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USA Rugby Pathways Name NDPs

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USA Rugby Pathways Name NDPs

Eagle Impact Rugby Academy is one of only eight programs making the list. Dan Bandoni photo.

Glendale, Colo. - The USA Rugby High Performance Pathways department has today announced eight newly verified National Development Programs (NDPs). 

The announcement comes after a long vetting process using a detailed series of benchmarks. The system was designed to further define how so-called academy programs characterize what they do.

This list of eight programs includes State Governing Body-supported programs, privately-run organizations, and Major League Rugby-supported groups.

 Here is the full list: 


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As an officially recognized NDP, each program has demonstrated the ability to offer an ongoing sports development program for athletes between the ages of 12 and 25. Programs seek to improve players’ and coaches’ capability to compete for places in college rugby, elite club rugby, professional rugby, and/or USA Rugby National Team programs. 

All organizations are independently operated, function as a supplement to the club environment and collaborate with the union’s High Performance Pathways department. 

“We're excited and proud to work alongside these National Development Programs to improve performance in domestic and international rugby," said USA Rugby Manager of HP Pathways, Brendan Keane. "Thanks to our willing partners, who share a mutual dedication to growing the game, we can truly position young men and women to be their best on and off the field. As the first phase of verifications are announced, we're looking forward to the evolution and expansion of the program in the coming years.”


Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, ARPTC is the only residential full-time, full-service daily training environment for female athletes aged 15 and up, dedicated to identifying and developing the next generation Olympians. 

EIRA offers a range of opportunities from player identification clinics to core academies operating in various locations around the country.  In addition, EIRA operates representative invitational teams and international tours as well as providing coach development opportunities.

The Free Jacks Academy is a comprehensive system to better identify, upskill, and develop rugby athletes in New England at the high school, college, and club levels, while providing additional participation opportunities at youth levels. As a dedicated pathway to Major League Rugby in New England, the Academy provides girls and boys regular development, identification and competition to progress locally and to international and professional opportunities.

Founded in 2013, the Northeast Academy is a development program for men, women, high school, youth and coaches & referees in the Northeast of the United States with regular training locations offered in New York City, Boston, and New Haven, CT. The Northeast Academy seeks to provide players, coaches and communities in the Northeast with opportunities to develop, grow, and outperform personal excellence. We aim to achieve this by using our 4 Es of Development: Environments, Experience, Exposure, and Education.  

Panther Rugby Academy, emerging from the USA South Youth/u19 programs that have been operated for many years, is a performance rugby program operating throughout the Southeastern United States that develops athletes by focusing on Education in sport culture & connections with collegiate rugby; Development of rugby skills and experience; and Success by competing at a high level & pursuing meaningful life experiences.

Rhinos Rugby Academy provides high-performance rugby, strength, conditioning, speed and agility training as well as high-level competition for rugby players pursuing opportunities with USA National Teams, college rugby, and professional clubs. 

The Legion Rugby Academy provides pathways for coach and player development, ranging from youth to Men's High Performance. The Legion Rugby Academy will offer international touring opportunities as well as competitions against other Major League Rugby academy teams.

For over 20 years The Loggers have served as a development platform for aspiring boys and girls playing rugby in the Pacific Northwest. Through a history of cooperative relationships and match exchanges in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia, we represent a continuous, player-centric pathway for young people to grow and develop towards the highest levels of rugby, and the realization of their full human potential. 

The verification process for National Development Programs was initially announced in June of 2020 with the next submission period running from July 1-31, 2021. For questions regarding NDP verification and benchmarks, please contact Brendan Keane at bkeane@usa.rugby

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