With You! Rugby Podcast - From the US Rugby Foundation
By United States Rugby Foundation
With You! Rugby Podcast - From the US Rugby FoundationApr 15, 2021
With You! Rugby Podcast - Shane Young & Devin O’Brien
Tune in to this week's With You! Rugby Podcast and discover more about the work of Memphis Inner City Rugby (MICR)! This inspiring program, founded by Shane Young and Devin O'Brien - two passionate individuals - strive to provide disadvantaged youth a place to develop valuable life skills by playing rugby. The US Rugby Foundation has been a proud supporter of MICR, providing numerous grants to the program and college scholarships to some of their high school athletes. Don't miss out – listen now for an amazing story of ambition turned reality and learn what perseverance can achieve!
With You! Rugby Podcast - Giovanni Vaglietti
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the US Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Giovanni Vaglietti, the Executive Director of the USA Youth & High School Rugby Organization. The US Rugby Foundation recently awarded its largest grant ever, $100,000, to the USA Youth and High School Rugby Organization to fund the formation of new high school rugby programs.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Fred Alexander
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Fred Alexander. Fred has been involved in rugby for many decades and received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2022 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.
Fred was born and raised in Texas and participated in football, track, and wrestling in high school. He was introduced to rugby when a colleague who played in college asked Fred to join in on a practice—he’s been playing ever since. Fred played for the Denver Barbarians, founded and played for the Lamar Dust Devils for 9 years, then created the Colorado Senior Old Boys/Colorado Ol’Pokes because he didn’t want to quit playing.
Off the field, Fred was part of the membership, selection, and disciplinary committees for the Eastern Rockies Rugby Club and is also the well-known USA Representative for what was the Golden Oldies Rugby Organization. In this interview, Fred also reminisces on the 50+ tours he took with his late wife, who played a major role in Fred’s rugby career.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Alan Sharpley
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Bill Taute about the late Alan Sharpley. Alan, one of this year’s US Rugby Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, was a player, coach, and President of the Austin Blacks, and served on multiple USA Rugby committees.
Alan was born in Chicago but grew up in Texas. He played football and baseball in his youth and was scouted for rugby at a co-ed softball game. In addition to playing for the Austin Blacks, Alan was in multiple leadership roles with the team, including as President of the club for several decades. His administrative experience led to him getting roles with the Western Rugby Union as well as USA Rugby, where he served on the Competitions Committee and the Club Strategic Committee for many years.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Maryanne Sorensen
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Maryanne (MA) Sorensen, three-time Rugby World Cup performer, 1991 Rugby World Cup champion, and 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.
MA was born in San Antonio, Texas, and moved around a good amount in her childhood. Her high school didn’t offer very many organized sports for women, but MA swam, rode horses, sailed, and bowled. She discovered rugby in college and was part of the first-ever women's team at the College of William & Mary.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Gary Hein
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with former Eagles great, Gary Hein. Gary is a member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2022, inducted on July 15, 2022.
Gary grew up west of Los Angeles and played many sports in his youth, including football, basketball, and track and field. He got a scholarship to play football at Cal, where he discovered rugby. After he graduated from Cal, Gary went to Oxford to pursue his law degree, where he continued to play rugby. Throughout his rugby career, Gary also played for the Old Blues and the USA Eagles, participating in the first two XVs Rugby World Cups and the first 7s Rugby World Cup.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Zack Test
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Zack Test.
Test hails from the San Francisco area and is currently an assistant coach with the USA Women’s 7s team. He described himself as an active child being heavily involved in sports. Rugby was introduced to him at 8 years old while he was watching his father, Eric, play for the BATS but he didn’t actually play the game himself until the age of 13.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Mose Timoteo
On this episode of the With You! Rugby podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, sits down to talk with Mose Timoteo, a former star of the Eagles 7s and 15s, San Francisco Golden Gate RFC, Glendale Raptors, and Denver Stampede.
Timoteo was the first Samoan to play rugby for the US National Team and has had a long, successful career with a number of teams. He started his rugby career in the military but transitioned to club and eventually, professional rugby, where he led his teams to multiple championship titles. After he stopped playing, Timoteo transitioned to roles off the field, excelling once again.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Steve Cohen
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard spoke with long-time player, referee, and administrator, Steve Cohen. Steve was inducted into the US Rugby Hall of Fame on Friday, July 15, 2022 in Glendale, Colorado.
