Podcast Interview: USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne Talks to Ronan Nelson


SAN DIEGO, CA — The United States qualified for Rugby World Cup Japan 2019 last Saturday with an emphatic 52-16 victory over North American rivals, Canada, in San Diego. The Eagles put on a dazzling display of confidence to attain their first ever qualification as the Americas #1 for the World Cup.

Before the action got started at Torero Stadium our West Coast correspondent (and San Diego native) Ronan Nelson sat down with USA Rugby CEO Dan Payne to discuss:

-USA Rugby’s advertising strategy

-Match marketing & ticket sales

-Criteria for choosing venues for test matches

-The USA’s coaching situation

-Road to Rugby World Cup 7s & Japan 2019

You can listen on SoundCloud or to the full interview here:

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About the Author ()

Irish-American Ronan Nelson is from California, is a new UCLA Bruin and is a rugby lifer. Plus he’s got two passports. But that’s just scratching the surface. He’s got more courage and resolve in his thumbnail than most of us combined. Le Wolf of Wheelchairs is a man amongst men. Check him out in this video: https://www.facebook.com/PrayForRonanNelson/videos/vb.377373885627475/995548307143360/?type=2&theater and follow him on Twitter: @ronan_nelson

  • The Honorable Slim Shady

    Good interview. Payne actually sounds like a nice guy. Nigel always sounded bothered.

    • Ronan Nelson

      He is a genuinely nice guy and is very passionate about what he does. It’s a huge change from Nigel that will hopefully translate into something big for the US as the situation with the board gets cleared up.

      • The Honorable Slim Shady

        Ronan, if you are to guess, will the next coach be American or foreign ?

        • Big Fat Prop


  • oldhooker2

    Great questions. And your prediction for the match was right!!!

    • Ronan Nelson

      Thank you! Had the United States not won the entire rugby community would have been up in arms.

  • Aaron

    Why was there no local marketing…that’s the question needed to asked. Billboards, newspaper articles, local radio and television. Wasn’t done in Atlanta also.

  • Papa Kitty

    I like that throughout the part about NBC there wasn’t one mention of RIM. Just praise for NBC taking a shot at putting Rugby on the television.

  • Tony Ridnell

    Ronan, thanks for doing this interview w/ CEO Payne. Would have liked to hear how San Antonio was selected earlier in the year.

  • 1stXV

    Dan Payne better be very careful what he wishes for in terms of NBC and rugby exposure with RWC matches. Americans love their winners. We have 2 short years to get ready for England, France, Argentina, Samoa/Fiji and our HC just ran for the hills 18 months into a 4 year contract. 50+ point drubbings is no way to gain new rugby afficionados and could very well have a big negative impact. John Mitchell knows better than anybody where we stand on the totem pole and this decision of his should not be underestimated.

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