Monday, September 10, 2007

SPORTSHYPE: North America's Best Rugby

Beginning in 2006, rugby in the United States and Canada was boosted by the International Rugby Board's North America 4 tournament, which showcases the best players from each country in a 4-team, 12-match competition. For those of you unfamiliar with the nature of higher-level rugby (representative, as we call it), this is akin to a nationwide all-star team, and one level below the international teams. The idea is that this competition will provide a basis for the game to turn professional here - that is to say, the players get paid to play rugby full-time.

A side note: The rest of the world better watch out when we do figure out this sport... the USA has a monstrously huge athletic talent pool, a lot of which is going untapped, and it's not inconceiveable that we could break into the top 5 in the world within 20 years or so. You read it here first.

Getting back to the topic at hand, however, complete video coverage of the 2007 tournament is available. This is a treat for rugby supporters in this country - aside from Setanta or Mediazone coverage (both of which are for-pay products), anyone wanting free rugby video has to get it online from BitTorrent or by swapping tapes with friends.

As a bonus, here's a video of the USA's national team in action at the Rugby World Cup 2007, which kicked off last on 2007-09-07. Take note that this not a normal occurrence in rugby - but rather a highly dangerous and illegal tackle that earned the tackler a 5-week suspension (in addition to the yellow card). But hey, the guy who got planted was English... who cares, right?

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