Rugby World Cup could reveal these 3 new college football recruitment pipelines


The Rugby World Cup is something college football teams should pay attention to as it could lead to new recruiting channels.

In early May, big news from the world of rugby hit many Americans, as the United States was announced as the host of the 2031 Men’s Rugby World Cup and the 2033 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Rugby organizers in the United States marked the announcement as a moment to welcome “a golden decade of rugby” to the country.

There is a chance the sport could grow and grow from the youth level as the Rugby World Cup increases exposure to the sport for many Americans who may not be familiar with a scrum, a fly-half or score a try.

Now that the United States is set to host the Men’s Rugby World Cup in 2031, could we see more international rugby players coming to college football?

The reverse, of course, could work when world-class rugby players travel to the United States and see shoulder pads and helmets take over. It will immediately become apparent to college football coaches across the United States that inviting a rugby player to try out a similar sport like American football could pay off big.

More immediately, of course, is the 2023 Rugby World Cup, which is due to take place in France next year.

Rugby clearly mirrors American football in a way that few other sports do: there’s the pace of the action on the pitch, the form of the tackles, the courage and the throwing of an oddly shaped ball – and in this case, that ball can only be a side or back lateral.

Although there are increasing opportunities for international athletes to make the NFL roster through the International Pathway program, US college football coaches could access this talent pool by seeing these players at a younger age. Distance, time and funding for the trip are certainly big issues, but teams like Michigan have still found the time to make their trip to Italy, haven’t they?

There are many rugby hotbeds around the world. Which of these rugby-obsessed venues could become a new college football recruiting pipeline over the next decade? Here are three countries where college teams should look for talent.


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