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USA Eagles Kimber Rozier

Challenges Facing the Eagles at the Women’s Rugby World Cup

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The focus for the women’s Eagles in the past three years has been on building a unifying pathway and creating structures to develop beyond 2017. While that strategy will certainly pay dividends down the road, the consequence of a three-year plan gives the feeling that we are in an off-cycle. Despite these challenges, the past months of hard training have shown the girls’ grit in fighting against the odds. (more…)

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Eagles watch New Zealand haka (Getty)

5 Changes USA Rugby Must Make to Become a Tier One Nation

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The USA Eagles men’s team is currently ranked #17 in the world by World Rugby. This is respectable but as with any competitive team striving to be the best there is room to improve. (more…)

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Benefits of Touch Rugby for Rugby 15’s and 7’s

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Rugby 15’s and 7’s sides frequently overlook one very beneficial training drill in their sessions: touch rugby. (more…)

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Barbarians Rugby Football Club rugby jersey

Barbarians Rugby Jersey History

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The Barbarians are one of the most unique and beloved institutions in rugby – a wandering team of invited superstars who come together under the banner of the famous black and white jersey to enjoy themselves both on and off the field in the most outrageous way possible – but where did that jersey come from?  (more…)

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Nate Ebner Olympic rugby crossover player

Rugby Needs to Recruit More Crossover Athletes

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Rugby made headlines when NFL’er Nate Ebner decided to pursue his Olympic dream on the rugby pitch. The fact that an established NFL player was making the switch turned heads across the globe. (more…)

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History of Harlequins jersey

The Story Of The Harlequins Jersey

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Harlequins are one of the most recognisable and famous rugby clubs in world rugby – in the the 150 years since the London club was founded, more than 80 clubs all over the world have taken on the name ‘harlequin’ in their name. And the most striking and recognisable part of the Quins brand is their unique jersey.

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World Rugby Shop PlayerPASS

World Rugby Shop PlayerPASS Revolutionizes Club Buying

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World Rugby Shop’s PlayerPASS has revolutionized the way rugby clubs buy gear. The PlayerPASS program is a win-win for your club as it allows players and fans to get official team gear and the club to earn money from each purchase. (more…)

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adidas and New Zealand All Blacks extend partnership through 2023

All Blacks and adidas Extend Partnership

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The famous all black jersey of New Zealand will continue to be provide by adidas through 2023. adidas and New Zealand Rugby announced the extension at the 2017 All Blacks Jersey launch and will see the 3-Stripes provide the All Blacks, Black Ferns, Black Ferns Sevens, All Blacks Sevens, Maori All Blacks, the New Zealand Under 20 and New Zealand Schools with apparel, shoes, and equipment. (more…)

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NBC Signs Partnership with World Rugby through 2023

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NBC and World Rugby signed a deal earlier this week that gives the network rights to the 2019 and 2023 Rugby World Cups, the 2017 and 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Sevens, and World Rugby Under-20 Championships from 2017 through 2023. (more…)

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The history of the classic Wales red rugby jersey

The History Of The Wales Rugby Jersey

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The Welsh rugby jersey is one of the most classic and iconic jerseys in all of rugby union, yet despite the simple and classic ingredients, the Wales jersey has undergone some significant changes in the last 135 years, particularly in the last few decades – let’s dive in and chart the evolution of one of rugby’s most famous designs. (more…)

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All Blacks unveil 2017 home rugby jersey

The History of the New Zealand All Blacks Jersey

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The All Blacks jersey is the most iconic design in all of rugby union, and one of the most famous and recognizable in all of sport. (more…)

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Cal Berkeley's Ray Paylor

Rugby Community Comes Together in Support of Robert Paylor

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During last week’s Collegiate Championship Rugby Match, Cal Berkeley’s Robert Paylor suffered an injury that has left him paralyzed from the chest down. The sophomore had surgery the same day as the injury and has now begun the recovery process. (more…)

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Ospreys Sign Long-Term Partnership with Canterbury of New Zealand

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Title-chasing Welsh regions Ospreys have announced that they have signed a multi-year deal with rugby specialist kit supplier, Canterbury of New Zealand.  (more…)

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USA Rugby sign partnership agreement with adidas.

USA Rugby Sign Multi-Year Jersey Partnership with adidas

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USA Rugby announced on they have signed a multi-year partnership with adidas for the Portland based apparel company to provide the team’s jerseys, training gear, and leisure wear. The 3-Stripes will also provide jerseys for the Collegiate All-Americans and Falcons. (more…)

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Look at who will make the British and Irish Lions 2017 tour roster.

