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Friday, December 16, 2005

 

International Teams: Spotlight on: The United States Rugby Union

Continuing our efforts at Rugga World to spread the game and give coverage to all aspects of the game, we feature the United States Rugby Union today. It is a universal truism that should the USA ever really take rugby seriously, most pundits have a sneaky feeling they could be world champions within a decade, regardless of the traditions and history of countries such as New Zealand and South Africa. Their gene pool is simply too big, their resources unlimited and their real potential untapped. Unfortunately it is unlikely we'll ever get to see that potential fulfilled.

AN AMERICAN TRADITION

On May 5, 1874, Harvard University hosted Montreal’s McGill University at Cambridge, Mass., in the first recorded rugby game on American soil. While there are no records of the match and no one remembers who won, the game sparked an interest on college campuses nationwide.

As American rugby’s popularity began to grow, rugby was soon included as a sport in four Olympic Games (1900, 1908, 1920, 1924), and the United States claimed victories in both the 1920 and 1924 Games.


Shortly after the 1924 Olympics, however, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) removed rugby as an Olympic sport. Without the Olympic incentive, the sport’s growth in America collapsed and the game remained dormant for the next half century.

However, the sport then enjoyed a renaissance, beginning in the 1960s and continuing through the 1970s. This created the need for a national governing body to represent the USA in the International rugby community. Four territorial organizations gathered in Chicago, Ill., in 1975 and formed the United States of America Rugby Football Union (now known as USA Rugby). Today, USA Rugby is made up of seven Territorial Unions (TUs) and 37 Local Area Unions (LAUs),and supports more than 50,000 members.

U.S. National Teams

USA Rugby's national teams are nicknamed the Eagles. The National Men’s Team first took the field in 1976. Competing in international tournaments like the Churchill Cup and the Pan American Championship, as well as specially scheduled matches against world powers such as France and Ireland, the Eagles have qualified for four of the five Rugby World Cups, most recently at the 2003 World Championships in Australia.

The National Women’s Team, launched in 1987, claimed the first Women's Rugby World Cup in 1991 and finished second at the '94 and '98 World Cups. The Women's National Team also competes in the Churchill Cup and against world powers like New Zealand and England.

USA Rugby also fields a Boys' Under 19 team, a Girls' Under 19 team and a Women's Under 23 team, as well as Men’s and Women’s 7s National Teams - an abbreviated version of the 15-a-side game.

Mission Statement

To be a world power on and off the field.

For further information on USA Rugby please visit www.usarugby.org

Statistics for United States

Games played: 139, 2.60%
Games won: 47, 33.81%
Games lost: 90, 64.75%
Games drawn: 2, 1.44%
Most wins in a row: 4
Most losses in a row: 8

Teams played: 26, 19.85%
Teams beaten: 14, 53.85%
Teams lost to: 21, 80.77%

Largest points for: 74, 74 - 5
Largest points against: 106, 106 - 8
Largest winning margin: 69, 74 - 5
Largest losing margin: 98, 106 - 8

Total points for: 2,756
Total points against: 3,748

Average points for per game: 19.83
Average points against per game: 26.96
Average points difference: -7.14
Comments:
these guys - if the sport is accepted by the mainstream - will kick some serious ass  
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