Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective
The list of professional American athletes that are being exposed to rugby just grew by one. New York Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson is currently in New Zealand on a goodwill trip for Major League Baseball and recently had a chance to meet with the Super 15’s Blues in Auckland.
Granderson had the opportunity to do a Q & A session with the Blues to compare the differences in training between baseball and rugby. At the completion of the Q & A, Granderson met with the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key and was presented with a Blues jersey from team Captain Kevin Meleamu. Granderson also received an All Blacks jersey and as is the custom of swapping jerseys, came loaded with Yankees jerseys to share.
The speedy ballyplayer then sat in on the Blue’s training session and played a little catch, rugby not baseball, with the Prime Minister. The opportunity marked the first time Granderson had ever seen rugby played and he came away impressed by the athleticism, speed, and size of the Blues players.
Granderson was first introduced to rugby during a meeting with the International Olympic Committee in 2008 when both sports (baseball and rugby) were going through the qualification process for the Olympics. Baseball might have lost out, but there were no hard feelings from the major leaguer.
Here’s video of some of Granderson’s time with the Blues.