Closing montage from Heineken Cup final


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Carlos Spencer & Stephen Larkham fight


England beat Baby Boks in JWC2014 final


Japanese player loses ball over tryline


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


The Top 5 'Big Boppers' in World Rugby


Catch up with Sam Warburton

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

USA qualify for 2011 World Cup after beating Uruguay

USA qualify for 2011 World Cup after beating Uruguay

The United States have booked themselves a place at the Rugby World Cup 2011 in New Zealand following successive wins over Uruguay.

In their first match in Montevideo, the USA picked up a narrow 27-22 victory. In the second leg though, at home in Florida, Eddie OSullivans side won convincingly, 27-6.

They will be in Pool C for the New Zealand hosted World Cup, where they will face Australia, Ireland, Italy, and one other European qualifier.

Captain Todd Clever scored two tries, with Louis Stanfill and Kevin Swiryn also crossing for tries in Fort Lauderdale, an unlikely setting for an international rugby match.

Many believe that the United States are the sleeping giants of world rugby, and that with the correct systems in place and exposure to the sport, could soon be a dominant force.

Coach OSullivan is pleased with the progress the side are making, and the way they performed against the South American side.

"It's tough to hit the ground running after not being together since July, and although we qualified, which was our ultimate goal - they were a little rusty early on.

"I can't be too hard on them, though, they got the job done and you can't forget that we scored eight tries in the last two games against Uruguay."

Theres no doubt that the Eagles qualifying for the World Cup is great for the sport in the United States as the profile will be raised a notch once again. They did it in style last time around with the try of the tournament. Hopefully they can replicate that, and more, in 2011.


Time: 04:36

Posted at 9:55 pm | 63 comments

Viewing 63 comments

Anonymous December 01, 2009 11:25 pm

First WOOO!!! Can't wait to see Ngwenya playing again! Maybe run rings around Habana again!

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theboss December 01, 2009 11:25 pm

Onwards and upwards for USA rugby!

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alexmclaughlin December 01, 2009 11:27 pm

yeah, ireland is going all the way.

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Anonymous December 01, 2009 11:28 pm

All the way home, after they don't make the quarters again Alexmclaughlin?

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themull December 01, 2009 11:40 pm

USA are indeed the sleeping giants of world rugby...

Any sport the US truly put their mind to and take seriously as a nation they do very well in...UNfortunately thought it'll prob be another 2 or 3 WC qualifications at the very least untill they make the step up to the top tier of rugby...

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Sean December 01, 2009 11:53 pm

US rugby really needs to drop the "Eagles" from its name and lose the mascot. It's undignified. I say this as an American. Also, I see they switched their kit. So long, Canterbury. I quite liked your gear.

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Dom December 02, 2009 12:02 am

Its great to see an update about the U.S. on this site. I'm a young rugger over here and I really hope it takes off in these upcoming years. Honestly though I don't have much hope for our team come the 2011 world cup, it's the Olympics where i really see us making our name.

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YankeeRugger76 December 02, 2009 12:10 am

Hate to say it, but most children in the States don't even know a thing about rugby until college.....high school if they're fortunate. Also, I don't know if there are enough young Americans that could even grasp either code of rugby because it's such a shock to meathead American football culture. A shame really, I hope I'm wrong.

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Kearney for tests December 02, 2009 12:10 am

Themull aren't the only sports they take seriously baseball, American football and basketball? Outside of USA nobody plays these much so of course they'll do well in them.

I kind of feel sorry for the Americans anyway having Eddie O'Sullivan. I just lost all respect for him after the world cup and 2008 Six Nations. Although with a new team I suppose things won't be as stale as they became with Ireland.

And hopefully the film Invictus will give rugby a bit of limelight and popularity over there. I hope the next president is a rugby player too. That'd be a real shot in the arm.

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Walden December 02, 2009 12:16 am

Awesome! Thanks for posting, RD. I really wasn't expecting that one!

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 12:19 am

"I hope the next president is a rugby player too."

....ugh, we already had one of those guys. Rugby player a good president does not make. ;)

http://www.stuffucanuse.com/British_Lions_Haka/bushsuckerpunch.gif

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Interest Rate Rise December 02, 2009 12:21 am

Todd Clever plays for the Lions in the S14?

I thought you had to be a Saffa to play in an SA franchise.

Congrats to USA. The fans seem really supportive.

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istya December 02, 2009 12:36 am

"US rugby really needs to drop the "Eagles" from its name and lose the mascot. It's undignified."

Tell that to the Springboks, the Wallabies, and the All Blacks.

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Charlie December 02, 2009 12:42 am

Kearney,

Don't take this as American arrogance (I've got to choose my words carefully, I suppose), but there are sports in which we do respectably well that are played outside this country. Baseball, while mostly popular only in the Americas is also very popular in Japan. Basketball, too, is pretty popular in places like Argentina, China, and quite a few European countries.

If we're talking about a sport like soccer, then yeah, we're not great, but we've consistently qualified for the World Cup and even made it to 3rd place so many years ago.

Other international sports with high profile Americans are tennis, golf, volleyball, etc.

Again, I'm not being arrogant - I'm sure we'd have a hell of a time coming to Ireland to play some Gaelic sports. I was just responding to the assertion that we only do well in sports played primarily here in the U.S. (I doubt you meant anything by it, though, so no worries).

You're right in that those ARE the sports we tend to care most about. I really don't see that changing anytime soon, but that's fine by me. I'll settle for small victories like Clever getting a contract with the Lions, Ngwenya at Biarritz, or just qualifying for the RWC.

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 1:05 am

go Eagles!!!

Great result. I was worried we wouldn't qualify after Canada beat us. Can't wait to see us play Australia and Ireland!

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 1:07 am

moving to Biarritz has really advanced Ngwenya's game.

Todd Clever is a legend. I think he's the only American to have played against the British and Irish Lions.

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ollie December 02, 2009 1:08 am

Re the US and sport: Truely global team sports seem to be the problem area. Individual sports are different.

And, while I didn't like what o sullivan did with a great Irish team, for US he's prob fine: a bit of structure, coming from a high rank, willing to and indeed probably enjoys living in the US

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realrugby December 02, 2009 1:45 am

Agree with YankeeRugger76 about the "meathead american football culture." Americans hear rugby and they think they're being invited to a bar fight. When you tell them it's not, they lose interest. It's only when they actually get out on the pitch and play do they realize what all the fuss is about, why we all love the game so much. We may be asking for more open-mindedness than is realistic. They don't want to be Euro soccer weenies, or something, I don't know.

I'm an American who learned how to play rugby in Fiji. What I've found since I've been back in the States and tried to organize teams and clubs in the cities I've lived in is that Americans don't appreciate the skill level it takes to play well. There really isn't a lot of skill in American football. Rugby players have to have just about all the skills of each of the positions in American football and that's hard for them to understand. So, it's more than just a simple skill transfer - they have to learn a whole new set of skills. Gotta start with the kids, of course. Problem there is that their parents are the ones who think Rugby is for masochistic neanderthals when their kids may actually get hurt more playing football.

Anyways, I hope America does well. Uh, maybe they'll beat Italy. Looking more towards their success in 7's than 15's. Short term, anyways.

Very excited about Invictus coming out. I think the story will get a lot of people interested and that may result in some increased interest in participation.

The mascot's fine.

And, yeah, we had a rugby playing president. Now, we have a basketball playing president. Some good stuff, some bad stuff about Bush, as with everybody. The fact that he played rugby was one of the good things about him. Hey, if I ever become president, I'll make rugby the national sport....

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 1:57 am

I hope Declan smashes Eddie!

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 2:34 am

Eddie knowing about Irish rugby is going to add a dimension to the Ireland v US game, though admittedly he knows fuck all considering how we've done since he left :D

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Jack December 02, 2009 2:55 am

i love it, the usa have the potential to be amazing if rugby can take off over there because of their commitment to sports development like australia.

