The rugby family spreads far and wide and if ever proof of that was needed, it came this week in the form of a Pro Rugby San Francisco Home Performance Top which arrived this morning all the way from, well, the United States, of course.
Whilst the Internet has the power to divide and destroy, it also has the capacity to bring people together; people separated by thousands of miles but united by a single passion.
In this case, rugby.
The USA has taken to rugby union in a big, big way – as we saw in the Olympics early this month. A while back, I’d ‘liked’ a couple of tweets about the setting up of the inaugural PRO Rugby season in the States.
The Professional Rugby Organization (PRO) is a professional sports league comprised of five rugby union teams located in North America, and is the first competition to be sanctioned by USA Rugby and World Rugby. It’s mission is to grow the game and provide opportunities for players to train and compete in a full-time, high-performance environment. They are committed to the unique ethos and core values of the game: integrity, passion, respect and teamwork.
Having followed the PRO results for a couple of weeks, I was contacted via Twitter by a Miss Rugby USA, or Maria Tempert as she will hereon be known. Maria is fanatical about the game and in particular opportunities to develop youth rugby. She has followed the blog for a while and her enthusiasm had led to a small, but growing, group of Coventry fans based in the USA who follow Cov’s results and take a real interest in what’s going on, which is also true of one or two other countries in distant lands.
Maria offered to send me a San Francisco Rush top as I’d said that if I ever returned to the city (which I definitely will) I’d make sure I’d go to one of their games. I’d visited San Fran last year and hadn’t even been aware they had their own professional rugby team. Not one to say no to such a generous offer, I’d responded positively within seconds suggesting an exchange, as and when the Coventry kit becomes available (fingers crossed on that one at the moment!).
Just out of interest – San Francisco’s team includes a mix of local talent mixed with Super Rugby veteran Orene Aii, US Eagle and Bay Area native David Tameilau . Mils Muliaina, one of the most successful All Blacks in history, joined the team midway through the season. there’s a name to conjure with.
Who’s to say that one day Coventry won’t be playing San Francisco Rush in a pre-season friendly – away, with subsidised travel for anyone in the Supporters’ Club of course?(Remember to join this weekend by the way!).
If we do, and if anyone from the club does follow this blog, then bagsy me have first option on the coach down to the airport, please…
Finally, apologies to Maria for the title of the post – I’m not sure how it translates into American English, hopefully it doesn’t come across as anything other than a simple play on words…