World Rugby Shop’s Lions XV Pt 1 – The Forwards

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With the announcement of the British & Irish Lions squad that will tour New Zealand less than a month away, and the Six Nations behind us as a measuring stick, World Rugby Shop has decided to get on the bandwagon and stick our necks out by picking the 15 players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales who should start the first test against the All Blacks at Eden Park in June… (more…)

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World Rugby Announces New International Calendar Starting in 2020

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USA Rugby is the sleeping giant. And we’re about to wake up! (more…)

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World Rugby Shop’s Guide To The Aviva Premiership

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The domestic leagues in northern Europe can be tough to get your head around for a US fan,  particularly with their fall-to-spring formats, but the Premiership is not only perhaps the most high-profile domestic rugby league in the world, it’s also one of the simplest to understand. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things that might need a bit of explaining, so let World Rugby Shop take the strain… (more…)

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Rugby referee explains the Laws of the Game

5 Laws of the Game Every Rookie Needs to Know

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Being a rookie rugby player is part of becoming a veteran and one step of the game we all experience. As such we all know it can be difficult, especially learning all the rules and how to apply them to the game and World Rugby Shop examines the 5 Laws of the Game all rookies need to know.


By Kimber Rozier CSCS, Pn1 – We were all rookies at one point or another, but once we picked up that oval ball, we never looked back. If you’re in that confusing, overwhelming spot of learning everything there is to know about rugby, welcome to the best sport you’ve ever played.

Related: 5 Things All New Rugby Players Need to Know…Before they Start Playing

I understand it can be a lot to take in. Between preparing the team for the season, running fitness, and drawing plays, your coach might forget a rule or two here and there. Make sure you learn these 5 rules every rookie needs to know, including the recent laws about tackling.

 

Offside

 

If the whole idea of tackling isn’t daunting enough, learning where the offside line lives is a nightmare. Especially since it shifts with the game. Eager new players will look to make an impact defensively and run the risk of standing offside. Learn early that you have to be behind the last foot in order to avoid a penalty.

Another note is figuring out when the ball is out. Refs might give a different answer on the day, but as soon as the ball leaves the ruck, it’s time to launch off the line and offside vanishes. That is, until, another tackle is made and ruck is formed. Rugby is a constant cycle of launching and realigning, and it’s crucial that new players learn to align behind the back foot.

Pro Tip: Stand a meter behind the ruck and make sure you’re aligned with your teammates. The person directly next to the ruck has the best vision of the last foot and should set the line for everyone else. If it’s during set piece, the refs will look to the fly half to set the line 5 or 10 meters back.

Read the Law: 11 – Offside and Onside in General Play

 

Proper Entry at the Ruck

 

I get it. It’s tempting to just clock someone from the side and tell them to get off of your teammate. After all, the ruck is a battle. But the beauty of rugby, and what differs us from the rest, is that our aggression is controlled and specific. Don’t blindside someone. Not only is it illegal, but it goes against the spirit of the game – we’re entrusted to protect ourselves as well as the integrity of safe contact.

A ruck is “a phase of play where one or more players from each team, who are on their feet, in physical contact, close around the ball on the ground. Open play has ended. Players are rucking when they are in a ruck and using their feet to try to win or keep possession of the ball, without being guilty of foul play.”

If no one else is there, no ruck is formed you can come from the side, front, or wherever you want to take the ball and run with it. If there’s another player there and you aren’t sure whether you can grab the ball quickly enough, then don’t take a chance. Come in low, from an onside position, and remove the threat.

There’s an imaginary line straight behind the body of the tackled player – you have to go through that. Make sure you get around and come straight in rather than creeping in at an angle. The ruck will be formed as soon as you make contact with the opposition and your teammates can follow suit. Or you can join in an already-formed ruck to add more fighting power.

Pro tip: If you make the tackle, you’ll definitely be the first person there. Get back on your feet before any other player can arrive and get your body over the ball. If it’s available, fair game. If not, you’ve created havoc and a likely turnover.

Read the Law: 16 – The Ruck

 

Release the ball and tackled player

 

I see this one a ton in the first few games. We want to keep possession, so why would I let go and give the opposition a chance to grab it? Or why would I just let the tackler get away?

