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21.11.2018 00:39
0 percent that the U.S. will one day be at a level with New Zealand, England, Australia, South Africa, Wales, Ireland, France an Antworten

It was a bright, gorgeous November afternoon at Soldier Field and every seat was filled.Chants of USA! USA! rolled across an NFL stadium transformed for one day into the rugby capital of America.The U.S. national team, the Eagles, charged onto the field to battle the All Blacks of New Zealand, the worlds best (and best-known) team. The crowd of 61,500 nearly tripled the record for a rugby game in the U.S.The atmosphere that fall day in 2014 was electric, says longtime U.S. team member Chris Wyles. He could hardly believe it.It was amazing to play at such an iconic stadium in the U.S. and then to have pretty much a packed-out stadium, Wyles says. It was just an awesome experience, and it shows you what kind of support rugby could have in the States. It was incredible. I always say, if you expose American sports fans to rugby, theyll fall in love with it.Unfortunately for the Eagles, it was the best and worst of days. The All Blacks scored early and often, silencing the chants en route to a 74-6 victory. It not only was an example of the potential interest in the sport in the U.S., but also how far the U.S. mens national team must go to compete with the likes of New Zealand or have World Cup success.Yet when the All Blacks return to Soldier Field to play Ireland on Saturday in front of what is expected to be another big crowd -- a day after the Eagles are to play the New Zealand Maori All Blacks at Chicagos Toyota Park and three months after the sports long-awaited return to the Olympics -- the rugby landscape in the U.S. is much different than it was two years ago. Wyles says the game in America is potentially at a turning point.Expansive and massive growthDan Payne, who recently took over as CEO of USA Rugby, is an enthusiastic former player and coach who says hell wake up at 4 a.m. to talk to anybody about rugby.He believes recent developments will add up to big things in the U.S. over the next decade.Were on the cusp of some really expansive and massive growth, he says.To Payne, youth programs are the key to long-term success.For years, the main entry point to rugby was at the college level. Now, USA Rugby is focusing on growth in youth and high school programs. Payne says USA Rugby now has 50,000 registered youth athletes in addition to many more in the 5-12 age bracket who arent registered. The game is now played by 35,000 high school athletes in the U.S., 10 times more than a decade ago.In January, USA Rugby will kick off a new nationwide program to spark youth participation.Were going to use all the energy and momentum and buzz thats been created to gain as much traction as we can and really drag the game forward, he says.Because American kids have plenty of sports options, he says rugby must be introduced before kids start to specialize at age 12 or 13.Of course, some parents may have second thoughts about allowing their kids to play rugby because its a contact sport. Concerns about concussions in American football can carry over to rugby, Payne says, because theres always potential for injury.But he argues that because rugby players dont wear helmets or pads, the game is safer because tackling techniques are different. Players are taught to lead with their shoulders, not heads, in contact. The first couple of years in youth rugby are devoted to teaching safe techniques, Payne says.In fact, Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has been a longtime proponent of teaching rugby tackling techniques to his football players as a way to mitigate head injuries.A USA Rugby study of collegiate rugby put the concussion rate at less than half that of football (2.0 to 4.5 per 1,000 player exposures). Another 2014 study put the rate at 2.5. Some other studies put it higher. Its an issue that World Rugby and USA Rugby have been addressing with safety protocols and education programs.Olympic sparkNate Ebner, who played rugby long before he turned to football at Ohio State and became a special-teams ace for the New England Patriots, believes the sports exposure at the Rio Olympics (rugby hadnt been part of the Games since 1924) will funnel kids into the game. He has noted a big jump in participation and skill at the youth and high school levels.You can tell kids are picking up the sport at a much younger age, says Ebner, who was on the U.S. team that finished ninth in Rio, where the fast-paced, seven-a-side version of rugby was played.The inclusion of rugby in the Olympics is massive, says Wyles, also an Olympian. The exposure that rugby gets is fantastic. Its something that kids have watched and seen and gone, Hold on a second, maybe this is a sport I can play.Wyles thinks the game sells itself if kids are exposed to it.Theres a lot of movement, big athleticism, big hits, attacking play, and it all happens one after another, he says. You can go from attack to defense in the space of a second.The impact of better youth programs and more exposure is also being felt on the womens side.Kelly Griffin, captain of the U.S. womens Olympic team which finished fifth in Rio, has been part of the national program since 2006. She has played rugby union, the traditional 15-a-side version of the game, but has been part of the national sevens residence program since 2012.Although most members of the U.S. womens team in Rio didnt start playing rugby until college or later, Griffin cites young Olympians Richelle Stephens, 20, and Lilly Durbin, 17, as proof that high-impact talent is in the pipeline. That shows its growing at the younger level, she says.The U.S. women are thriving in both sevens and 15s, where they rank seventh in the world (the U.S. men are No. 17), and Griffin sees that success as part of a larger trend.With Title IX and how much the U.S. supports women playing sports, it shows not just in rugby but across all sports, she says.Time to go proWhile the game can be grown from the bottom up, it can also grow from the top down. Thats one of the hopes of Doug Schoninger, CEO of PRO Rugby North America, the first fully professional U.S.