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Friday Jul 20, 2018

WATCH: The Americans Changing Rugby - The Pioneers | Part 1

WATCH: The Americans Changing Rugby - The Pioneers | Part 1
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With the start of the Rugby World Cup Sevens kicking off in San Francisco today, many eyes will be on host team USA. To coincide with the tournament, HSBC have released episode one from their USA Rugby Sevens documentary, “The Pioneers”.

The two-part series will tell the story of team USA’s preparation in building towards the cup and will follow them throughout the tournament documenting the results. Part two will be released later this year.

It’s an exciting time for USA Rugby Sevens. Without question, the USA is becoming more viable in terms of growth and quality. Head Coach Mike Friday has his team headed in the right direction and admits to getting excited himself when thinking about the future. 

“We’re a start-up company… We’re like the Apple in the garage and that’s what they love because then they love to see the beast it becomes.”

Team USA recently finished sixth overall in the 2017-18 series, but were highly competitve and dynamic throughout. Can they reproduce their Las Vegas magic to take advantage of the home crowd and make history at AT&T Park?

Things certainly won’t be easy for the hosts, especially when considering the words of Sevens legend Waisale Serevi after giving Fiji a 98 percent chance of winning it all with their “Dream Team”.

And don’t forget Australia, England, New Zealand, and South Africa – all teams that finished ahead in the standings.  

Head coach Mike Friday said: “We are thankful for the opportunity to share with the American sporting public the values, spirit and characters of rugby and our team; as well as the excitement and exhilaration the game itself brings as we make this journey.

“We are proud of everything these boys do as they strive to be the best version of themselves when representing USA and rugby.”

Watch Part 1 of The Americans Changing Rugby – The Pioneers (22:39) below

Credit: HSBC

3 Comments

  •  leggaj5
    leggaj5

    I think you need to build a fan-base first and that starts with getting lots of kids playing and their parents watching. By and large probably not a lot of people follow MLS, but a lot of people were in to the World Cup because we pretty much all played soccer as a kid. Just putting something/anything on TV doesn't translate into success. Most people will change the channel pretty quick if they don't know what is going on or if the quality of play is noticeably low. I do think that TV exposure is important to growing the game and providing revenue, but I also think the US can still develop competitively until the time comes. The 7's team is already 5th best in the world and no one knows who they are. I doubt rugby is even a blip on the radar of the NFL, and I think it would be more advantageous to partner with MLS teams with whom we will share a similar fan base - something I think Kansas City was doing not long ago.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    To correct myself, rugby was the fall sport of California between 1906 and 1918! American football was basically out of favor as being too dangerous during that time period.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    The problem with rugby in America is one of exposure to the general public. It just isn't really happening, and it hasn't in the forty plus years I've been involved in the sport personally. Most people I know or meet have still, even with some TV in the past twenty years (most notably on the old International Channel back in the 90's), not, NOT seen a game! And I live in Northern California, within 100 miles of San Francisco, which historically has been the strongest area in the nation for the game of rugby union. Simply put, rugby in America needs TV exposure, and not on special cable channels, but on regular cable channels. I fear that two sports would not want that kind of exposure: American football and soccer! It's great that The City is hosting the WC 7s competition, at AT&T Park, the home of the National League baseball San Francisco Giants. Some 102 years go, one of the most important rugby matches ever played in America was played in San Francisco, when Stanford University and Santa Clara University, in November 1916, played basically for bragging rights as to which school had the best rugby team in the state, where rugby was the fall sport at the time between 1016 and 1918, a game won by tiny Santa Clara; the game's venue was none other than Ewing Field, the home of the baseball San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League. What goes around....

    Reply

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WATCH: The Americans Changing Rugby - The Pioneers | Part 1 | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos