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Carney’s Corner: Mark Carney     The sport of rugby is a relative unknown in the United States. Over the past three years just here in...

Carney’s Corner: Mark Carney 

   The sport of rugby is a relative unknown in the United States. Over the past three years just here in Northern California, the youth playing community (Under 8s through High School) has grown 24 percent to a solid number of right around 5,000 registered players in 2014. 

   Rugby continues to be the fastest growing sport in America with over 150,000 players at all age grades. There is always room for additional growth and information about the sport, which this monthly column will hopefully provide. Over the coming months, we will continue to update you with league progress, stats and rankings for our High School league here in NorCal, and opportunities for you to get involved in this fantastic, family friendly sport.

   For this first column I wanted to set a bit of an introduction to the sport and talk about it’s growth and standing, not just in NorCal, but nationally and internationally. 

   Rugby has certainly grown to something that’s more than just a club sport at the interscholastic levels. In fact, it has really taken off in the college ranks over the last two years. Many colleges and universities now provide financial assistance or full scholarship opportunities for rugby players to attend their institutions. With the sport of rugby being reintroduced to the Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janiero, in the 7-a-side version of the sport, rugby will continue to garner the national attention.

   If you are reading this on or before November 1, tune into NBC at 12.30 P.M. to watch the USA Men’s National Team take on the New Zealand All-Blacks, arguably the world’s best team, live at Soldier Field in Chicago in front of a sellout crowd of 60,000 fans! 

   This is an opportunity for the American public to really be introduced to the sport at the National level, and to see what rugby means to those who know and love the sport. It will certainly be a tough test for our National Team, but the USA has nothing to lose, and everything to gain from this historic test match.

   If you have questions about the sport, or want to know how to get involved, or find a club near you, visit our website:  HYPERLINK “” for more information.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first issue featuring our expanded rugby coverage through a partnership with the Northern California Youth Rugby Association. Mark Carney’s column will be a regular part of the package that will expand further when the high school season begins in late January.

Digital edition of this artice:  Rugby continues rapid growth in NorCal and beyond   

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