USA Rugby Is Taking The World And Americans Both By Surprise

It may seem unthinkable to some, but suddenly, the United States are serious contenders in a sport half of their citizens may not have even heard of: rugby. They’re being called a genuine power by sports followers, having finished second in the World Series Sevens standings that will lead them to a chance at the Olympic gold in the Tokyo 2020 Cup.

USA Team, World Series Sevens

Before this year, the United States had only won a handful of matches in seven World Cup campaigns. But after 2019 brought the cup farther East than ever, the competition started moving West in tandem. Alex Corbisiero, a former British and Irish Lions prop who now lives in the United States where he works as an analyst for the NBC network’s rugby coverage, explains: “One of the catalysts for growing the sport is patriotism and getting behind the United States.”

“We have got huge potential,” says chief executive Ross Young. “The number of athletes that are potentially available in the United States is what has all the established rugby countries worried. [But] we have to ensure there is multi-sport access to those athletes…we have to get the ball in their hands as early as possible, so that they can come back to rugby at a later date if they want to.”

Last Year’s Loss To England

And like an answer to the buzzing question, Major League Rugby (MLR) has recently launched seven teams in the USA – giving a foundation to the future many are hoping to see. But to become a real worldwide threat, athletes can’t only be transferred over from other sports. USA Rugby’s senior figures insist that the key to diverting more American athletic ability to the sport lies in school programs, rather than converting college graduates. Only time will tell if rugby becomes another one of America’s beloved pastimes…