It was recently revealed the Bristol Bears millionaire would miss their World Cup opener as a precaution after suffering a mild Achilles injury. Dan Lyle, captain of the USA Eagles rugby union side playing in the Zurich Premiership, spoke last week at the launch of the International Rugby Boards sevens tournament in Los Angeles, echoing IRBs sentiments, We are living the Olympic four-year cycle for international sports in America, the International Olympic Committee would lend legitimacy to rugby union, our domestic market would really explode. Appropriately for a sport which delivers a quick, competitive game, all within the context of a festival setting which brings nationalities and cultures together to celebrate sports.
Tapper and Perry Baker, two-time global player of the year, are members of Premier Rugby Sevens, a new venture wherein the men and women compete for equal salary and a single trophy. When it comes to the 15-a-side World Cups, its CEO, Owen Scannell, believes PR7s may assist expand “the domestic audience as well as the way to the professional levels, particularly in the women’s game.” Baker agreed with Tapper, stating that the World Cups should be utilised not only to introduce more young Americans to the sport, as he did with the Daytona Beach Coconuts in Florida but also to create a more straightforward road to the top.
Blaine Scully, a former Eagles wing and captain who also played for Leicester and Cardiff in the UK, stated that US rugby required “a roadmap for everybody involved.” When the year 2031-33 arrives, a 10-year-old American girl who sees the game for the first time and falls in love with it will be able to join a team and become a player, coach, referee, or spectator for the rest of her life.”
The sport which most Americans are only vaguely familiar with — after all, doesn’t it represent football without the pads, helmets, or forward passes? — will bring its most significant event to the United States in 2031 (together with the women’s version in 2033). While still in certain parts of the world, the Rugby World Cup is only second to the Summer Olympics and international soccer World Cup; such is not the case in the United States.
For those who are unaware, Major League Rugby is a 13-team league that debuted in 2018. While the league’s number of clubs has steadily increased in its short existence, it has struggled to attract much interest, playing mainly in modest venues in front of low spectators. The worldwide regulatory body, World Rugby, is eager to develop its game outside the historical hotbeds of South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and the South Pacific islands.