by Nigel Melville
Nigel Melville Direct
In recent article in the New Zealand Herald, USA Rugby were accused of not being supportive of local traditions at the welcoming ceremony on the 4th September. Of course, this is not the case, the team will be attending the event and participating fully. The waka trip across the Wanagnui River is a great honor and the Eagles are thrilled to be offered and will be accepting this invitation. Please see the Eagles response below....
'In reference to the recent article in the New Zealand Herald (article link: http://bit.ly/pjmYbN) concerning the US Eagles decision not to take part in the waka trip across the Wanganui River, USA Rugby would like to release an official response to clarify the situation.
Since our Management visit to New Zealand in July 2010, we have been aware of and totally committed to the Rugby World Cup (RWC) Official Team Welcome Ceremony scheduled for Sunday September 4th in Wanganui.
When the waka trip was proposed a number of weeks ago, as part of the Welcome Ceremony, we were completely unaware of the cultural significance of the event. Had we been made aware of the significance of the event we would have accepted the invitation immediately.
For that reason we would like to apologize unreservedly for any offence caused in declining the waka trip and confirm that we would be honored to include the waka trip as part of the Official Team Welcome Ceremony.
We would like to thank the Wanganui Rugby Union and Union chief executive, Dale Cobb, for mobilizing the community in Wanganui for the US Eagles visit. The people of Wanganui have been extremely supportive, and we very much look forward to our time there.'
With an impressive resume as player, coach and administrator, Nigel David Melville took over as CEO and President of Rugby Operations of USA Rugby, the National Governing Body of the sport in America, in 2006. In addition to his full time job promoting the sport in the U.S., Melville has launched his own blog, Nigel Melville Direct, to further the discussion and his passion for what it will take to make the U.S. a great rugby playing nation.
CLICK HERE to read more on Nigel Melville
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