Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Seattle Saracens, Washington Loggers Partner

Press Release

Seattle Saracens Rugby Club and Washington Loggers Rugby announced today a unique development partnership to grow and develop the game in Washington state and provide a clear pathway for youth and high school players to continue to compete for top collegiate programs and play for the Saracens – with the potential to play professional rugby in America’s rapidly growing domestic competition.

This new partnership will focus on:
• Growing the rugby opportunity for players and coaches to participate at higher levels of the game;
• Strengthen and expand the Saracens Community Coaching program to assist young players in growing their skills;
• Building connections with the BCRU and other neighboring rugby organizations to provide additional showcase opportunities for players;
• Prepare aspiring players to compete and succeed in the game beyond high school.

“Seattle Saracens Rugby is excited to align with Loggers rep side youth rugby,” said Kevin Flynn, President of the Seattle Saracens Rugby Club. “It has been Saracens goal for many years to create a clear pathway for young players to continue into adult programs in the area.

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“We have many Saracens players and community coaches helping youth programs and adult programs, and this relationship with the Washington Loggers will provide an opportunity for players to be part of the pathway to elite rugby but also encouraging our club values that rugby is an inclusive sport, both on and off the field.”

Key elements of the partnership will be engaging Saracens and coaches and players to provide coaching and mentorship to Loggers players, as well as expand the number of quality coachesand referees in support of growth and development of the game statewide. In addition, the partner strengthens the alignment between Washington rugby and BC rugby through competitive and shared youth development opportunities.

“The Washington Loggers continue a decades-long tradition of close collaboration in the rugby community, uniquely providing players with access and opportunity grow through rugby,” said Dave Miller, Director of Washington Loggers. “In addition to high-performance programming, the Seattle Saracens uphold the highest standard of what it means to be a rugby man or woman, investing in the development of club culture, personal character and shared community.

“This agreement formalizes a shared commitment to young people, with the recognition that Loggers + Seattle Saracens rugby can take young men and women to incredible places — competitively, personally, academically and geographically.”

Along with broadly supporting development of the game locally, the Saracens-Loggers partnership is also designed to fully prepare athletes for competition at the age grade and men’s and women’s national teams - and for opportunities in Major League Rugby (MLR), the nation’s rapidly growing professional competition.   At present, there are more than 20 former Loggers players currently active on the Saracens men’s and women’s team rosters, as well as playing professionally with the Seattle Seawolves and European teams.

Brendan Keane, Director of the USA Rugby High School All-Americans program, noted that this type of partnership is a positive model for elevating the quality of young players coming into national team selection camps and helping to improve the standard of American amateur and professional rugby relative to international competition.

“Having looked at this initiative, it seems to be a great positive step the Loggers and Seattle Saracens are pursuing,” said Keane. “Partnership between youth development programs and the upper levels of the club and professional game in the United States can only serve to help drive player and coach development.

“Such efforts will not only create a wider base of quality players for identification and selection for international competition, but also - and perhaps more importantly - help to prepare them to play in college or offer a direct avenue for them to continue developing as a player in a club or professional environment if that is what they choose,” Keane said.

- Seattle Saracens Rugby Club has a 50-year history of rugby excellence, representing the Pacific Northwest in numerous USA national men’s and women’s championships and a longstanding member of the British Columbia Rugby Union (BCRU) in the Premier and Division 1 competitions. Saracens are also an active community partner with Special Olympics Washington, veterans’ organizations and other local groups.
- Washington Loggers Rugby has a more than 20-year tradition of developing and showcasing the state’s top youth and high school rugby players and is consistently ranked among the nation’s top youth select side programs.

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