super League

Junior Vaivai and the Hull Kingston Rovers have the weekend off.

Bureta Faraimo and Hull FC have the weekend off.

Take the jump to read more.

South Panthers Lose But It Doesn't Count

The South Panthers registered a positive result over the weekend even though they lost. Originally the Panthers were set to host Trinidad and Tobago but T&T apparently had trouble securing the necessary visas for their entire team so the Panthers made the trip down. The match ended up with Trinidad and Tobago winning 37-26. The Panthers had held a 27-12 halftime lead. Because the Panthers had to make the trip T&T had to forfeit the match so even though the Panthers lost it ended up not hurting them in the standings. Bermuda's earlier result against Trinidad and Tobago was voided.

So, as things stand the Panthers are still in first place in the standings with the Cayman Islands second. Each have only one official match played, both wins over Bermuda who are now eliminated. The match between the Panthers and Cayman Islands on July 7th will decide the winner. That said, only the Cayman Island will advance to the Americas Rugby Challenge promotion playoffs. The South Panthers are going on tour to Europe later this year.

Weekend Television Listings

The Eagles summer series wraps up this weekend as they take on Canada in Nova Scotia. If that is not your thing there is a full slate of internationals from the Southern Hemisphere as well as MLR and the Northwest and Midwest RCT's.     

If you know of an event or a tournament that is not on our list, please share it with us at thisisamericanrugby@gmail.com.


  • Great Northwest Challenge, 11:00 a.m. et/8:00 a.m. pt (live on FloRugby)

  • New Zealand vs. France, 3:35 a.m. et/12:35 a.m. pt (live on ESPN+)
  • Australia vs. Ireland, 6:00 a.m. et/3:00 a.m. pt (live on ESPN+)
  • Midwest RCT, 10:00 a.m. et/7:00 a.m. pt (live on FloRugby)
  • South Africa vs. England, 11:05 a.m. et/8:05 a.m. pt (live on ESPN+)
  • Argentina vs. Scotland, 3:40 p.m. et/12:40 p.m. pt (live on ESPN+)
  • United States vs. Canada, 3:00 p.m. et/12:00 p.m. pt (live on FloRugby)
  • Houston vs. Utah, 4:00 p.m. et/1:00 p.m. pt (live on ESPN+)
  • Glendale vs. San Diego, 10:30 p.m. et/7:30 p.m. pt (live on CBS Sports Network)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mark Griffin Named U.S.A. Rugby Commercial Director

Press Release

USA Rugby announced today the recruitment of Play Rugby USA CEO and Founder, Mark Griffin, to join the organization as Commercial Director. As the NGB navigates through a transitional period at the governance level, USA Rugby is pleased to welcome Griffin as it looks to integrate and align its commercial division within the union, to embrace its current partners and establish the basis for a robust commercial strategy. During his tenancy, Griffin will work hand-in-hand with USA Rugby commercial partners and the national office in Colorado, reporting directly to the USA Rugby CEO. In lockstep with the work of Mark Lambourne, Griffin's appointment is a move forward in bringing RIM under the USA Rugby umbrella.

"I am incredibly excited and grateful to take on this opportunity with USA Rugby," said Griffin, "The role represents a perfect alignment of my commercial, non-profit and sports experience. I am passionate about wanting to see rugby in America realize its potential. A collaborative approach will be core to achieving this and I will do everything I can to work with the team at USA Rugby to build partnerships that drive long-term value for our commercial partners, stakeholders and the union."

More information on Griffin's succession with Play Rugby USA will be detailed in a separate communication to be released by the organization.

Take the jump to read more.