American Rugby Model

The purpose of the American Rugby Model is to provide an agreed to comprehensive model of rugby development in the United States. This Long Term Athlete Development model is a work-in-progress. The goal overtime is a more coherent road map for US athletes and coaches to succeed on the international stage and to commit to rugby for life.  


Golden Truths - Eagle of the Future? 


  1. Student of the Game (SOG)
  2. Team First
  3. Emotionally Grounded
  4. Physically Dominant
  5. Superior Skills
1_2018 USAR ARM Golden Truths Eagle.jpg

Golden Truths - Prioritized Initiatives

2_2018 USAR ARM Golden Truths Union.jpg

General Development Pyramid

5_2018 USAR ARM TD Pyramid.jpg

Development Building Blocks

ARM17_Development Model Building Blocks.png

Beginning - Ball Movement

Rugby fundamentally is a game of moving the ball up the field (or preventing it from being moved up the field) to be in a position to score. This can be done by going around, through, or over the opposition. Going around or through most often requires the creation of space and the movement of the ball to that space and / or numerical advantage(s) that have been created. It is fundamental that as the game grows and improves in the United States, to keep up and eventually surpass other rugby countries, US athletes have an excitement and a base-level ability to move the ball rapidly through quality passing technique, decision making, and support re-positioning ("give and go") to create and re-create numerical and space advantages. At most levels of the game, we have shown to be a rugby nation that enjoys attacking with the ball-in-hand.  

The first block for any rugby athlete no matter the age of entry into the sport should include a focus on catching and passing the ball, movement of bodies, and appreciation for rapidly being able to move the ball from one attack channel to another in a dynamic environment. 

On the flip-side, the basics of defense are to prevent and / or de-posess the attack from being able to do so. Defending ball movement and attacking using ball movement are fundamental building blocks to future entertaining, fun, winning performances on the international stage. 

kick follow through w.jpeg


The ability to go "over the opposition" through quality kick technique, decision making, and delivery is a key work-on and area of improvement needed in USA Rugby national teams (at all age-levels). 

catch high ball cradle.jpeg

Kick Chase

A kick is inevitable "only as good its chase". As young and inexperienced athletes begin to experiment with all the various tactical kick opportunities to "attack" and / or gain territory, it is as important players collectively learn how to build chase walls, maintain possessions on "forward pass" kicks, and develop work-ethics to support the high-energy needs of a quality chase. 

lineout life pre bind.jpg
scrum bind locks to props.jpeg

Lineout Speed

Focus on footwork of lifters, jumpers across the ground and speed to get lifting tower. Jump first, lift second. 

Scrum Stability

Prioritize individual body profiles and maintaining form in chaotic environment. 

Skill Priorities by Development Stage

ARM17_skill focus.png

Proposed Identification Pathways


All-American Roadmap

3_2018 USAR ARM AA Roadmap.jpg

All-American to USA Eagle Roadmap

4_2018 USAR ARM Eagle Roadmap.jpg