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Just another personal weblog.

US Rugby: On The Cusp Of Losing The “Minnows” Tag?

This past October, Bruce McLane wrote an article at the website suggesting that “We Don’t Have To Be Minnows“, when it comes to the sport of rugby, on a global scale, and makes some suggestions, as a fix.

Basically, his theory is this: pick 50 or so ruggers at every level and concentrate on their development.

Its a feasible and sensible plan.

I was born in Wales, who sit at number 8 in the IRB’s rankings, (compared to the USA‘s number 17), at the time of writing. Wales is not a big country, in fact their population is less than that of thirty of the United States!

Lets have a look at some figures, then…

Number Of Registered Players: 50,557
Population (est. 2010): 3,006,400
%age of population: 1.68

Number Of Registered Players: 88,151
Population: 312,431,000
%age of population: 0.03

So, as you can see, the United States already has more registered players than Wales. Also, for the USA to get to the point where it has 1.68% of its population playing rugby, we would need 5,241,948 registered players!

My point is that we already should not be minnows, but a dominant force, in world rugby. With some of the recent announcements of the professionalization of parts of the game, at a National level, by USA Rugby, the Utah Warriors heading into their second season and the 7’s game being made an Olympic sport with a debut in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, now, the whispers are getting louder and slowly a fully professional rugby set up is not some fanciful, pie-in-the-sky idea of a few visionaries…


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