The USA Rugby Men’s National Team Sevens and fifteens team and the Women’s Sevens Team had eleven achievements over the weekend. Three of them include the USA Men’s Sevens team being ranked No. 1 in the world, the Women’s Sevens team No. 2, and the Men’s Eagles XVs team 12th in the world.
USA Rugby is a non-profit organization that relies on grants, fundraising, and philanthropy to achieve their goals. The National organization receives funding from membership dues, along with additional individual contributions designated for specific programs. Grants are received from World Rugby for rugby 15s and from the USOC for 7s, with additional funding as teams move closer to the Olympics or World Cup Sevens. Philanthropy comes from donors and corporate sponsorship and there will be some new releases from USA Rugby announced on the corporate side in the coming months.
Keep in mind that funding is cyclical and that National priorities change based on these cycles. In 2019 it is the Rugby World Cup for Men’s XVs, the Olympics is in 2020, and the Women’s RWC in 2021.
For the National teams, significant support is being made from the Golden Eagles for Men’s 7s, an Eagles XVs group for both Men and Women, and a Women’s 7s group.
Individual contributions for any amount for USA Rugby programs from national to youth rugby is always appreciated and a link for donations is provided.
It should be emphasized that national team athletes make tremendous sacrifices to wear the USA jersey, yet the compensation received places them above the poverty line as working poor. On a national level, athletes in residency at the National Training Center in Chula Vista, California receive a stipend and receive housing, meals, and access to training facilities. This while certainly helpful is not enough and needs to be increased in the future. USA Rugby resources are stretched thin and that is where corporate and individual support is needed.
USA teams and athletes have made significant achievements worldwide and it would be remiss not to emphasize players needs at this time. There is a core group of national team athletes that have continued to make sacrifices and other athletes on the performance bubble, that is leaving the program for professional opportunities in both rugby and in the private sector. Greater financial support is critical to the national team’s success and to retaining players who contribute greatly to their country.
Poverty Level Video
The video below discusses how to use the Federal Poverty Level Chart & FPL Chart for 2019 is something that athletes may need to be aware of to see if they qualify for services.
USA Rugby International Achievements
USA Rugby’s Aalina Tabani highlighted the USA Rugby international achievements from January 31 to February 3, 2019. The United States won silver and bronze medals in rugby men’s and women’s sevens and earned a 71-8 road victory against Chile in rugby fifteens to begin the Americas Rugby Championship. Eight players also achieved individual records or significant performances internationally.
The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series top four teams will qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. The USA’s Men’s Sevens Team is ranked No. 1 and Women’s Eagles Sevens No. 2 in the world.
The Men’s Sevens won their fourth straight Silver medal at the HSBC Sydney Sevens tournament and are now the only men’s team to medal at every competition this season. The USA is tied at No. 1 in the World with 2018 World Cup Champions New Zealand. The team has also maintained it’s No. 1 ranking all season, a feat that they have never previously achieved.
2016 Olympians Folau Niua and Carlin Isles set their personal marks with Niua becoming USA’s most capped sevens player at 63 tournaments and Isles surpassing 150 career tries.
At the Sydney Sevens, 2016 Olympic Captain Madison Hughes and Stephen Tomasin made the Dream Team. This follows after Ben Pinkelman, Danny Barrett, and Carlin Isles made the Dream Team at the New Zealand Sevens in Hamilton.
The USA Women’s Sevens Team won a Bronze medal at the HSBC Sydney Sevens tournament and tied their record for most medals won in a single season. The women are now ranked No. 2 in the world with only three tournaments remaining in their Olympic qualifying year.
Naya Tapper scored her 65th try and passed 2016 Olympian Victoria Folayan as the Women’s Eagles Sevens all-time leading try scorer. Kristi Kirshe, who debuted with the Women’s Eagles Sevens team, had a breakout performance by scoring five tries. She previously was a star soccer player at Williams College and has been playing rugby for less than a year.
The USA opened their quest for a third straight Americas Rugby Championship in 2019 with a 71-8 defeat of Chile. They scored 11 tries in the match and are ranked 12th in the world, their highest ever ranking to date. The ARC tournament serves to assist in the team’s preparation for the Rugby World Cup 2019 that will be held in September in Japan. It is the third-largest single-sporting event in the world.
Against Chile, Joe Taufete’e tied the world record for the highest try scoring front row player. He is now one try away from breaking the record of 15 tries that is now shared with veteran Irish player Keith Wood.
Wood set the mark in 63 appearances, with five of them for the British & Irish Lions. Taufete’e matched the record with only 20 appearances with the USA. Taufete’e is 26 years old and began playing rugby at age 18.
AJ MacGinty was named Americas Rugby Championship Player of the Week after scoring three tries and adding five conversions for 25 points in the team’s victory over Chile.
The Men’s Eagles in fifteens will face Argentina XV in the second round of the Americas Rugby Championship 2019 this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 3 PM ET. The team will then have a bye week before three consecutive home matches in Austin and Seattle to close out the tournament. Tickets for home games against Brazil (Feb 23), Uruguay (Mar 2) and rival-Canada (Mar 8) are available at usarugby.org/tickets. All USA games will be broadcast LIVE on FloRugby.
The Men’s Eagles Sevens will next compete at HSBC USA Sevens in Las Vegas, March 1-3. Last year, the team made history by winning their first-ever gold medal on home soil at the tournament. Tickets are available at usasevens.com/las-vegas/tickets with all games broadcast LIVE on ESPN+.
The Women’s Eagles Sevens will next compete at HSBC Kitakyushu Sevens in Japan, April 20-21 (local time). All matches are broadcast LIVE on facebook.com/worldrugby7s.