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World Rugby Funding North American Rugby Combine

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World Rugby Funding North American Rugby Combine

Players in the HS All American camp game between USA and Canada. Tonia Telford McPeak photo.

World Rugby is launching a Men’s XVs High Performance Combine program in North America.

The first combine will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah from June 21-27.

Held in partnership with USA Rugby and Rugby Canada, the event will welcome players qualified for both unions to be tested across the six days for a spot in the new USA Rugby National Academy, as well as Rugby Canada’s Pacific Academy. The USA academy will take place over ten weeks in August—fully-funded by World Rugby (meaning that cash-strapped USA Ruby can still do it)—and offer a daily training environment with high-performance coaches.

World Rugby’s North American Combine will follow in the footsteps of a similar event held in the Pacific Islands. Both events are designed to identify, develop and invest in talent for Rugby World Cup 2023 and 2027.

Prior to the event, a preliminary talent identification opportunity will be held in Honolulu, Hawaii from May 1-2 to target skilled players from other sports who sit outside the pathway entry points and can make an immediate impact. High performing athletes from Honolulu will be selected for the Combine in Utah.

Players can also be nominated for both events using the links below:

Hawaii: https://usarug.by/HICOMBINE

Utah: https://usarug.by/UTCOMBINE

“Looking at our current Men’s Eagles squad, it’s evident to see that we have had many players following a nonlinear national team progression with multiple entry and exit points along the way, who still find their way to our senior national team," said USA Rugby GM of High Performance Pathways, JD Stephenson. “We cannot leave any stone unturned in our domestic player pool, while also facilitating opportunities for our talent transfer athletes to shine in their unique skill set and be incorporated into a full time daily training environment. We are extremely appreciative and thankful of Chris Thomson and World Rugby for facilitating these exciting opportunities for American Rugby.”

"The development of a truly global game requires a global vision for the development and promotion of the best emerging talent from unions where a high performance program is hard to access," added World Rugby Vice-Chairman and Americas Rugby President Augustin Pichot. “The North America Combine is an innovative and exciting program that does not just identify talent. It nurtures and supports players on and off the field, providing a club and a community that supports a player in being the best they can be as a person and as a player.”