Mathew Brown – The Rugby Channel Column
The Rugby Channel’s Summer of Sevens will conclude with a perfect finish this weekend as we webcast the Rugbytown Sevens from the opening match of pool play on Friday right through the Cup Final on Sunday, all LIVE and featuring literally some of the top talent in world.
If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the opportunity to subscribe to The Rugby Channel for the amazing price of less than a single dollar per week, then I heartily encourage you to do so immediately because the high-quality sevens action on tap in Glendale this weekend is only the beginning of what we’ll deliver for the rest of 2017 and throughout 2018!
Here’s a quick look at what’s upcoming.
The Guinness PRO14 kicks off next weekend and The Rugby Channel will bring you three matches from the opening round. On Friday night it’s last year’s beaten finalists Munster hosting Benetton in Cork, followed on Saturday by champions Scarlets welcoming South African newcomers Southern Kings to Llanelli, plus 2016 champs Connacht taking on Glasgow in Galway.
In Round 2 we’ve got Leinster vs. Cardiff and Munster vs. Toyota Cheetahs and in Round 3 it’s Osprey’s vs. Munster. That’s exactly how you want to get your Guinness PRO14 viewing started; seeing all the best teams face off as well as getting an early look at how the sides from the Republic will fare in this competition.
The only way you can watch the fierce battles in the PRO14 is by subscribing to The Rugby Channel, where you can catch each of our fixtures LIVE or whenever it fits into your busy schedule with our Video On Demand option.
On the domestic front, The Rugby Channel will have coverage of the USA Rugby Women’s Premier League as Glendale plays host to Chicago North Shore, Oregon Sports Union, Berkeley, and San Diego Surfers. The very best women’s teams in the entire United States will be clashing all Fall long and a large number of the current Eagles World Cup squad will be participating. If you’ve enjoyed watching the Eagles soar in Ireland, check out how they play for their clubs when they come home, only on The Rugby Channel.
The coming of Fall means that it’s time to tour and the men’s Eagles will be doing just that with test matches against up-and-coming European nations Georgia and Germany. The Lelos are well known to the USA for their powerful scrummaging and potent, forward-oriented gameplan and will prove a serious challenge when they meet in November.
Germany is still trying to advance from the second level of European rugby but have notched some decent wins recently over Uruguay, Brazil, Romania, Belgium, and Kenya. This will be the first ever meeting between Germany and the United States in an international test and The Rugby Channel will bring you this historic encounter.
Meanwhile, down in New Zealand it’s provincial rugby time again and Mainfreight Rugby will be following the Mitre 10 Heartland Championship from start to finish as the Meads and Lochore Cups are once again up for grabs. For those of you like me who really enjoy watching rugby at this level, there’s nothing better than seeing these guys give their all in provincial colors.
And with the recent death of Colin Meads, I imagine that the fight to raise the trophy named after him will inject a jolt of pride and determination into every squad’s campaign for the cup, especially King Country’s.
World Rugby TV will as usual continue to be a part of our program lineup as we endeavor to keep you informed about the goings-on of rugby around the globe. Every week I find something fantastic in this show and hope you do too.
That’s just a sampling of the content currently on offer by The Rugby Channel and we’re always adding matches of interest to the serious or casual rugby viewer. Subscribe Now and don’t miss a minute of it!
This week’s edition of the TRC Report is dedicated solely to the United States Eagles who are playing their hearts out over at the Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland. Our embedded videographer Jeremy Castro is documenting the progress of the team and capturing behind-the-scenes footage so that you can keep up on what’s happening with the Eagles.
The first video is a montage of the Eagles arrival in Dublin and their attendance at the opening ceremonies. Next up is an interview with flyhalf Kimber Rozier who talks about her love of the game and what makes it special to her. Then we’ve got two interviews with Coach Pete Steinberg, one before and one after the third pool match against England. Pete obviously enjoys his work immensely and has done a tremendous job in getting his team into the semifinals and now the third-place match in Belfast.
Give this episode a look if you haven’t seen the videos already, and even if you have, peruse it again for some bonus footage including Kimber Rozier’s slicing try against France back in 2016 in Utah, and clips from the USA’s test against Canada back in April in Chula Vista.
If you’re not familiar with the Rugbytown Sevens then you are missing some of the finest sevens action available anywhere. Fortunately, now is your chance to get a look at a tournament that continually draws top-notch domestic and international teams, features the official US Armed Forces Sevens Championship, and offers a $10,000 prize to the winner!
Twenty teams are split into four pools of five and nearly every one of the groupings could legitimately be called the pool of death. In most sevens tourneys there are always a bunch of mismatches and it’s usually obvious on paper which sides are going to move on to the Cup Quarters but not in Glendale. Every pool is loaded and almost every match is in doubt, which is what makes it such enthralling viewing all weekend long.
The matches kick off on Friday at 1:00 PM ET and run until after 11:00 PM, and that’s just the first three pool matches for each team! On Saturday morning at 12:45 PM ET there’s a welcoming ceremony and then at 1:00 PM ET the last of the pool games are played and the quarterfinalists are determined.
The end of pool play also sets the stage for one of the best and most unique parts of the tournament, the US Armed Forces Championship. Pool B contains the US All Army, US All Navy, US Air Force, US Marines, and US Coast Guard teams and they are all true rugby warriors who want nothing more than to win the title of Military Champions. These matches are some of the hardest fought I have seen in the last five years of covering the tourney and never disappoint with the amount of commitment the participants display.
This year’s military final is set to kick off at 5:50 PM ET on Saturday, don’t miss it.
After the Bowl and Cup Quarterfinals wrap up around 7:30 PM, there’s another element that you should tune in to, the Fallen Ruggers Remembrance Ceremony where the names of all the military rugby players who have given their lives from all five service branches are read off in a solemn and moving observance of their ultimate sacrifice.
On Sunday, the Semis and Finals take center stage and only the very best make it through to play for the ten grand.
Here are some of the sides who could be in the running for a big payday.
In Pool A, the Denver 7s Selects are the defending champions. They are joined by the Rugby Utah Selects who just won their second consecutive USA Rugby Club 7s title, the 1823 Tigers who are talented academy players, the RAF Spitfires from Britain, and the Upright Rugby Rogues from Canada.
Pool B are the five military squads who lead the way in fitness and dedication.
Pool C has the Fiji/SAVU Water team consisting of many members of Fiji’s Olympic Gold winning side from Rio, the Atavus All-Stars who are made up of the Serevi Selects, Washington Athletic Club and Atavus Academy players, the Canada Maple Leafs who are from Canada’s national sevens development program, the USA Collegiate All-Americans, and the Ramblin’ Jesters from London who are a sevens version of the Barbarians.
Pool D has the always dangerous host Glendale Merlins, the British Army team which sports a heavy Fijian influence, the SoCal Griffins who are loaded with talent from Southern California, Negro Y Azul from Texas, and the Cayman Islands.
There are at least 10 teams that could legitimately win the whole thing so tune in on The Rugby Channel and find out who raises the cup and cashes the check!
If you’ve read down to this point it should be perfectly obvious why you need to Subscribe Now to The Rugby Channel. The Guinness PRO14 Championship is less than a fortnight away, the Women’s Premier League is about to get underway, the Eagles will be looking for a pair of victories in Europe, and you can watch every bit of it LIVE or at your leisure for less than a buck a week. Subscribe Now!