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USA Rugby’s Nigel Melville: Once & Future Olympic Champions?

Rugby versus Football, Basketball and Soccer
Nigel_Melville_USA_Rugby Rugby – it’s fast and furious and sometimes quite brutal. But it’s not big in the United States… yet.

Nigel Melville is the man in charge of making the sport succeed in America as head of USA Rugby. The stakes are rising by the day because a condensed version of the game – called Rugby Sevens – will be played in the 2016 Olympics in Rio, and medals are up for grabs.

The last time rugby was played in the Olympics, the U.S. won the gold! (although that was in 1924 and there were only two other competing nations – France and Romania.)

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Nigel grew up in Yorkshire, England and began playing for his country at the age of 19. He eventually captained the senior squad seven times and played for the London-based club team Wasps, among others.

As a coach and director of rugby he worked for Wasps and then Gloucester, winning several championships. He moved Stateside in 2006 to take his current position as USA Rugby’s CEO and director of Rugby Operations.

We got a chance to sit down recently in his office in Boulder, Colorado for a wide-ranging chat.