Rugby America

Rugby News & Views From an American Perspective

USA Rugby Launching Olympic Development Program

Release provided by USA Rugby

CHULA VISTA, Calif. – The USA Rugby Men’s Eagles Sevens program announced today that it will launch a new initiative designed to identify, develop and monitor potential Eagles throughout the year.  The program will create independent regional academies that will work closely with USA Rugby National Team staff.

The Olympic Development Program (ODP) will be the start of a long-term systematic approach to rugby athlete development and will offer year-round training programs delivered at several newly created Olympic Development Academies (ODAs).

“Aligning our domestic progression with the international demands of sevens will help intensify the competition for spots at the OTC,” said Men’s Sevens Head Coach Alex Magleby.  “It will also speed up each player’s access to changes in the game, and expand the quality and number of seven-a-side match repetitions over the course of a year.”

Each ODA will provide a 10-month training opportunity with two four-week recovery periods, and continuous assessment and playing opportunities throughout the year. Players attending the center will receive rugby specific training, strength, speed and conditioning sessions, video analysis, fitness testing, and skill development.

Players attending an ODA will also have bi-monthly communication with USA Rugby Sevens coaching staff, and those players demonstrating the potential to play for the Eagles will be offered the opportunity to try out with the national team at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

“Our staff is looking forward to working with some of our top sevens coaches and players on a regular basis,” said Magleby.

The Olympic Development Program is designed for:

  • Up and coming players who are not yet ready for international competition but have demonstrated the ability to play on the national team
  • Players who are in the extended player pool but not part of the Eagles’ residency program.
  • Domestic club-based athletes, non-collegiate age-grade athletes, and college athletes whose University programs are not delivering a high performance rugby experience.

College players will be encouraged to have a formal connection with an ODA for out of season development in conjunction with that athlete’s collegiate coach. Athletes attending the centers do not have to play for the entity hosting the center; they will, however, have to follow the program provided for them by their Academy coach.

The Olympic Development Program will be launched in three phases:

  • Phase 1 of the program will include six ODA’s in Seattle, Chicago and San Diego (Serevi), Long Beach & Columbus (Emerging Tigers), and Glendale Raptors and will be run as a pilot program to build best-case practices.
  • Phase 2 will increase the numbers of centers to support the demand across the country.
  • Phase 3 will see the establishment of a National Academy facility and an expansion of the current residency program at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.

USA Rugby’s six initial ODAs will begin in January of 2013 with a focus on building best-case practices for future expansion.  Applications for Phase 2 will be accepted after February 2013.  Full program details can be downloaded here.

ODA City Contact Email
Glendale Glendale Mark Bullock
Serevi Chicago Aaron Manheimer
Serevi Seattle Evan Haigh
Serevi San Diego Matt Hawkins
Emerging Tigers Long Beach James Walker
Emerging Tigers Columbus Paul Holmes
About USA Rugby Established in 1975, USA Rugby is the governing body for the sport of rugby in America and a Full Sport Member of the United States Olympic Committee. Currently headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, USA Rugby is charged with developing the game on all levels and has over 115,000 active members. USA Rugby oversees four national teams, multiple collegiate and high school All-American sides, and an emerging Olympic development pathway for elite athletes. It also hosts over 30 national playoff and championship events every year as a service to its members. In October 2009, the International Olympic Committee announced that Rugby Sevens (the seven-a-side version of the game) will appear in the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro. Visit for more information.

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This entry was posted on December 22, 2012 by in Club Sevens, International Rugby, Olympics, Rugby News.

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