After growing up in the lower east side of NYC in Manhattan, Steve moved to Long Island City in Queens when he was about 9 years old. He played classic “city sports” while growing up, such as punchball, stickball, handball, and basketball. Steve was working as an engineering trainee at General Electric when he read a newsletter about rugby practice at a park. He showed up just to see what it was.
After moving to Michigan for reasons related to his engineering career, he contacted the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor to get involved with their rugby club. He played for the UofM rugby club but transitioned into being a referee shortly thereafter. Some of Steve’s greatest accomplishments include helping start the University of Michigan women's rugby team, working on the Collegiate Committee for USA Rugby, and creating NSCRO (National Small College Rugby Organization), which is now the NCR (National Collegiate Rugby).
With You! Rugby Podcast - Blane Warhurst
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard spoke with 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Blane Warhurst.
Blane played rugby for Cal, the Old Blues, and the USA Rugby National Team, the Eagles. He grew up in Claremont, California, and played many different sports in his youth, including baseball, basketball, and football. He got recruited by Cal for football and also played rugby for 5 years throughout college. After graduation, he joined the Old Blues and eventually, the Eagles.
Blane played for both the 15s and 7s. He has 6 caps and attended the first Rugby World Cup in Australia in 1987. Additionally, Blane played on three tours with the Eagles 7s team. After his playing days, he coached the Hayward High School Griffins from 1999 to 2015.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Phillip Eloff
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard spoke with 2022 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Phillip “Thabu” Eloff.
Phillip is a former player for the Chicago Lions and star of the USA Rugby 15s and 7s. He grew up in a small town in South Africa and started playing organized rugby when he was 8 years old. Phillip came to the U.S. when he was 18 to play rugby at the Houston Rugby Club, now the Houston Athletic Rugby Club (HARC).
He played for both the Chicago Lions and the U.S. National Team, the Eagles. Phillip received 35 caps, scored 10 tries, and played in two Rugby World Cups during his time with the Eagles. When he retired from playing, Phillip coached at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Bob Ford
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with the Director of Ellensburg Youth Rugby, Bob Ford.
Bob got started with rugby in college after one of his friends dragged him to practice. From that point on, he has been a player, a coach, and now the director of Ellensburg Youth Rugby.
In this episode of the podcast, Bob talked about the creation of the Ellensburg Youth Rugby team, the many challenges they’ve had to face, and their goals for the future. The former coach discusses the different youth teams that they have and how they plan to develop them. He also spoke about the help that the team received from the Foundation’s “Make a Pitch” program, and how that has helped the organization maintain its variety of youth teams.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Mark Bingham & Jeremy Glick
This week on With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard spoke with filmmaker and author, Jean Strauss, who nominated the late Mark Bingham and Jeremy Glick for the 2021 US Rugby Hall of Fame.
Bingham and Glick were two out of 40 passengers aboard United Flight 93 when it was hijacked on September 11th, 2001. When the flight was attacked, the two former rugby players, and others, rushed the hijackers and forced the plane to land in an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Their actions on the plane helped save hundreds of lives on the ground and their heroism was recognized across the United States and the world. Mark and Jeremy’s actions on that fateful day gives insight into the kind of courage, comradery, and selflessness that the sport of rugby nurtures in its players. Bingham and Glick are being awarded the Chairman’s Award at the 2021 US Rugby Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Sponsored by Penn Mutual.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Ed Burlingham
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Ed Burlingham, the previous captain of the US National Rugby team and 2021 Craig Sweeney Award recipient.
Ed got involved with rugby after the end of his college basketball career. He first started playing in 1974 at Irvine Coast RFC and eventually went on to become the captain of the US National Team for their first world cup in 1987. Ed captained both the Eagles and several club teams for many years until retiring from his playing days.
In 1991, he was made the Assistant Coach of the Eagle Rugby World Cup squad. Ed was also involved in the National Technical Panel and thus helped create ways for players, coaches, and referees to get further development in rugby. Nowadays, Ed is the club president and head coach of his hometown team Back Bay RFC.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Bob Hoder
This week on With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Mark Hoder, the son of the 2021 US Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, the late Bob Hoder along with Bob’s long-time friend, Pete Thorpe.
