Cleaning out the ol’ inbox of alerts and messages, all for you my lovely readers. As usual, this is quite the potpourri of rugby goodness.
• Tiger Woods and his wife Elin just had a baby. Much of the coverage of this centered around discussion of if Tiger would miss any major golf events. And to this Tiger basically said, my family comes first. I think sometimes all of us forget, golf, like rugby, is still just a game. If you’re a pro, it’s your job too. But again, should your job take precedence over your family? I don’t think so.
This same discussion centered around the All Blacks this week as well, when lock Chris Jack’s daughter was born. Thanks to this and injuries, the All Blacks are also facing a lock shortage and some are saying that the overabundance of games is affecting the “value” of international rugby. But if you got a good soup recipe, AB lock Ali Williams is looking for one as he recovers from his broken jaw. “That sounds good, I’ll have that.”
• Speaking of the Kiwis, the All-Blacks are saying the French faked injuries and took too long to get up from tackles in an attempt to the slow down the game. The French said “Non!” I must admit, I hate it when people purposefully kill the ball or slow stuff down. Ugh. Also via the link, video of the year’s first Haka.
• Closer to home, Canada’s national rugby team is looking for an anthem.
Loud, and sometimes downright rude, rugby songs offer choruses of support for national teams around the world.
Scottish fans belt out “Flower of Scotland” from the heart and the English revel in “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.”
Now, Canada’s teams are about to get their own official anthem through a contest organized by Rugby Canada in partnership with Guinness.
Among the first submissions were “The Night Pat Murphy Died” by St. John’s-based Great Big Sea and a version of “Amazing Grace” by the Boston band Dropkick Murphys. The file of entries at http://www.guinness.com is growing daily and more than 20 have been registered so far.
• College Updates: A shout-out for Penn State …
Franklin D. Roosevelt graduate Pam Coutts and John Jay graduate Jane Gordon were members of the Penn State women’s rugby team that captured the Division I Collegiate Women’s Rugby championship.
The Nittany Lions beat host and two-time defending champ Stanford for the national championship.
It was Penn State’s first national rugby title since 2004.
“It was definitely a defining experience for me at Penn State,” said Coutts. “Being a national champion, I’m still pretty excited about it.”
Earlier this season, Coutts and Gordon traveled to England where Penn State recorded an impressive win over a team from Bath.
Coutts and Gordon, who were field hockey and soccer players at their respective high schools before heading to the university in State College, Pa., were starters this season at Penn State.
• And Norwich University’s women’s rugby head coach Austin Hall has been elevated to full-time coaching status after one of D-II Norwich’s most successful seasons.
• Kevin sent me an update on the East Stroudsburg Player Development Camp for High School men/women and College men/women.
6th Annual Rugby Player Development Camp Continues a Tradition
The 6th annual East Stroudsburg Player Development Camp will once again take place on the campus of East Stroudsburg University Thursday July 12th through Sunday July 15th, 2007.
For the sixth year the camp continues a great tradition of promoting the sport of rugby and exposing young rugby athletes to an all-star staff of USA National and International level coaches. Again sponsored by Rugby Imports, the Player Development Camp is open to high school and collegiate males and females at all levels and abilities. There are campers with absolutely no experience who just want an introduction to the sport all the way up to seasoned rugby athletes who want to further develop their skills. The East Stroudsburg Player Development Camp offers instruction to suit every need.
Also teams who attend the camp together will receive beneficial team-building development. Players will be able to work on individual growth as well as strategies to help the squad work together as an effective unit. The player development camp is a great way to bring teammates together in a learning environment to gain essential success skills.
There are discounts available for five or more team members who register together.
The U-19 National Team staff has discovered and recruited talent at our camp in the past so for any players aspiring to play higher level rugby, this is an excellent opportunity for undiscovered talent to be recognized.
The cost for overnight campers is $375 which includes an official player development camp jersey and t-shirt, sessions on the Predator Plus Training Machine, four days of instruction by USA Rugby’s best coaches, a complete player profile evaluation, an opportunity to measure him/herself against other players in their region, an opportunity to be evaluated by National level coaches for higher honors and participation on representative teams, college advisement and position-specific work/unit & team skills.
For more information and to register for the 2007 Player Development Camp, visit http://www.esurugby.com/rugby_camp.htm or contact camp director: Kevin Castner, 570-460-2626, firstname.lastname@example.org
• To know where you’re going, you need to know where you came from. Our UK friend John Birch sent this great tidbit for any of my fellow rugby history buffs out there …
Here’s something that deserves wider circulation
There was an exhibition at Twickenham last year and I’ve just discovered that much of the information that appeared there is available here – http://www.rfu.com/microsites/museum/index.cfm?fuseaction=whatson.exhibitiondetail&storyid=13377 – so if anyone wants to learn more about the worldwide history of the women’s game there is some fascinating stuff here.
All in huge great pdfs that take ages to download sometimes… but that aside would even be usefyul if anyone was planning their own exhibition.
• And what would a Bits & Bites be without a new team link? A very sad update to be sure! Even better? I’ve got two team links … nice! From Emily in Iowa, Des Moines Women’s Rugby, and from Gabrielle in Louisiana, Baton Rouge Women’s Rugby, who’ll also be hosting the 31st annual Redfish 7s Rugby Festival & Tournament on June 30. Gabrielle also said to not forget our togas. Hmmm …