Rugby World Cup. Are there enough people who care?

I’ve tried talking about rugby here but it has never gained enough momentum to make for a viable thread. Hopefully with the rugby world cup next month we can get some good rivalries going and curse each other a bit.

I seriously think that the NZ’ers stand the best chance of winning but Australia, France, the Boks and possibly even Englnd have a chance of taking the title, making this an interesting World Cup.

Does anyone have anything to add?



I doubt it’ll be England, speaking as a casual watcher and not a seasoned vet, and hence not much to back it up with.

I’m hoping SA with 7 or more black players on the field so we can hopefully get over the “race representation” thing and get on with the damn game. (Stopping there else things get ugly)

New Zealand - always powerful and always a problem.
Aussie - Not as strong as they have been in the past, but have missed their games in the past couple of months so I may be wrong.
France - I doubt it - but that gets said every time and they usually make the second and third round so “the wildcard”
Along with Argentina - the Ultimate Wildcard.

Do the USA have a team?
If they did it would be nice to see them play, get thrashed, throw a couple of million dollars at rugby development and be back a couple years later to hand out some whippings.

Would be interesting to see how well a linebacker stands up to a rugby forward.
I think the forward will have him in the end as the linebackers aren’t always on the filed are they (?) as opposed to the forward who are there for the entire 80 minutes.
But then again - suppose it depends on the men in question.

and now - back to the rugby…

And to think we used to be good at rugby!

A young man from my club has made the USA world cup team training squad (I’m not sure if they’ve made final selections yet), so I’ll be watching the US games this cup, for once.

I just hope that the games are convenient to watch here this year. Usually it is torture to try to watch cup games in the US.

Yes. The chance that we’ll take our thrashing and use it to motivate an effort to improve dramatically, however, is slim. I think we’d be more likely to try to improve the international stature of American football.

Rward, the USA is actually playing in our group in the World Cup. Unfortunately the US will never take rugby seriously as competition from American Football is too great.

As an aside, Naas Botha, a South African rugby legend was actually a kicking coach with the Dallas Cowboys in the 90’s.

Also, if I recall correctly, when we played them in a friendly a few years back, they had a giant at lock who really was world class. He could really have easily made the team in any established rugby playing nation.

That and basketball and baseball and even soccer. The support for rugby in the US is incredibly low. The infrastructure is weak. The different territorial unions have all manner of structures. Even though Texas is one of the largest territorial unions, it doesn’t do well at the national level, heck, even the divisional structure gets changed every damn year, many teams don’t know if they’ll be Division 2 or Division 3 from year to year. The one time they tried to use a promotion/relegation system, half the teams appealed to the Regional union board, and there went that idea.

It will never be more than what it is here. Some talented individuals might make an impression on the international stage occasionally, at best. Even if the USA somehow won the world cup, it wouldn’t change anything long term.

I’m looking forward to our Pool, Ireland/Argentina/France should make for very interesting games - and who knows, Ireland might be able to hold it together for a full 80mins for once :’(

The US has a team but of course, as everyone else says, don’t expect them to go very far, I think they are ranked below even most Pacific island national teams, including Samoa and Fiji. They do have talented players, as does Canada, but realistically don’t expect much. When foreign nations tour the US (or play in the Churchill Cup), most of the crowd is for the other team. They can be slightly competitive against, say, the A squads (or the “Saxons” or other similar teams) but that’s about it.

Several rugby and AFL players play in the US, including kicker Gary Anderson and punter (for the Cowboys) Mat McBriar.

While linebackers may not be on the field all the time, there’s lots of times when rugby players don’t seem to be doing much either, just standing around and jogging with the line.

I’d say either New Zealand or South Africa at this point; probably the ABs yet again. England will be a little improved but can’t see them beating one of the southern hemisphere tri-nations.

— Alan

Those are the muther-humping, nice-hair-having, pretty-boy BACKS! A pox upon them and their hair dressers!

It’s the same, the whole world over,
It’s the scrum that gets the shame.
It’s the backs who get the glory,
Ain’t it all a bloody shame.

You’ve got some decent local clubs to watch around Austin, if you’re interested. It’s a more entertaining game when you watch it at eye level 5 m from the touch line, IMO.

I hope the All Blacks win, not because I really care about rugby, but because I’m sick to death of the wailing and gnashing of teeth that follows if they don’t.

God that is so, so true. The whole country goes into Kubler Ross shutdown.

Nice - time to make place my bet on them getting to the quarters like they did with the soccer word cup. I made R800 ($100) off that one :)

Going to be a good cup.

Probably Fado’s would be a good spot.

— Alan

Me too. It’s getting a little silly here right now, every single thing that happens to one of the top players makes headline news, and for some reason the media are spending a stupid amount of time listening to the whinging cnuts form the NH (most recently that O’Driscoll guy).

That said, I can’t wait until it actually starts.

the media are spending a stupid amount of time listening to the whinging cnuts form the NH (most recently that O’Driscoll guy)


That was a pretty unsavoury moment and neither the All Blacks involved nor the disciplinary committee covered themselves in glory. Besides, you do realise it was the media that did 95% of the whinging, right? And that we get to see your papers as well, so we can see the crap that Stu Wilson and Chris Rattue write about NH rugby? And the hilariously off-target quotes from the AB coach about English rugby?

Don’t fool yourself into thinking there’s any difference between the countries when it comes to that shit.

Anyway, NZ losing in a World Cup is one of those things, like England getting knocked out of the football World Cup on penalties. It keeps the other nations in good humour. I still think they’ll do it this year, mainly because SA have flattered to deceive, Australia have a terrible coach and France are mentally not at the races - which leaves Ireland, who’ve never beaten the ABs or won a World Cup.

England don’t have much of a chance this time round, although we’re better off now than we were 18 months ago. Semi finals will be as far as we go, I think. Watch out for 2011, though, we have a ton of young talent coming through and NZ/SA will be struggling with internal politics and a player drain to Europe.

Who was talking about the Lions game? O’Driscoll’s been happily spouting off all week. I guess someone has to talk up Ireland’s chances.

I think England is greatly improved from 3 months ago, let alone 18. They’re still on an uphill trek though.

— Alan

I meant actual rugby clubs in Austin. There are the Blacks (D I), the Huns (D II and III), and the UT Grads (D III). The Blacks have their own clubhouse and some pitches on land off MLK. Sadly, they are pretty much the best rugby facilities in Texas.