Bob Hoder was introduced to the sport of rugby at a relatively late point in his life. He joined the Old Blue Rugby Football Club in New York after his college graduation and thus realized his passion for rugby. After that, Bob went on to co-found the Providence Rugby Club, where he played for 15 years and helped lead the team to championships at the Saranac Lake and New England Rugby Tournaments.
His love for rugby continued after the end of his playing career. In 1971, Bob founded Rugby Imports and began supplying rugby jerseys across the US. After the business became successful, Bob used his profits to help fund rugby coaching education programs.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Ed Todd
This week on With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with Berry Todd, the wife of the late rugby player, coach, referee, and referee administrator for USA Rugby, Ed Todd. Joining her is a long-time friend and referee colleague of Ed’s, Bruce Carter.
Ed played rugby for USC and founded the UC Hastings College of Law rugby club while attending school there. After his playing career ended, Ed served as an active referee and administrator. In his position as a referee administrator for USA Rugby and the Northern California Rugby Football Referee Society, Ed helped develop the careers of thousands of referees and laid the foundation for refereeing in America.
Ed’s contributions to the sport of rugby are far-reaching and long-lasting. Congratulations on his induction into the US Rugby Hall of Fame Class of 2021.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Tristan Lewis
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, spoke with past manager of several US National Rugby teams and 2021 US Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Tristan Lewis.
Tristan grew up in London and was first introduced to rugby in school. He played rugby at London University and played for several clubs including the London Welsh Rugby Club. Tristan also rowed and participated in motor racing, which eventually led him to the United States when he began managing a motor racing team.
Over a long rugby career in the States, Tristan managed the US Men’s National 7s, US Men’s National 15s, and the US Women’s National 7s teams. He also served as Director of Rugby for the Chicago Lions, was Manager of the Midwest Thunderbirds, and served as Vice-President of USA Rugby.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Todd Clever
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, speaks with Todd Clever, the most capped Eagle ever, and a 2021 US Rugby Hall of Fame inductee.
Todd grew up in San Jose, California, and played several sports in his youth. He began playing rugby in high school and continued while attending the University of Nevada, Reno. While Todd played professionally in New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, and the UK, he also had a remarkable career with the both US Men’s National 15s and 7s teams. He earned a total of 76 caps throughout his career and is currently the most capped Eagle ever.
After Todd retired from playing, he created the Todd Clever Foundation to share his passion for the sport with the rugby community. His foundation will provide opportunities for players and teams, and is focused on being diverse and inclusive, as the sport of rugby should be.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Mike MacDonald
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard speaks with Mike MacDonald, a prominent professional rugby player who was at one time the most capped Eagle in history.
Mike was born and raised near Berkeley, California, and played several sports in his youth including football, wrestling, and rugby. He continued to play rugby while attending Cal (UC Berkeley) and eventually played professionally for the Worcester Warriors and Leeds Carnegie in England. Mike’s career continued as an Eagle, during which he earned over 60 caps.
After Mike’s impressive career, he became a coach at Cal. He is now considering other life prospects but has plans to stay connected to rugby by helping out with high school coaching.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Salty Thompson
This week on With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, speaks with Salty Thompson, rugby coach for several USA Age-Grade National Teams and founder of Eagle Impact Rugby Academy. Due to his accomplishments as a player and coach, paired with his continued commitment to the sport of rugby, Salty is being inducted into the US Rugby Hall of Fame.
Salty grew up in a small village in Northern Ireland called Portavogie where he got involved with rugby at a young age. With experience playing rugby at many levels and a passion for the sport, Salty made his way to the United States and became a coach.
Over his career as a rugby coach for numerous USA National Teams at the U19, U20, and High School All-American levels, Salty helped nurture over 40 Eagles 15s, 35 Eagles 7s, and 45 Collegiate All-American players. “Helping to advance careers has probably been the most rewarding thing for me,” Salty says.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Alatini Saulala
This week on the With You! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard speaks with Alatini Saulala, an accomplished rugby player, dedicated coach, and US Rugby Foundation Hall of Fame inductee.
As a native of Vava’u, Tonga, Alatini grew up playing rugby and made his way onto the Tonga National Rugby Team. After relocating to California, Alatini co-founded the San Mateo Rugby Club and eventually joined the US Rugby National Team. Alatini played for the Eagle 15s and Eagles 7s and toured in the Hong Kong Sevens in 1998 and 1999.
