World Rugby Combine project is being expanded into the Americas with the strategic
aim of accelerating the development of North and South America’s
brightest emerging test rugby talent.
Following the success
of the 2018 Pacific Combine, which featured 30 players from Fiji,
Samoa and Tonga, the ‘Americas Combine’ will take place from 21-28
October in Glendale, Colorado, USA (the home of the Major League
Rugby franchise, the Glendale Raptors) and will feature 25 players
from Brazil, Canada, Chile, Uruguay and USA, some of whom were
competing for their national A teams in the recent World Rugby
Americas Pacific Challenge tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The week-long programme is a dedicated education, testing and
assessment camp, aimed at preparing the next generation of test
stars for professional rugby opportunities.
project, the top performers will be prioritised for placement with pre-selected clubs, supported by an ongoing mentoring programme,
delivered by the participating parties. Placement opportunities
will primarily be arranged with Major League Rugby franchises,
many of whom will be in attendance.
With player welfare and
personal development as the central considerations, the initiative
run in partnership with Rugby Americas, Pacific Rugby Players
(PRP) and the five participating unions, reflects World Rugby’s
ongoing commitment to developing sustainable high-performance
pathways for emerging unions.
The identification, development and
assisting of the placement of talent across the globe, along with
supporting that talent in their ambitions to play international
rugby, will ultimately benefit Rugby World Cup preparation for
During the camp, players will undergo intensive
testing and assessment of their rugby and athletic ability,
character, effort and ability to learn and develop as a rugby
player, while tactical workshops will challenge players’
understanding of different aspects of the game.
The players will
also receive tutelage on professional contracting, social media,
time management, mental skills, the life of professional athletes,
and match officiating in elite competitions.
The week will
culminate in a match at 7pm on Saturday 27 October between the
‘Americas Combine Selects’ and the Glendale Raptors at Glendale’s
rugby specific Infinity Park.
The camp follows the
inaugural Pacific Combine in Suva, Fiji in March, in which six of
the 30 Fijian, Samoa and Tongan players participating in that camp
were placed into professional opportunities with pre-selected
clubs in in Super Rugby, Australia’s National Rugby Championship
and New Zealand’s Mitre 10 Cup.
World Rugby Vice Chairman
and Americas Rugby President, Agustin Pichot, said, “We are excited
to expand our new player pathway project into the Americas, to
accelerate the development of rugby in the region through its
high-performance unions. There is a significant amount of young
playing talent in the Americas to be nurtured and safeguarded. By
providing the players with opportunities to enhance their
performance and that of their national team, the sport can reap
the benefits at Rugby World Cup 2019 and beyond.”
Rugby CEO, Dan Payne, added, “At the end of the week, we expect to
have a strong grasp of what each individual could bring to a
professional environment on and off the field. Every interaction
from the time the players arrive to the time they depart, will
gather data toward their overall evaluation. Most importantly, the
data will generate the feedback required for the continued growth
of each individual as a player and a person.”
TV will be following the group of players on their journey within
a dedicated documentary to be aired later this year.
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