As is our weekly tradition, Walker-Sports is happy to invite the contributors from Heaven's Game to stop in and share some rugby knowledge with our fan base. This week the guys are talking about raising the profile of the game, something that has been a hot topic around many bar tables here in the United States.
Slowly but surely rugby is raising its profile in this week alone we have seen The IRB hand over a questionnaire to the IOC. This weekend see ABC in the US air a program dedicated to rugby at near enough prime time.
Both of these events bring huge exposure to our game.
There are also many other benefits. Most of these benefits will been by the second tier nations.
Whilst in many of the top rugby nations funds are easy to come by in the form of sponsorship or government grants. The second tier nations are not as fortunate as many governments only hand out grants to Olympic sports.
Will re-acceptance into The Olympic family mean an instant turnaround in fortunes for these second and third tier nations. Will Wales, New Zealand and South Africa lose their status as the worlds best teams in the next decade? Not likely.
What it does mean is many nations will now be able to introduce a real rugby program in schools. The state schools will receive backing and in 20 or 30 years time there may well be a far different shape to the top 20 teams in the IRB rankings.
As for the USA, the screening of rugby on national television can only help the game and if a generation of people are exposed to the game on a regular basis then watch out the rest of the world. Perhaps not though, you only have to take a look at football/soccer it is only now many years after the hosting of the world cup are the US holding together a serious professional competition.
Rugby will take longer to reach this point in The US, when it does it will not take long for a top 5 spot to be a reality for them.