by Nigel Melville
Nigel Melville Direct
As I sit in San Diego Airport waiting to catch the plane back to Denver, its a good time to reflect on the weekend's rugby and the progress that is being made in the sevens game. This weekend we had 7 Territorial teams (Men and Women) with an additional Men's All American College team and USA Rugby Women's development team making up the 8 team brackets. The teams arrived during the week to prepare, the event was hosted by the Olympic Training centre, Chula Vista (San Diego), our High Performance center where our National Teams prepare for international competition. Chula Vista has great facilities, limited accommodation, fields, gyms and other high performance facilities to support team preparations. The food is first class and the weather perfect.
Taking the teams to Chula Vista was important, we need all our players and coaches to understand the Olympic opportunity, what we are doing and how the programs are developing.
This weekend, both our Men's and Women's National team coaches were in attendance, Ric Suggitt coached the Women's Development Team to the women's final where they were beaten by a more experienced Pacific Coast team. The Men's All American's were coached by AA's Sevens Coach Alex Magleby, while Al Caravelli watched every single game making sure he hadn't missed out on any talent as he selects his Pan Am Games squad.
Yesterday we selected a Men's and Women's All Star squad, this morning they were coached by the national coaches. The men played against each other, the women's squad worked on skills and then met with Alex Williams (High Performance Manager - Women) and myself where we set out the program for the next year.
In conclusion, I was pretty excited at what I saw over the weekend, the teams were all very athletic, young, fast and skillful. The games were competitive and the coaches prepared their teams well. The referees were excellent under the watchful eye of Paddy McNally.
The USOC High Performance staff joined us yesterday to watch the games, along with a number of resident Olympic Athletes, some showing more than a passing interest in the Olympic opportunity for rugby!
Overall, an excellent weekend's rugby, safe travels home to all the players, particularly those heading east!
Thanks all for a great weekend, we have an exciting future ahead of us..
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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