Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pacific Rugby Premiership Announces Its 2015 Schedule


DENVER, CO. OCTOBER 29TH 2014 –The Pacific Rugby Premiership returns in 2015, following a hugely successful first season that raised the bar for domestic rugby competition in the US.

San Francisco Golden Gate will look to defend their Premiership crown, won in such spectacular fashion vs. the Glendale Raptors in front of a capacity crowd at Infinity Park, CO.

Belmont Shore, Denver Barbarians, Glendale Raptors, Olympic Club, OMBAC, and Santa Monica, will all be fiercely chasing San Francisco Golden Gate for the honor of being 2015 Pacific Rugby Premiership Champions.

The first round of games kick off on January 31st, with old rivalries renewed from the outset as Belmont Shore seek to claim their dominance over SoCal neighbors Santa Monica.  SF Golden Gate will hope to continue winning ways vs. a resurgent Olympic Club.  OMBAC host the Glendale Raptors, who will be licking their wounds from last season’s Premiership Final

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Opening Kick

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National Teams:

The Eagles have named their starters to face the All Blacks. The only real surprise is Danny Barrett starting due to Cam Dolan's knee injury.

There will be no Richie McCaw and Dan Carter is on the bench for the All Blacks. However, Sonny Bill Williams will start.

There have been a lot of articles trying to explain the current state of rugby in America. So far on this article by Toby Robson has it the most accurate, mostly because they bothered to talk to someone other than Nigel Melville or the NRFL PR guys (it helps they talked with us!).

3 News in New Zealand has great interviews with Todd Clever and Brian Hightower as well as a profile on the Suniulas.

Martin Pengelly of The Guardian has another very nice piece in which he talks with Clever.

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Tolkin Picks Eagles Starters To Face The All Blacks

Photo: Janet Young

As expected the Eagles have named their top team to face the All Blacks. The strongest area of the team will once again be lock and back-row. There were some questions whether Samu Manoa would start at lock or in the back-row but those have been answered as he'll slide in at lock along with Hayden Smith. The back-row has one surprise with Danny Barrett getting the nod at number eight over Cam Dolan who is not in the line-up thanks to a knee injury. Todd Clever and Scott LaValla will return as flankers. Clever will once again captain the team.

With few options otherwise the halfback pairing will be Adam Siddall and fly-half and Mike Petri at scrumhalf. For Siddall it will be his first return to the team since concussion issues kept him out of the summer tour. Last fall he was very strong and the team hopes he keeps up the same level of play. Petri gets the nod at scrumhalf. After a shaky 2013 he rebounded with a solid summer showing.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Williams In, McCaw Missing As All Blacks Name Starters


The All Blacks will have a mix of veteran stars and relative newcomers in their team that will take on the Eagles on Saturday. The most notable name on the roster is Sonny Bill Williams who will play for the team for the first time since returning from Rugby League. Joining him is Kieran Read who will be playing in his 70th test. Other veterans include Cory Jane and Israel Dagg while Aaron Cruden will man the fly-half position.

The biggest name missing from the team is Richie McCaw who will not dress. Dan Carter is on the bench as he also makes his return. Overall the bench is stocked with talent. Keven Mealau has 120 tests to his name and every player beyond debutant Augustine Pulu has 29 camps or more. Other names on the bench include Julian Savea, Liam Messam, Ben Franks, and Brodie Retallick.

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Wallaby's Hill Offers Kicking Clinic

Press Release

On Sunday, November 2nd The Rugby Academy is offering a Kicking Clinic for coaches and players of all Levels taught by Damien Hill.

The Clinic will be held at Magruder Park at 40th Avenue and Hamilton St. in Hyaatsville, Maryland from 9:30 - 11:30am (registration @ 9:00am). Cost is $30.00 with checks payable to Potomac Rugby Foundation.

Spaces will be limited so to reserve your spot email Kurt Mockenhaupt at rugbyfoundation@msn.com  Please provide name, club, position (coach or player) and e-mail address, USA Rugby 2014-2015 Member ID #  when reserving your spot.   ** 5 USA Rugby PDC’s have been approved for this clinic**

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ARP Power Rankings: Life Finishes Fall On Top


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The American Rugby Premiership returned from it's two week break to play it's final matches of the fall season last weekend. Life finished the fall with a perfect 4-0 record thanks to a win over Old Blue while the Boston Irish Wolfhounds picked up their first points of the year with a draw against Boston. As you would expect, both matches factored into the rankings. Also, this will be the last power rankings until next spring.

1. Life (Last Week: 1, beat Old Blue 61-6)--Old Blue were missing a few of their key players but even without Adam Siddall and Andrew Suniula it was expected that Life would have to struggle more to beat them. Instead AJ MacGinty was at his best once again as Life dominated. The Running Eagles have made a strong statement this fall and if they can beat NYAC in their first match in the spring they should be in good shape to win the title. Up next: Winter Break

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Why A Premiership Match In The U.S. May Finally Happen


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After the announcement that U.S.A. Rugby and the Aviva Premiership had struck a deal regarding player release for the All Blacks match many of you probably also saw articles on the two groups working together on several items of the future. The idea of a developmental league in the United States has been tossed around but easy the most realistic idea is Premiership teams playing matches in the United States.

The folks over in England are already pumping up the latter idea. It's certainly not a new idea. Saracens tried to play a Heineken Cup game in New York but were rebuffed. The idea of London Irish playing in the Boston area has been rampant for a long time (even the ill-fated Independence Cup had them as opponents). None of them have worked for various reasons, with the foremost reason being they wouldn't draw enough interest to make money. However, there are reasons to believe that this time is different and something between the two groups.

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