• Preliminary talent identification event to be held in Honolulu May 12, with main Combine in Salt LakeCity, UT June 2127

LAFAYETTE, CO. – Today, World Rugby announced the details of a new strategy for its Men’s XVs High Performance Combine which will now include a twin program in North America, to be held in Salt Lake City, UT from June 21-27.


Held in partnership with USA Rugby and Rugby Canada, players qualified for both unions will be tested across the six days for a spot in the new USA Rugby National Academy, as well as Rugby Canada’s Pacific Academy. The USA academy will take place over ten weeks in August — fully-funded by World Rugby — and offer a daily training environment with high performance coaches.

World Rugby’s North American Combine will follow in the footsteps of a similar event held in the Pacific Islands. Both events are designed to identify, develop and invest in talent for Rugby World Cup 2023 and 2027, as well as Major League Rugby.

Prior to the event, a preliminary talent identification opportunity will be held in Honolulu, HI from May 1-2, targeting skilled players from other sports who sit outside the pathway entry points and can make an immediate impact. High performing athletes from Honolulu will be selected for the Combine in Utah.

Players can also be nominated for both events using the links below:

USA Rugby GM of High Performance Pathways, JD Stephenson said: 

“Looking at our current Men’s Eagles squad, it’s evident to see that we have had many players following a nonlinear national team progression with multiple entry and exit points along the way, who still find their way to our senior national team.

“We cannot leave any stone unturned in our domestic player pool, while also facilitating opportunities for our talent transfer athletes to shine in their unique skill set and be incorporated into a full time daily training environment. We are extremely appreciative and thankful of Chris Thomson and World Rugby for facilitating these exciting opportunities for American Rugby.”

World Rugby Vice-Chairman and Americas Rugby President Augustin Pichot said: 

“The development of a truly global game requires a global vision for the development and promotion of the best emerging talent from unions where a high performance program is hard to access.

“The North America Combine is an innovative and exciting program that does not just identify talent. It nurtures and supports players on and off the field, providing a club and a community that supports a player in being the best they can be as a person and as a player.”

More information about the USA Rugby National Academy will be communicated closer to date.

—— Article written by USA Rugby