Alatini is still very involved in the rugby community and has coached several rugby clubs across the Northern California Bay Area. With a passion for helping young people in rugby, Alatini currently serves as the head varsity coach for Peninsula Green High School Rugby Club.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Kevin O'Brien
This week on the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, speaks with Kevin O’Brien, winning coach of the 1991 Women’s Rugby World Cup. Kevin is being inducted into The US Rugby Hall of Fame for his decades of contribution and remarkable feats as a rugby coach.
Hailing from Cardiff, Wales, Kevin’s family has a long history of involvement with rugby, and he played in his youth at Saint Mary’s College in England. Eventually, Kevin was asked to coach for Beantown Women’s Rugby in the US, and his transition from player to coach began. Kevin has an undefeated international record of 7-0 as well as the best points scored versus points against margin (155-22) in U.S. Eagles history.
With a belief that rugby is a game for anyone and everyone, Kevin has been supporting rugby players of all skill levels and backgrounds since the 1970’s. He is still active in the rugby community and serves as a World Rugby educator.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Jenn Heinrich
This week on the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, the President of the US Rugby Foundation Brian Vizard speaks with Jenn Heinrich, CEO and founder of Girls Rugby Inc. The US Rugby Foundation recently entered into a partnership with Girls Rugby to help expand their growth and support grassroots rugby in America.
Jenn has always been passionate about sports and she played several in her youth, including soccer at Vanderbilt University. Originally, Jenn worked in marketing and advertising, but after being introduced to rugby by her husband, she began exploring some business opportunities with Rugby Oregon and quickly fell in love with her role there.
With a desire to make a difference in people’s lives and a vision of a future where young girls have more opportunities to get involved with rugby, she founded Girls Rugby Inc. The mission of Girls Rugby is to teach girls skills that can be used in both rugby and in life, and to “empower girls to reach their potential through sport,” Jenn says.
With You! Rugby Podcast - Damian Morley
This week on the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard, checks back in with United States U18s player, Damian Morley. Since receiving the Graham Downes Development and Pathways to Excellence Funds High Performance Grants, Damian has been training and playing at the Stellenbosch Academy of Sport in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
Damian has now been in Stellenbosch for three months and is nearing the end of his time there. In these life-changing months, he has grown both as a rugby player and as an individual. From conditioning and training, to increased knowledge and understanding of the game, Damian’s experience at Stellenbosch Academy has been invaluable. A graduate from Xavier High School in New York, Damian is ending two incredible journeys on a high note.
With exceptional talent and determination, Damian is a promising young rugby player that has a lot to offer the world of rugby, and the world in general. Listen below to hear about Damian’s once-in-a-lifetime experience and the ways in which Stellenbosch Academy has helped him excel in the sport.
WithYou! Rugby Podcast - Blaine Scully
This week on the WithYou! Rugby Podcast, United States Rugby Foundation president, Brian Vizard, spoke with Blaine Scully. As a former professional rugby player and past captain of the USA Eagles, Blaine has an extensive and impressive history on the field.
After spending two years at UCLA and transferring to University of California, Berkeley (Cal), Blaine continued playing rugby both nationally and internationally. He played with the Leicester Tigers in England and the Cardiff Blues in Wales, while continuing to play with, and eventually captaining, the United States Men's National Team.
With 54 international appearances during his career with the Eagles and the experience of playing in three Rugby World Cups, Blaine had a full and successful career. Enjoy this episode of WithYou! to learn more about Blaine's exciting rugby journey and what direction his life is headed in now.
WithYou! Rugby Podcast - Damian Morley
This week on the WithYou! Podcast, Damian Morley, the United States U18 player, spoke with the President of the United States Rugby Foundation, Brian Vizard. Damian Morley is the recipient of the Graham Downes Development fund and Pathways to Excellence, which he used to attend the prestigious Stellenbosch Academy in South Africa.
Within his short yet incredibly promising rugby career, Damian has shown an outstanding talent for the sport. After transferring to Xavier High School, known for its tradition of rugby excellence, Damian was accepted onto the U.S. U18s. He then received his scholarship to hone his skills at Stellenbosch.
As a young, up-and-coming rugby player, Damian has demonstrated exceptional talent and potential. Anyone that’s interested in professional rugby should keep an eye out for Damian Morley in the coming years.