(Source) USA Rugby has been working diligently to give players an understanding on what it takes to move to the highest levels of rugby in the USA. On Tuesday, USA Rugby introduced their plan for long-term development (LTD), defined by age. It mapped out a basic expectation of what each level of rugby experience needed to learn.
Today, the USA Rugby announced the development their development for high performance players. As important accommodating as the LTD plan was, this development for High Performance Players gives a much more defined variation on what it takes to be a High Performance player.
What makes this so important is that the growth of rugby is always contingent on what the highest available level of rugby is, and how one is capable of making it. Even though rugby is centered around camaraderie, teamwork, and family, the growth that will bring newer, and more diverse athletes to take rugby into consideration. With more athletes looking to choose rugby at an earlier stage, with the possibility of playing at the highest levels of international play, USA Rugby can and will be able to compete more ferociously at higher tier rugby levels.
This is a big improvement for the development of credibility for USA rugby. They have at least started a process that lets players know what they can do to play a more elite version of rugby. There are still some tweeks that need to be made in this process. Tweeks like the fact that college rugby appears to be almost irrelevant in the process of developing higher level players, that need to be looked at. But for where rugby is at this moment in USA, this a decent planned methodology on how to get to the next level. We’ll see how this continues to develop over time.