Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

Farewell Rugby Magazine

by Ted Hardy

An email distributed today to subscribers of Rugby Magazine outlined the end of an era for the only rugby publication in America. The longstanding Rugby Magazine will cease to exist in print form at the end of August. At a time when rugby participation is reaching all-time highs in America, those same advances aren’t being seen in the print subscription realm. To that end, the late Summer issue of Rugby Magazine will be the final print edition as all content moves to digital delivery. Current print subscribers of the magazinewill be given access to’s newly established Premier Content section.

Rugby Magazine took bold steps in recent years to improve the quality and format in which the print edition was delivered. While the new steps were relatively well received, there remained a segment of the rugby community that longed for the old days of Ed Hagerty’s Rugby Magazine and it’s more grassroots approach to coverage of the game. The new format brought color and flair to the pages of the magazine, but failed to break new frontiers in terms of readership.

The revamped magazine relied heavily on subscriptions as it struggled to find it’s way onto magazine racks in retail outlets. Truth be told, the move to eliminate the print edition and focus on digital media may just be a sign of the times and not serve as a dark cloud over the entire production. Newpapers and magazines across the globe are struggling to keep up with the “have it now” generation of readers that can access news seconds after it happens. However, it is still a disappointing turn for rugby in America.

It is sad to see the magazine go, but we should also not be too surprised. Having been a subscriber for years, I did not renew my subscription the last time around.

I’m sure I was not alone in that decision.

I prefer to remember the good times and harken back to when I first subscribed to the magazine. I used to get so excited to see it in my mailbox and reading Hagerty’s editorials was one of the major reasons I started writing about rugby. Rugby Magazine is also where I was first introduced to the musings of Buzz McClain. While Buzz continued to write for the magazine after the format change, some of his best stuff came before the switch.

As I write this, a box sits on the floor not 10 feet from me. It is filled with all of my old Rugby Magazines. I guess they are collectors items now.

Here’s to a good run and best of luck in the future to the staff at


3 comments on “Farewell Rugby Magazine

  1. rebound
    August 17, 2011

    I mean sure it’s disappointing to see the print edition go , but in reality magazines in general have been failing for years just like newspapers. This crazy fad called the internet looks like its here to stay and is generally cheaper, more reliable, and more accessible then print material.

    Rugby games will continue to be played and people will want to hear about the outcomes. Where will they go? Here and, no worries

  2. Benito
    August 17, 2011

    True that magazines and newspapers have been struggling. I don’t have a subscription to Sports Illustrated or ESPN the magazine, nor did I have a subscription to Rugby Mag.

    I will say I considered subscribing to ESPN the Magazine and Rugby Magazine. But an inquiry to Rugby Magazine was never answered. They never said yes or no to me when I asked if a subscription to Rugby Magazine gave me access to the premier content, just like ESPN the Magazine subscription gets you ESPN’s insider info.

    I was at a point where I was considering a magazine, and figure the ESPN would be good, and heck it would even give me access to their insider articles.

    I wish Alex and all the guys at Rugby Mag good luck in the future.

  3. ajax
    August 18, 2011

    Well, call me an old fogey, but I still prefer reading articles in print. You read a hard-copy publication differently than a website. I may not have read every article in the print edition in full, but I certainly scanned every page while with a website I’ll skip anything where the headline doesn’t grab me immediately. Sorry to see the pub go.

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This entry was posted on August 16, 2011 by in Editorials, Rugby News.

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