VIDEO: Rugby Town Hall Parts 1 & 2: USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne, Tess Feury, Steve Lewis

19 Comments

*Part 2 was added on April 6th. See below.

Rugby New Jersey Town Hall at the Yogi Berra Museum with Dan Payne, Tess Feury, Steve Lewis… Matt McCarthy hosting.

KJ Feury proudly watches Tess.

MONTCLAIR, NJ – In keeping with his promise to make things a bit more transparent when it comes to USA Rugby, its membership and rugby fans in America, CEO Dan Payne came to this nice New Jersey town to the Yogi Berra Museum, foreign open forum Town Hall, put on by Rugby New Jersey. Our Matt McCarthy was fortunate enough to host.

This is Town Hall Part 1:

Steve Lewis & Melrose Cup.

This is Town Hall Part 2, which welcomes former PRO Rugby director Steve Lewis into the mix. Topics include: “passionate” parents’ ire over yanking their kids from school for camps and tourneys, talk of professional rugby in the United States, Women’s Rugby World Cup and USA Rugby’s strategic plan. and welcomes former PRO Rugby director Steve Lewis into the mix.


As you can see/hear, there is a passion for rugby rising in the United States. Credit the hard work and sacrifice of folks like the Feurys, Terry Matthews, Morris Rugby’s Craig Chapman, Dr. Blaise Latriano, Sharon Menella and Union Rugby’s Diane Dabulas – to name but a handfulwhose hands-on efforts are the key components in building American rugby via their youth programs.

That’s all for now, please feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter@: @RugbyWrapUp, @Junoir Blaber, @MeetTheMatts, @Luke Bienstock, @Ronan Nelson, @Brian C Cole and @Declan Yeats.

Share Button

Filed in: Junoir BlaberMatt McCarthyMen's 7sPRO Rugby USAUSAUSA Rugby Men's EaglesUSA Rugby Women's EaglesVideosWomen's 7sWomen's RugbyYouth Rugby
Tagged with:

About the Author ()

Matt McCarthy comes to RugbyWrapUp.com from their partner in the USA, MeetTheMatts.com. RWU and MTM feature a stable of diverse contributors, with coverage that is both serious and with a wink. Find him on twitter: @Matt_McCarthy00
  • Thomas The Tank

    The lack of direction for seasons and schedules continues to be a fundamental roadblock. The problem is thst you have amateurs running a program for amateurs on a huge scale. You can’t expect to see any change with the personell Payne inherited. You need pros on each position, working out a template for all grades. Otheewise it’ll be Ground Hog Day like it has been for 20 years.

    • Aaron

      When an SRO votes to shift it’s season to the fall in order to max out their youth volunteers for the spring shows how amateurish some of the people are out there.

      • PatMoroney

        What SRO did that?

        • Aaron

          Midwestern Rugby Union. This is direct from Jeremiah Johnson in the RBEA group, he is the president.

          I believe it holds domain over: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, CARFU and Allegheny Rugby Union.

          • jkjhooks

            Incorrect… The Fall only schedule is for senior club competition in the Midwest.

            The Midwest doesn’t hold domain over State Rugby Organizations (SRO) on the youth side of the house.

          • Aaron

            You just repeated what I said, except you called me incorrect. The rational is to max out youth volunteers for the Spring.

          • jkjhooks

            Youth volunteers in the spring is not the driving force. Eliminating the 9 month, split 15s season, for senior club rugby, however, is one of main reasons.

            This is a pitch for a unified calendar.

            Everybody has their reason for advocating one period over another. Snow states, in the lead up to national playoffs, can’t start playing until April, sometimes the end of April. Trying to squeeze league matches in that window hasn’t been successful.

            I was calling you incorrect for labeling the Midwest as an SRO, and saying that the Midwest is forcing SROs to follow suit.

