Benny’s Rugby Beat…Down

This week I interviewed two prominent rugby bloggers:  The first was with Matt Gagger who writes for Aussie rugby site Green and Gold Rugby.  The second was with Kurt Oeler who writes for US rugby site gainline.us.

1.  Who are you and why did you start blogging about rugby?

I own a marketing consultancy and started G&GR in 2007 as an experiment in blogging. I’ve always loved rugby and have grown to love social media as a medium – instant feedback and democracy.

2.  Who are your favorite teams, players and why?

The Wallabies (Australia)  – because I’m an Aussie. As a New South Welshman, I also follow the Waratahs, but love to see any Aussie team do well.

3.  Where would you suggest an amateur of this

complex sport look first (to gain some comprehension)?

This place http://www.whatisrugby.com/ looks like a good place to start. Otherwise check out the IRB.com.

4.  What would you say is the future of rugby?  Why?

Rugby is healthy in its traditional markets – Europe & Sthn Hemisphere. The big move is to crack the US and Asia. The US especially would be a game changer.

Kurt Oeler:

1.  Who are you and why did you start blogging about rugby?

a. See biography on site. There is a more professional bio on linkedin.

1b. I played for 4 teams over a dozen years, mainly in CA, at a time when I was working in journalism. I have always liked to read and write, as befits my college History Degree. And, I work in digital media. So blogging about American rugby allows me to pursue past and present passions while keeping in touch with certain business interests, i.e. digital publishing.

2. Who are your favorite teams, players and why?

Because I write about US games, I avoid rooting for specific domestic teams; however, my favorite american team is The Eagles. Overseas, I tend to pull for teams I have had contact with, for instance, Ireland when Eddie O’Sullivan was coaching there.

3.  Where would you suggest an amateur of this complex sport look first (to gain some comprehension)?

For technical instruction, there are many fine clinics and summer camps spring up in the U.S. Another way to go is to play summer Rugby Sevens with a leading senior club. The Internet and, to a lesser extent, TV has become a good place to watch leading foreign teams, with on-line being more interactive in that you can also correspond / participate in chat rooms etc.  From an administrative standpoint, copy the high school and college varsity models. Our teams and systems are better suited to the U.S. environment than the overseas structures.

4. What would you say is the future of rugby?  Why?

Rugby Sevens will have a powerful influence on our future because the olympics represents at once the culmination of varsity sports model and also a working commercial model. That is quite promising. However, 15s is the main game, at least in my view, and the impact of Olympic Sevens on 15-a-side is unclear; our governing has not articulated, let alone executed, a compelling vision. Indeed at the moment it is probably a drag on the game.

Finally, I would suggest it’s worth reading my post on ‘An American Rugby policy.‘ click on the words fully portrayed here for more explanation.

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