In just under a fortnight, nearly two hundred rugby players will take to the field at the TCF Stadium in Minnesota for the first-ever NRFL scouting meet up, or combine. The brainchild of Minnesota-based RugbyLaw, the firm has been working on the project for over half a decade. The group had attempted to roll out a similar set of initiatives last year, but a series of issues forced a delay. Now much of these have been settled, the train rolls one and the Independence Cup series will hopefully take place later in the season.
The group had planned the meetup as a scouting mission for approximately 30 players to train with the famous rugby coach Eddie O’Sullivan.
This will also put to bed the fears of American rugby fans whom have been worried that the NRFL is only after football converts, with a dedicated rugby contingency from a few different nations coming up to have a go.
This gathering of so much potential talent has brought a sizeable amount of attention to the event, with English Premiership sides sending scouts, as well as at least one scout from France and possibly at least one Super Rugby ambassador. Both Saracens and Harlequins have both been confirmed to be sending representatives to the combine , with as many as six more Premiership sides sending scouts.
As such, the combine may give American rugby life well beyond the formation of the Independence Cup side, giving American players a foothold in the sport more widely.