Eagle Alumni Network Spotlight: Brian Barnard

First taking the pitch in 2001 at California Polytechnic State in San Luis Obispo, Brian Barnard fell in love with rugby and continues to play today as a member of the Classic Eagles. Learn more about his rugby journey.

USA Rugby TrustWhen and where did you play rugby?
Brian BarnardI started playing in 2001 as a junior in college at Cal Poly SLO and from there I played for the All-Americans, in New Zealand, San Francisco Golden Gate, Frankfurt, Germany, Old Mission Beach Athletic Club (OMBAC), Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, Olympic Club and Classic Eagles. Also did North America 4 (NA4) and played for multiple territory all-star teams.

USARTWhen did you play with the Eagles?
BBI played with XVs primarily in 2006 and in the lead up to the 2007 World Cup. With Sevens, I was in the pool off and on until 2011.

USARTWhat is your favorite rugby memory?
BBGetting selected for the Eagles is up there, but on the field I'd say it has to be the huge second-half comeback win against Air Force in the Final Four.

USARTWhere are you now?
BBI live in San Francisco with my wife Sara and work in tech sales.

USARTWhat do you believe is the most important factor in growing the sport of rugby in the US?
BBObviously grassroots is critical because more people playing sooner will yield dividends. We have some really great educators developing successful youth/age-grade leagues and academies. That said, I'd say that we need to improve the high performance/professional path domestically. The latter has proven time and again to be extremely challenging, but I think we are close and I like [USA Rugby CEO] Dan Payne as a leader.