September 2017
Dear USA Rugby Player, Coach, Referee, Administrator: 

The primary vision of the USA Rugby High Performance team is to deliver more technically adept, physically proficient, tactically astute, and emotionally grounded athletes to USA National Teams

Key Concepts:

  • Clarity of 2019 & 2021 Rugby World Cup macro-strategies and 2020 Olympic success.
  • Understanding the differences between recreation and high-performance rugby and applying tools to take advantage of both.
  • Athletes understanding at every biological age and training age what their base skill and physical standards are in order to best enjoy the game and to chase the national team.
  • Provide tools for future international success for athletes, coaches, and the national team.
  • Provide a framework by which the amateur game in the United States can continue to grow and flourish, despite what may happen in the coming period(s) with the professional game, domestically or abroad.

Do We: 

  • Have enough of the right athletes (identified)
  • Getting enough repetitions (volume)
  • Are they quality repetitions (clarity)
  • With quality feedback (coaching)
  • In pressure situations (competition)


The purpose of the Eagle Files is to provide over time an agreed to comprehensive model of rugby development in the United States. The goal is a more coherent road map for US athletes and coaches to succeed on the international stage and to commit to rugby for life. 

The Eagle Files, coupled with the nascent American Rugby Model, are a next step to enhance and connect the various parts of rugby in the United States in order to deliver on more technically adept, physically proficient, tactically astute and emotionally grounded athletes

The Eagle Files aim to provide standardized technical terminology and perceived best practices relating to the core skills of the game of rugby, whether that is in XVs or Sevens, as well as a connected framework for the development life of an athlete. 

All of this should serve as a starting point to engender conversation. The content is not absolute nor is it one of "must do." The information needs to be broken down, poked and prodded, and available for dissemination to all members of the rugby community in the United States. It needs to be updated as the game grows and changes so that every player, coach, and administrator can access the information they need to challenge their own concepts as well as the ideas enclosed in order to deliver a richer and more enjoyable rugby experience for all. 

The Eagle Files, like our athletes, coaches, referees, and administrators, remains a work-in-progress. Periodically USA Rugby will release updated versions as needed to reflect the iterative hope of this project between national team and community-level coaches and players; to changes in the game, updates in sports science; and to better serve its members.

Core Skill Foundations

The game of rugby will continue to evolve. The laws of the game will change. We will discover better ways to attack, to defend, to win possession. It is crucial that from the American Rugby Model’s Fundamentals of Rugby stage and above (roughly from 8 years old on), there is a concerted effort and emphasis to develop the core skills of the game of catching, passing, tracking, tackling, evasive running, ball carry through contact, and contact support at the breakdown. It is important that athletes develop the technique of the core-skills (“how” to do them), but as important, the decision making in game context of “when” to utilize the various skill options. 

No matter the game plan, tactics, or macro-strategies, performing the core-skills under pressure is the key to success in the short and long-term.

We hope the Eagle Files can become another tool to help you continue to grow on and off the field of play. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our staff with additional questions regarding the content or intentions of the Eagle Files. Go Eagles! 

Best Regards,

Alex Magleby
Men's Eagle #307
General Manager, Nat'l Teams & High Performance