Rugby break­ing through in the USA? Don’t hold your breath!

The Rugby Paper - - News | Commonwealth Games -

WORLD Rugby chief ex­ec­u­tive Brett Gosper spoke in Los An­ge­les the other day about the pos­si­bil­ity of Amer­ica stag­ing the 2027 World Cup. Those stu­dents of the global game who have grown old wait­ing for Un­cle Sam to an­nounce him­self as a se­ri­ous player on a uni­ver­sal scale have heard it all be­fore.

It re­minded me of what Jack Clark, then head coach of the Ea­gles, told World Rugby’s fore­run­ner, the IRB, at a con­fer­ence in Van­cou­ver on ‘The Glob­al­i­sa­tion of World Rugby’.

“US Rugby is now ready to con­verge with the Amer­i­can pas­sion for sports to pro­duce a ma­jor new sport,’’ Clark told del­e­gates. “I could not have said that a few years ago be­cause our or­gan­i­sa­tion was still find­ing its way and rugby it­self was not ready for the US mar­ket.

“Hap­pily to­day rugby is ready and that can mean a big break in the Amer­i­can sports en­ter­tain­ment mar­ket. And when you get a break in the US mar­ket, it’s a very big break in­deed.’’

The Con­fer­ence took place on Oc­to­ber 13, 1998. Twenty years on, the world is still wait­ing for Amer­i­can rugby to get even a mod­est break in the US mar­ket, let alone a big one.

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