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Joe December 02, 2009 3:15 am

love this but no idea why they held the qualifier in Florida not alot of fan showed up cause its not the most popular rugby state or city Would of like to see it in either Chicago(i.e. my town:D), New York or even San Francisco. Would of got alot more supporters cause this game only had about 5,000 i believe and when they played in chicago and san fran its up to 15,000 to 20,000. & yes i know its not much but it is the fastest growing sport in the states so we can hope :)

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Joe December 02, 2009 3:16 am

and for the kits ADIDAS is only temporary either we go full with adidas or we get canterbury back only reason is cause when they went bankrupted all contracts ended

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vinniechan December 02, 2009 3:18 am

American Football is primarily playesd US and baseball only have a following few places like Japan and Taiwan.
Baseketball though, is a good game and suits city very well.
Anyway, at least if people in the US are starting to think rugby is cool, its a good start.
Rugby itself is receiving a lot of media hype lately, with 7's code making the Olympics (personally, I think we missed a big opportunity by not awarding RWC 2015 to Japan - RWC in Asia followed by Olympics in South American would take the game to new level on global stage) and a Hollywood movie coming up.

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cheyanqui December 02, 2009 3:22 am

Interest Rate Rise,

Plenty of non Saffas played for ZA S14 Franchises -- Michalak, Naqelevuki, JM Hernandez -- most recently.

I think you meant to say
" You have to play on a ZA S14 team to be chosen for the Boks"

Nonetheless, that "official" stance by the SARFU has been exceptioned several times, namely with front row players, like BJ Botha.

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ned2or3 December 02, 2009 3:41 am

Hey Cheyanqui and Interest Rate rise,

dont forget "the Beast" he is Zambian or Zimbawaen...

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Canadian Content December 02, 2009 4:03 am

As a proud Canadian who's team has been to every WC and actually made a quarter final (and has beaten every 6 nations team)I am tired of everyone salivating at the thought of the sleeping American rugby giant finally awakening.

Rugby has been in the United States for over 100 years. As many of you know, they are reigning Olympic Champions having won the last gold medal in 1924.

Rugby's offspring is alive and well in the USA. Rugby is argubly the root of America's most prosperous industry. You can watch in every American town on Friday nights in the fall, Saturdays at every major college and on at least 5 television networks every Sunday. Its called football, the bastardized, mutated version of our beautiful game.

The Americans had rugby and decided they needed to change and "improve" it. The result was football (we Canadians did the same thing btw).

Clever is a fantastic player, as was the former Captain of Bath, Dan what's his name (I know, not knowing his last name lessens my creditentials), Ngwenya is very exciting. Let's just appreciate the efforts of those Americans dedicated to the game and quit pining for an American NRL.

PS: Clinton played for Oxford as well

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Canadian Content December 02, 2009 4:11 am

Just watched the clip, have to say Clever looks like a great guy who hasn't gotten too big for his britches. Nice to see him taking the time to celebrate with the fans who came out.

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 4:18 am

RUGBY PWNS ALL! great game /w great people, what more could we ask for.

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jordan December 02, 2009 4:19 am

well all i have to say about this is that while the US is packed with the best athletes in the world we will not ever be a world power unless we start throwing huge amounts of money at it.

We are greedy people, and unless it pays most could give two shits about a sport.

And why do we struggle so much with Uruguay?

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flapjack December 02, 2009 4:46 am

Haha, Canadian Content...pretty funny. I guess people are just happy to overlook Canada?

I always forget about Canadian rugby, even though they usually beat us. We just expect you lot to be quiet, play hockey, and fix up shopping carts to sell 'em back to the store. ;)

On a side note, I used to get Canadian football on the "World Sport" channel when I had cable - but I never really knew: is it even that big a sport up there?

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FB#15 December 02, 2009 5:04 am

The Adidas kits are hideous.

Kearney for tests
Considering the USA has over 2500 Olympic medals, more than double the next highest country I would say that we care about more than three sports. Dont forget that includes two rugby golds (1920 and 1924)

Canadian Content

The Bath captain's last name was Lyle.

(I think its important you should know Dan Lyle spent most of his life playing that "bastardized, mutated game" American Football, and Rugby Magazine claims the discipline and skills he learned in American Football were part of what made him such a great rugger.)

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 5:50 am

Alllllright, FB#15, no need to get so defensive.

