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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Q&A: Answers To Your Questions

Thanks to everyone that sent in their questions. Once again we had a great series of questions touching on PRO Rugby, the Eagles coaching search, television, and more.

G Ha: Do you know what the compensation package will be for the USA Eagles head coach? How does it compare to other Tier 2 countries, and do you have an opinion on the country/style the USA should compare itself to? IMO South Africa (big, physical forwards the priority, attacking backline based on go forward ball, and kicking for field position). Andre Snyman from Glendale??? Peter deVilliers????

TIAR: Good question but no, we do not. An educated guess would say that pay would increase somewhat from what it has been and would be very competitive with more Tier II countries. Typically, coaches brought in from overseas cost a lot more than domestic coaches.

In answer to your second question. I think Americans need to play their own style and not model themselves after others. Japan has done exactly that and it's worked out very well for them. The U.S. team is such a unique mix of talent that it would be hard to copy someone else. We need to find our own style.

Take the jump to read more.

Jake Heenan: In regards to Pro Rugby in USA starting in April. There's no doubt it's much more promising that the NRFL. However if the goal is to get the best 180 players on 6 teams. How do they plan on doing that when they haven't even announced all the cities and coaches yet? Plus if they only pay 25k, most players won't relocate and move away from their families and jobs that pay more.

TIAR: You make a fair point that the pay is not going to be something that a player can support their families on. That said, you could see a lot of younger players in the competition. Additionally, from our conversations with the PRO Rugby folks they are going to make every effort to keep a player close to their home town. For example, Pila Huihui would play for San Francisco or Sacramento rather than be forced to move across the country. All that said, most players will probably join the league.

From what we understand, they have agreements with facilities around the country for franchises but are just waiting to finalize the paperwork before announcing. That should come soon. The coaches are mostly in place as well with the only thing up in the air is the Eagles coaching search. Many of the PRO Rugby candidates also applied for the Eagles job and so they can't accept a PRO Rugby gig until they hear back from U.S.A. Rugby. We agree, the slow trickle of information has been frustrating but we're very confident from our conversations that everything will be ready for the start of the season.

G Ha: Do you know what the ratings were for the World Cup Final between NZ and Australia? It was broadcast live on NBC.

TIAR: From what we read the match had a .6 rating and about 1 million viewers. That is an increase from four years ago and more than watched the Eagles-All Blacks match. The semi-final between New Zealand and South Africa had a .5 and about 800k viewers. The Las Vegas 7s a few years ago still has the highest ratings for a rugby event.

Juju: A6N broadcaster/streamer?

TIAR: From what we understand one of the big drivers of the tournament is ESPN. Whether that just means ESPN3/WatchESPN or on a regular channel we're not sure. Also, it's not a given that ESPN will be involved in the end that's just what we've heard from people in the know.

Adam Muszynski: When does RIM launch? What platforms will it deliver?

TIAR: We're not sure but indications are after the New Year sometime. The details we've been able to get on RIM aren't that great.

WM: With Pro Rugby around the corner and most professional competitions overseas already kicked off I am guessing we won't see any new contracts for Eagles? If we were to see someone pick up a contract or a trial who do you think it would be?

TIAR: There is still the possibility of a player getting picked up as Six Nations cover. It seems to happen every year. PRO Rugby is going to be great but at the same time it's not going to replace Europe for many players. Almost every single player that plays PRO Rugby would jump at the chance to join a top European team, even if it's only for a month.

If someone were to be picked up it might be a player like Seamus Kelly (who may play 7s). The 7s players are locked into the Olympics so it's very unlikely a player like Danny Barrett heads overseas. Even if the money was decent these players have been working for years to make Rio and they probably wouldn't want to jeopardize that for anything. Al McFarland is maybe a player that could get a look.

Payton Sanders: With the head coaching search hopefully nearing it's conclusion, is there any names that have been mentioned through the grapevine? If not do you have any guesses on who may be up for the position?

TIAR: This one has been pretty tight in terms of getting information. We have not heard any specific names but we have heard there has been an offer put out there to an overseas coach. Who that might be we have no clue. A hunch says it's someone from the Southern Hemisphere.

Eli: 1) Before the last high performance camp for the Eagle 7s women's team, Coach McCoy had said she anticipated adding a few players to the OTC residency. Which players have been added? Also heard Kathryn Johnson is leaving the OTC residency - any word on why?

2) With only 5 stops on the women's series, will the 7s team be playing in any other non-series tournaments? Vegas? Others? Hosting any teams for a round robin at the OTC as they have in the past?

3) Also, can you provide player grades for the Women's Dubai tournament (and series going forward) as you do for the mens 7s team?

TIAR: 1) Several players have been added to residency since last year. That includes several returning players like Jessica Javelet. We're not sure why Kathryn Johnson is leaving the OTC. She certainly didn't play a lot in Dubai so maybe she isn't a great fit under coach McCoy. That's too bad if that's the case. She was one of the most consistent players last year. For the women, just like the men, you have to remember that these players are sacrificing a lot to go to Rio. The pay is not great so for some there comes a time when they simply have to make a life decisions.

2) There will absolutely be more tournaments. Having less stops it only makes sense to put a team in Vegas (they had spread out their players on invitational teams last year). Vancouver is also looking to have an invitational alongside their Series stop. Round robins are definitely on the cards as well.

3) That's something we'll do going forward (they may not have wanted grades from last tournament's performance!).

sjsuvc1: We know that PRO RUGBY wants to do the whole drip system on releasing news, but given the lack of information and press releases for even the SF team do you think this is hurting them more then helping. Pro rugby stated that by end of year all teams and coaches will be announced. We have less then 2 weeks for them to do so, 1 coach and two teams so far.

TIAR: As mentioned above, they don't really like the whole drip system but they feel like they can't make announcements until everything is 100% a go. They don't want to announce a city and then all of a sudden have the facility back out for some reason. That would leave them likely pulling out of that city. If they sign an agreement the facility can't pull out. Agreed that it is hurting them at the moment.

1 comment:

  1. Great Q&A, Curtis! I'm happy to see that others have asked the questions that were on my mind.

    That said, the PRO Rugby Chinese water treatment is a drag.
    I was looking for Christmas presents for the players in the family and there wasn't anything out there (i.e. advertising for PRO Rugby). HS and college guys I've talked to don't know anything about it. A shirt would have at least gotten the discussion started.