Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Arizona State Players Getting Noticed

Press Release

Rugby.....even the word sounds fearsome. Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the USA; it’s not for the faint hearted, the weak nor the insecure. It’s a game that sparks the very basic human instinct of violence and the test of ones will to win. Its raw passion brings millions of viewers to screens around the world and sparks the imagination of a time when warriors meant something. The basic instinct to do battle. You bring the best you have and we will bring our best and see who wins. Afterwards...well that's afterwards. For all that Rugby is on the field, its real value is what happens off the field, when the battle is done and the dust has settled. For in Rugby we embrace our enemy we share the battle with them, the fans celebrate together knowing that their warriors gave it all and they were right there with them, their passion lifting the spirits of their battle weary fighters.

No other sport has the kind of comradery, the knowledge that 30 warriors went out there with the shortest of shorts and a thin shirt for protection and gave it their all, bloody, battered and exhausted, a cheer and a drink is shared by all.

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It is this environment that sparks millions of players worldwide to seek a birth in their national colors to fight for their country. The ultimate reward, the ultimate recognition. To do battle and have the hopes and aspirations of your nation on your shoulders, only the best, the very best will do. The eye of the needle is VERY narrow. So the hunt has begun for the very best of our USA to go and do battle. The nation is scoured, the clubs and varsities come under the microscope and invitations go out.

Rugby sevens is a scaled-down version of rugby union, with seven players on each team rather than 15. Sevens will make its Olympic debut at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro and to accommodate the International Olympic Committee calendar, the World Cup was put back from 2017 to 2018. The Rugby World Cup Sevens in 2018 will be an important global rugby event ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games and will continue to support the growth of rugby sevens in America. For this America needs Heroes... where does it find them.

Well there must be something in the water at ASU University in Phoenix Arizona, as it is producing star after star and USA rugby is starting to notice. The Rugby program at ASU is led by director of Rugby and 15's Head Coach Gary Lane. Lane has seen the changing landscape of USA rugby and is positioning the school to be at the fore front. ASU has a huge Rugby Academy of up to 90 Players lead by Boris Musakwa, from South Africa, its highly successful JV team is led by Robbie Camplin, from Ireland and the Sevens program is headed by Ian Gregor, from Canada. All the coaches have plaid rugby at a very high level. With 3 of the head coaches being level 3 coaches, and all the assistant coaches have at least level 2's, ASU rugby program has one of the most well regarded coaching staff in the country. And it’s paying dividends.

Earlier this year, the sevens squad led by coach Gregor, had one of their players, John Varvera poached to play professional rugby sevens for the nation of Romania. He is currently on contract and playing there now and doing very well. He hopes to help Romania make it to the Olympics. Most recently Adam Sandstorm has been picked to be part of the USA camps for the sevens team that will play for the USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. This is a huge honor to be picked for this and we wish Adam well at the camps and his continued success as he represents his country. Out of seven players 2 international players is Huge, says Gregor, but we are not done yet. We have several players who are showing promise and should be looked at for national honors.

In the 15's game, ASU has several players like David Todd, Eric Rygiel, Tyler McCubbin, Adam Sandstrom, Ryan Fitcher, Ryan Thompson, Bill Wynne, Mike MacDonald, Sieone Letoi, Stevie Johnston, Doug Strialey, Travis Beatie, Ray Nelson, Joe Clarkson and Bob Lochrem all plaid for USA past and present.

Tim Buchanan just got selected for the Queensland Reds in Austria where he begins his professional career, and ASU has produced players that go on to play for other nations like: David Dixon(New Zealand), Khuram Hahroom(Pakistan), Joehad Hahroom(Hong Kong)

Rugby is not part of the athletics department at ASU and is one of the country’s most successful programs. It’s hard to ignore what they are doing for Rugby and the USA, both on the field and off the field.

So to the supporters and players we lift a glass and cheer for you, for after all your success somehow makes us all feel better. So go off and fight our fight. Bloody your brow; lend your back to our cause. 300 million voices will ring out as you take the field of battle. All will welcome you home win or lose and poor beer on your wounds, sing the rugby songs and embrace you as our nation’s heroes.

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