Tribute to the Eagles in Congress

Congressional Record


Tribute to USA National Team at Rugby World Cup 2011

The Honorable James E. Clyburn

Assistant Democratic Leader


Mr. CLYBURN: Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the United States national rugby team, the Eagles, on their victory over Russia in the wee hours of this morning during the 2011 Rugby World Cup competition in New Zealand. Although rugby may not be as popular in the United States as many of our other sports, the Rugby World Cup is now established as the third biggest sporting event in the world behind the Olympic Games and FIFA World Cup for soccer.


The Eagles played thier first match againt Ireland on September 11 and lost to the much higher ranked team 22-10, after starting the day with a church service to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. I know this event held particluar meaning for the members of the team from the Mid-Atlantic (MARFU) and Northeastern Rugby Rugby Union (NRU). Today's 13-6 win over Russia marks an important victory for the Eagles in their pool play at the tournament. I wish them the best of luck in their upcoming matches against Australia on September 23 and Italy just four days later.


My best wishes go to the host nation of New Zealand as they organize this event on the world stage for the second time in its 24 year history. At the inaugural Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 1987 it is estimated 600,000 fans attended matches with 300 million people tuning in on television from 17 countries. The last World Cup in 2007, held in France, Scotland and Wales, saw 2.25 million fans filling the parks and 4 billion watching televised coverage from 200 nations. This year the numbers are expected to be even higher as the sport is growing in many countries, like ours, where it is the largest growing team sport on college and high school campuses across the nation. I wish New Zealand the best of luck and commend them for welcoming the millions of visitors to their shores for this spirited competition despite the devastating earthquake suffered in Christchurch earleir this year.


I applaud the Eagle's victory today and commend each of these young men from across the country for the hard work and dedication they have committed to representng our country at the sport's highest level. Mr. Speaker I ask that you and my colleagues join me in congratulating the members of the U.S. national rugby team and wishing them continued success at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.


2011 Rugby World Cup USA Squad: Inaki Basauri; Chris Biller; Todd Clever; Patrick Danahy; Paul Emerick; Tai Enosa; Eric Fry; JJ Gagiano; Colin Hawley; Nic Johnson; Scott LaValla; Mike MacDonald; Nese Malifa; Matekitonga Moeakiola; Brian McClenahan; Takudzwa Ngwenya; James Paterson; Mike Petri; Shawn Pittman; Blaine Scully; Junior Sifa; Hayden Smith; Louis Stanfill; Andrew Suniula; Roland Suniula; Kevin Swiryn; Phillip Thiel; Tim Usasz; John van der Giessen; Chris Wyles.


Proceedings and debates of the 112th Congress, First Session