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BC December 02, 2009 6:10 am

...and canada beat russia on the weekend in vancouver
yeeah!
it was very cold but im glad i went

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US RUGBY December 02, 2009 6:57 am

THE CLEVERMEISTER!!!!!

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Victor December 02, 2009 7:08 am

What a great way for the Eagles to top off two weeks of fraternising. At least the fortnight didn't feel like a maternity.

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FrankyH December 02, 2009 8:12 am

^ haha

I also thought that sounded a bit strange..

Seems like a great guy though. Awesome for the US to have him as their leader.

As a saffa, that game between the USA & SA in the WC 2007 was incredible. There were about 5 former South Africans playing for the US, and their whole team played excellently, topping it off with that sensational try.
Probably shouldn't admit this, but even I was jumping on the couch when Ngwenya rounded Habana. Brilliant.

Congrats to the US. Huge country, great athletes. I really don't think money will be as big a deal as some people are making out. There's plenty of 'dropout' footballers (and basketball players?) who could find a successful career in rugby. Better than flipping burgers surely.

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Johan December 02, 2009 8:27 am

Where's the crowd? Sad to see empty stands at an important game as this one... USA has a looooong way to go.

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 8:39 am

Upwards for USA rugby

or

Downwards for Uruguay rugby

I don't know if this is something to be so happy for.

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Disco December 02, 2009 9:05 am

@Canadian Content - Dan Lyle

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no shows December 02, 2009 9:46 am

Yeah, Johan, it's almost like watching the Air NZ Cup final!! That or a Welsh home game during the Magners League.

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jackohos December 02, 2009 10:32 am

Canadian content, just a couple of points:

Playing at Oxford and playing for Oxford are two very different things with a broad range of abilities. Clinton took up the game when he was there. Anyway...

Also, please enlighten us on when Canada have beaten all the major 6 Nations sides in the last 25 years? England and Ireland have never lost to Canada. And I'm only talking about 15s

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The Inside Shoulder December 02, 2009 11:38 am

I hate that Todd Clever is a good player AND has a ponytail.

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Andy December 02, 2009 1:30 pm

I second what inside shoulder said.

Great to see rugby groeing in America, they have massive potential although i do see it struggling to ever get a strong foothold for the exact reasons Realrugby mentioned. Also i can't think of anything worse than watching my team being walloped by the yanks, so if they start to get too good then i may change my opinion.

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Napoleon Dynamite December 02, 2009 1:50 pm

Is todd clever gay

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DDK December 02, 2009 2:31 pm

love it love everything about it!

I'm a huge fan of the minos advancing rugby through the rest of the world and the USA are an exciting prospect. Say what you want about them, but no one can doubt their potential.

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 3:31 pm

His voice is really not what you'd expect it be...

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cheyanqui December 02, 2009 3:41 pm

ned2or3,

The fact that The Beast is Zim born is not really the issue here, as Beast is Bok eligible (he never played for ZIM at the senior level).

I think the prior point is that players NOT eligible for the Boks are playing for ZA S14 (Clever, Michalak, Hernandez)

Many years back, Kennedy Tsimba (a Zim) couldn't play on an S14 franchise in ZA. The reason was that he was ineligible for Bok selection (he played for ZIM). But he was allowed to

Clearly to be "eligible for ZA" in order to play in ZA S14 no longer applies.

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 5:05 pm

that statement is too clever for me to understand

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NorthernKnowledge December 02, 2009 6:15 pm

In response to Jackohos questions. Canada has never beaten Ireland unfortunately. However, we did tie them in Canada, and should have won that one. We did beat an England XV team though and that has been counted as a win against the Poms. I assume you already know that we beat the remaining nations too.

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geordie December 02, 2009 6:50 pm

brilliant to see USA in the world cup hopefuly they can score try of the world cup again lol but not good to see a stadium of that size not even half full is bad you see the college american football stadiums packed with thousands of fans but as tod clever said at the end if word gets around that usa are doing well they will get bigger attendances,

cheers RD

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creggs08 December 02, 2009 7:44 pm

RD any chance you might be able to put up more videos like these. thanks for this video btw:D

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Anonymous December 02, 2009 10:20 pm

It is just me, or is Todd Clever pronouncing his words to sound less American? Perhaps too much time in South Africa.