Well, it not only makes the game fun and interesting, but it also keeps us safe. If you didn’t have to release the tackler or the ball, mayhem would ensue and slow down the game. And no one wants to be stuck at the bottom of a dog pile.

Related: Essential Gear for Your First Rugby Training Session

Offensively, you have about a second to readjust and place the ball towards your team, or pop off of the ground. As a tackler, you need to let go as soon as they’re down and get back to your feet to contest (see above).

Pro tip: You can actually roll once as you’re placing the ball behind you to get a little more time and space. Don’t go crazy, because you’ll get binned if you’re just rolling down the field. But aggressively falling as you present ball back towards your team buys an advantage.

Read the Law: 15 – Tackle: Ball Carrier Brought to Ground

 

Touch the ball down

 

It seems simple, but everyone knows that guy who forgot and cost their team 5 points… It’s so obvious that we forget some players have never seen a rugby game, only the NFL. So they get all-excited for their first try and get tackled mid-celebration. As soon as you cross the whitewash in to the try zone, dot that ball on the floor under control. Don’t spike it, don’t drop it.

You can even touch the ball down without holding it. As long as there is downward pressure from your waist up and you didn’t knock it on (see below), it counts. An example would be a ball kicked into the try zone and touched down after crossing the line.

Pro tip: Make it easier on your kickers, please. If you have time and space to center the ball and THEN press it down, do so. Kicks have to be taken from the spot the try was scored, and two points can make a difference. It’s much harder to kick from 35 meters away at an angle than it is right in front of the posts. We don’t want to miss, but sometimes it’s the wind…

Read the Law: 22 – In-Goal

 

Knock on/Forward Pass

 

The only way the ball can travel forward legally is by running it or kicking it. That’s it. Hence, all passing and even dropping of the ball must be backwards. Use those fancy feet of yours to step around defenders, and then pass it to the open player behind you. This relies on two things: the depth of your support player and your ability to turn and pass.

Funny enough, this rule is actually more important when you don’t have the ball. Stay deep enough so that all your teammate has to do is think about passing you the ball. If you’re behind them, it’ll be backwards. Then, you have to catch the ball. Forwards will hate you, backs, if you drop the ball forward because this is a knock on.

Pro Tip: Try not to drop it (seems obvious), but if you must, at least drop it behind you so we can play on. AND don’t get cheeky on defense and intentionally knock it on to block a pass. You’ll earn yourself a shiny new yellow card.

Read the Law: 12 – Knock-on or Throw Forward

 

The Most Important Rule

 

Would it be incredibly cliche to say “have fun”?

Yeah, it would.

When it comes down to it, rugby is a simple game meant to be played and enjoyed. So it goes without saying that you should have fun. But I’m going to leave you with an edited version of what my first rugby coach told me. It’s a rule that applies to rugby as well as life.

Related: Rugby Boot Buyer’s Guide

If you’re going to mess up, mess up with confidence.

You’re not going to know everything, and that’s okay! You’re learning something incredibly foreign and no one expects you to get it right the first time. And even the best players in the world make mistakes. But you’ve got to go confidently into every situation, even if you decide to throw a hail mary pass 50 meters forward. You’ll only learn by first making mistakes. And who knows, maybe you know more than you think! Back yourself, trust your teammates, and have a go.


Kimber Rozier is a NSCA certified strength and conditioning specialist and Precision Nutrition nutritionist who holds dual Bachelor’s degrees in Exercise and Sport Science and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She spends her time traveling the world as an international rugby player for the USA and her career in 7s and 15s has taken her to places such as Hong Kong, Paris, London, and Dubai. She earned a bronze medal in the 7s World Cup in Moscow and played fly half for the squad throughout 15s 2014 Rugby World Cup in Paris. Kimber has recently played overseas in Ireland, furthering her career with Railway Union and as an athlete with Scion Rugby Academy out of Washington, D.C. She is currently training with Harlequins in England.

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rugby cleat spotting Six Nations 2017

Rugby Cleat Spotting – Six Nations

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The battle for European supremacy is heating up with two rounds played in the RBS Six Nations. We take a look at the footwear selections of some of the players that are lighting up the tournament. (more…)

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Jonny Wilkinson kicks the winning drop kick at the 2003 Rugby World Cup

The Training Pitch is Where Players Develop Mental Toughness

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By Kimber Rozier CSCS, Pn1 – What is mental toughness? Try and define it, and you’ll probably come up with something along the lines of the ability to execute when facing obstacles or a resolve of steel when faced with high pressure situations. (more…)

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