          • Aaron

            I’ve played matches in the snow…makes it interesting. I’m an advocate for a unified Spring Calendar across all levels. I’ve done the 9 month split 15s schedule, it worked for my job at the time but certainly didn’t keep the team in shape as it can become beer league with 3 guys at practice.

            I think competing with Football is a bad idea. Football is the giant and there’s not a lot of space to carve out in the same season because your players are football fans. I noticed a markedly higher game attendance from sides in the Spring compared to the fall in the RGRU. Pretty sure that reflects across most of club rugby.

            Arizona does a 13 week, 11 match calendar. It’s pretty intense but it keeps it together a lot better I think.

  • Amy2ndRow

    Another professional piece. Nice work.

  • scott coan

    Dan always talks about the “barriers” to getting rugby Varsity NCAA status but never mentions what the barrier is. Until rugby sorts this sh@t out the sport will stay on the level of the chess club or the underwater hockey club which is an utter joke for the world’s greatest contact sport.

    • Fearless Flanker

      I didn’t even know about this. Was it on the Rugby Channel?

      • scott coan

        It was available on the Pac12 network, I watched it via Pac-12.com by paying a fee which was more than worth it, very professionally done I might add. Highlights are available here: http://pac-12.com/sport/rugby. Any sports fan of any stripe would have been impressed by this event and a crying shame this was not more widely promoted.

        This was a de-facto national championship game and is a perfect example of the absurdity that is the administration of collegiate rugby. Two nationally branded Division 1 universities with high-performance rugby programmes that cannot possibly meet in a playoff game.

        The US mens 7’s assistant coach (a Kiwi who should know a little about rugby crowds) described it succinctly here…
        https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/bestcrowdiveseenatrugbtinusa/

    • jkjhooks

      Showing your ignorance of the American college scene…

      The “barrier” is that fact that no school, outside of the off-market college (who are more interested in the number of tuition bodies they bring in), is going to add rugby as a varsity sport with Title IX restrictions.

      It’s all about football and basketball, who pay the tab for most other sports. If it’s not revenue-generating, it’s not happening.

      Until high schools, single-school…not club, start offering rugby as a varsity sport, there is absolutely no hope for collegiate scholarships. Even if that happens, you still have the original barrier with which to deal.

      • scott coan

        If personally visiting and interviewing with more than a dozen of the best US college rugby programmes is ignorance than I plead guilty. I am fully aware if Title IX and it’s implications. If one is to break through this barrier than one needs to at least identify it and not talk about it generically, as the CEO repeatedly does.

        So tell me mate, with your superior knowledge of the US collegiate scene, why and how is lacrosse a Varsity NCAA sport? Did they not face the same “barrier” ?

        And before you go calling people out, at least have the stones to post with your real name.

        • jkjhooks

          Lacrosse has over 300,000 participants under the age of 12…that’s why their barrier has disintegrated.

          • jkjhooks

            …add on to that, look at the number of state high school athletic associations that provide a lacrosse state championship.

            Rugby has one.

          • Cynthia Kouril

            HS principles and AD’s want to see their teams win championships of some kind. Especially HS’s that charge tuition, b/c sports championships drive student recruitment.

      • Cynthia Kouril

        There are single school HS teams, but with the notable exception of Xavier HS in NYC, most are at a competitive disadvantage against community club teams that can draw athletes from many High Schools. Single school teams are limited to their own student body. So, long as single school teams have no clear path to “championship” status, they will not get needed support from their Athletic Directors, who need to see that school contesting for a league or state championship.

    • Aaron

      Well, two barriers are Title IX. And then the fact that the NCAA about ten years ago tried to shake down USAR for a huge sum to make Men’s Rugby an NCAA governed sport. The Figure, was awesomely stupid (two commas) and we definitely didn’t have the cash to pay. We still don’t have the cash to pay, and we shouldn’t have to pay. The NCAA can pound sand. They took on women’s Rugby for free to eliminate their own Title IX woes.

Back to Top