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Canadian Content December 03, 2009 2:52 am

Well Flapjack since you asked the
97th Grey Cup was played last Sunday and about 14 million maple syrup sucking, trailerpark boy watching, poutine eating Canadians watched the game or highlights (won by the Montreal Alouettes on a 33 yard field goal as time expired. They missed a forty three yarder the play before but the Saskchetwan Rough Riders had 13 men on the field and were penalized. You can have 13 in the Cdn game).

But this is a rugby site and I'll bring attention back to ou beautiful game. The Grey Cup was originally awarded to the Cdn rugby champion and several of our oldest clubs are etched onto it.

PS We call flapjacks by their proper name, pancakes.

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Canadian Content December 03, 2009 3:08 am

Oh jackohos must we be so focussed on details?

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Anonymous December 03, 2009 5:24 am

Eddie hasn't changed. Still picking favourites over form and is as arrogant as the little leprachaun ever was. He is a real tool.

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Huh!! the 3rd December 03, 2009 3:09 pm

Kearney and Charlie, now I don't follow soccer or Scumball as I call it, but isn't the USA higher ranked than the ROI in FIFA's world rankings. USA are top 20, while ROI are in the 30s. so considering the popularity of the sport in each country, I think its safe to assume that USA are better.

I didn't understand the reason to play the game in Florida either. Chicago, San Fran and Denver are the biggest rugby areas in the States and the hotter weather in Florida could've suited Uruguay a lot better.

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Luke December 03, 2009 3:34 pm

Soon become a dominant force? I think you mean THE dominant force. If anyone tries to tell me that a team of NFL running backs/tight ends/receivers/linebackers that had been brought up on rugby wouldn't ABSOLUTELY OBLITERATE any international squad they're headed to the looney bin.

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Mike December 03, 2009 5:08 pm

Luke, you're an ass.

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:) December 03, 2009 5:20 pm

Luke, id happily say you're wrong!

the two games are completely different, i have played both, admittedly not much american football but some and enough to know the difference.

I happily play rugby, i played rugby up to a short spell seeing what american football was like and during then, and i have played since....

there is a massive difference in fitness levels!

no doubt you have to work hard in both games, but rugby fitness is that bit more.

i would continue to talk on the subject but right now im hungry....'you wouldnt like me when im hungry' so byeee

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Jon December 04, 2009 7:13 am

There's no doubt that if had the money and players that play NFL focused on rugby, they would be the dominant force in the game. No doubt.
And I'm an Aussie.
Luckily for us that will never happen, the most rugby will ever become in the USA is a small niche sport with a bit of respect from the average yank because it's an Olympic sport and it's tough.
That'd be a massive improvement over it's current status as a bizarre, dangerous English game, involving lunatics who don't wear pads, but aren't really proper athletes like NFL players.
That's how most yanks view rugby currently.

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Anonymous December 10, 2009 4:40 am

All I can say is that I'm pumped for our rugby team! Seeing those empty stands broke my soul cause I know I'd be in FL within a heartbeat if I didn't live all the way in Texas.

Anyways, I'm a high school senior, looking to join a club later in the year and then do it in college. Both colleges I visited have good opportunities on their rugby teams so I'm really excited! I'd be comin from track and cross country so hopefully I can play as a back of some sort.

I sure hope the US can become a big influence in the world sometime soon. All my friends who know of it love it! I'm not one of those people who disses football though cause down in Texas that's a religion!

Once again though I'm really excited for our team and I'll be watchin in '11! (P.S. I can't wait for Invictus to come out Friday I'm seein it!!)

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Anonymous December 22, 2009 10:42 pm

In all reality as a former american football player and now rugger, I enjoy the the sports makeup and I still hold a strong affinity to football rugby in the us is like a second launguage when we made football popular it was at a time when sports in general in the us were not important and the promoters of football took advantage of that fact. During that time people were children of imagrants from all over the globe and the u.s. was in a bad place econmicly and people rooted to what ever came there way, and now people in the u.s. barely even now there own roots let alone a sport thats been stable in other countries...but lets don't denie that rugby isn't that popular when compared to soccer/footbal

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