It’s official ya’ll, rugby has finally torn through the hearts of our faithful American citizens. Rugby has taken a seat at the table of American sport as a new taste of competitive thrill. With less padding and more bloodshed, rugby is trending just as quick as the oversized iPhone 6. From a Pacific Islander perspective, rugby is a symbol of our warrior nature and has become a sport livelihood for our young boys both in the Islands and here in America. It’s safe to say that the chiefs of USA Rugby intend to sprinkle some of that warrior-esque mentality onto the American gridiron.
AIG Rugby in a Box initiative seeks to introduce the Rookie Rugby program to local schools and organizations in the sports capital of Chicago, Illlinois. Illinois Youth Rugby Association Youth Development Officer Drew Parker believes that “one of the keys to achieving significant growth for our sport is to put a rugby ball in the hands of as many new players as possible.”
Parker’s vision is the focal point of the Rookie Rugby program, as it will teach over 400,000 Chicagoan youth the sport of rugby. This introduction to rugby is a simple strategy to creating a buzz for the sports novelty, and for a good reason. On November 1st, Chicago will host a historic match between the USA Eagles and the undisputed All Blacks of New Zealand. The battle will be held at Soldier Field (pun intended), the home stadium of the Chicago Bears. This legendary game will hopefully be crowded with thousands of young rugby fans, cheering on their newly acquired rugby idols.
Regardless of what color body paint you intend on smearing on November 1st, you do not want to miss out on this. Sports history reveals that Chicago has an impressive track record of raising professional athletes in every sector of sports. From Michael Jordan to Jabari Parker, should we be anticipating the next Jonah Lomu out of the streets of Chicago?
Written By: Tonga Victoria