-based rugby league.PRO Rugby debuted in April -- with teams in Denver, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Columbus, Ohio -- at what Schoninger believed was just the right time: after the 2015 World Cup and before the Olympics.For the first time, American rugby players have the chance to play professionally without going overseas. In the leagues first year, there were 16 international players (including former All Blacks fullback Mils Muliaina and Italian stalwart Mirco Bergamasco) and more than 100 from the U.S.Ninety-five percent of them had never been paid to play rugby, Schoninger says of the Americans.Its part of American rugby shifting gears toward a more professional approach, Schoninger says. He predicts tremendous growth over the next decade to the point where one big event could light a fire under the U.S. game similar to what happened when Japan registered a huge upset at the 2015 World Cup.Theres no question well have a Japanese moment like Japan, on the game after they beat South Africa, where they played Samoa and a quarter of their country watched, he says. That will happen.By the time the 2019 or 2023 World Cups come along -- and especially if the U.S. bid to host the 2027 World Cup succeeds -- hes certain the country will be primed to take advantage of such a moment.Still plenty of work to be doneSuccess on the sports biggest stage, mens 15s, is the steepest hill to climb. As Wyles noted, he has been in three World Cups and won just one game. U.S. victories on the field havent matched the sports growth here.For now, he cant foresee the Eagles beating the All Blacks.I think were a long way from that, he says. In terms of tangible success on the pitch, the 15s team is going to be something that takes a long time and will be a bit more of a slow burner. I think sevens is something where the guys are almost there anyway. Things can be accelerated much quicker.Japan and Argentina are two nations that have built strong 15s programs in recent years, which gives the U.S. optimism.Ebner, for one, believes 100 percent that the U.S. will one day be at a level with New Zealand, England, Australia, South Africa, Wales, Ireland, France and Scotland at the top of the rugby ladder.Especially with the amount of talent we have in the country, he says. Look at all the amazing athletes that dont make it in the NFL. Imagine if those guys were playing rugby growing up.Payne also notes the potential of athletes from other sports migrating to rugby. If former college football or soccer players express interest, theyre channeled into a fast-track development plan. Mens sevens standouts Carlin Isles and Perry Baker are examples. Isles was a track and football standout; Baker played football in college and professionally in the Arena League.We have crossover athletes that are coming from other sports because theyve seen what Carlins done and theyve seen what Perry Bakers done, two of the guys that are some of the best sevens players in the world, Payne says.As Wyles looks ahead, he knows the U.S. is making progress. But more evolution is needed.The All Blacks are playing, week in and week out, at an extremely high level of rugby in the Super 15 [Super Rugby], whereas some of our guys are amateurs, he says.To illustrate that gap, Wyles points to Mike Petri, a New York teacher who has more than 50 caps with the U.S. national team.A week and a half before he was playing the best rugby team in the world [the All Blacks] -- who are all professional and play at the highest level -- he was teaching in Manhattan at Xavier High School, he says. Thats a clear example of how different the situation is. Wholesale Air Max Shoes Sale . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. Wholesale Air Max For Sale Cheap .Y. - Nelson Mandela will be honoured by the New York Yankees with a plaque in Monument Park. .ca! Hi Kerry, Heres an interesting one. I know its common knowledge that all players are responsible for their sticks. We witnessed that when Zack Kassian hit Edmontons Sam Gagner in the face after a missed check. Wholesale Air Max China . Inter president Erick Thohir says in a club statement on Wednesday that Vidic is "one of the worlds best defenders and his qualities, international pedigree, and charisma will be an asset. Wholesale Air Max Sale Online . But now that hes in the NHL, the Calgary Flames centre showed big improvement in that department by scoring the winner in the eighth round of a 5-4 shootout victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. In the latest Burning Questions,?the Colorado Rockies Nolan Arenado is getting sick of all the comparisons to other young stars.Who was your favorite player growing up? Arenado:?There are so many good ones and I love Adrian Beltre, but Ill go with Matt Holliday. Just because I love his swing. I grew up wanting to stay through the baseball. My swing, my finish, I always tried to replicate it to be like his because he stayed through the ball so much. I dont hit like him, but to stay through like he does is something I really appreciate.Who is your favorite player to watch today (not a teammate)? Arenado:?This is tough. I think Corey Seager is a good player, I like watching him play a lot. Ill go with Anthony Rizzo. He has a lot of power. I like how he drops on his back leg. He uses his legs really well, plays a good first base and I just love watching him play.Who is your most underrated teammate? Arenado:?Its probably DJ LeMahieu. I just think hes an underrated player in general and then hes an unbelievable teammate, an unbelievable player and he doesnt get any credit for what he does for our team and what he can do. Hes the type of player that can help you win teammates.Whats the most annoying question you are asked by the media?Arenado:?Well lately, it has been about who I am going to play with in the World Baseball Classic. Ive been getting that a lot and its been driving me a little crazy because I dont have an answer. But when they do the comparisons of you to [Manny] Machado?or Kris Bryant, stuff like that. It just gets annoying. You dont want to hear it anymore because it just doesnt matter. I have respect for them. Its not that I think I am way better, its just that how do you answer those things without sounding bad?One rule you would change? Arenado:?The pace of play, the foot in the box, I dont like.dddddddddddd I dont think that is a very good rule. I like to take a breath and relax. Now if I take one little step out of the box I could get fined or get in trouble for that. I dont like that. You take a pitch and now you have to worry about keeping your foot in instead of just taking a pitch and getting ready for that next pitch.Who is ultimately responsible for policing the game? Players, manager, umpires, league? Arenado:?Well, when it comes to on-field stuff, the players should be taking care of that. There are obviously different things that happen in a game, but the players should. I think the guys up top, the commissioner, they need to pay attention too, but I think it starts with the players.How big of a problem are PEDs in todays game? Areando:?Obviously its a pretty big problem, but they are doing a god job of cleaning it up. Were doing drug tests all the time now. They are doing the best they can but every year somebody is going to be coming out with something different. Somebody will try to cheat the game, and thats just how it goes, but I think MLB is doing a good job of trying to clean it up.What is something that people dont know about you or have wrong about you?Arenado:?Im pretty shy, I mind my business and I like to play pingpong all the time. Growing up it was just something I liked to do. And I know how to surf really well. Hey, I live in Southern California. 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