2008 USA Rugby Award Winners Honored in Salt Lake City November 13th, 2008

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The winners of 2008 USA Rugby Coach of the Year, Men's Player of the Year and Women's Player of the Year were honored last weekend during halftime of the USA Eagles/Uruguay match at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Nigel Melville and Dave Voth had the foresight to bring this project to us and we're delighted that they did

The winners of 2008 USA Rugby Coach of the Year, Men's Player of the Year and Women's Player of the Year were honored last weekend during halftime of the USA Eagles/Uruguay match at Rio Tinto Stadium.

The USA Rugby Awards were meant to recognize volunteers, coaches and players that help 'Inspire America to Fall in Love with Rugby' everyday. While performance on the pitch was a factor in the decision making process, other qualities like dedication, sacrifice, and giving back to the game of rugby in the U.S. were paramount in deciding the winners of these awards.

"Nigel Melville and Dave Voth had the foresight to bring this project to us and we're delighted that they did," World Rugby Shop CEO Bernard Frei said. "It is an honor to be involved. When you consider that over 300 different players and coaches were nominated for the USA Rugby awards it makes you appreciate just how special Christy, John and Todd are. These are the best of the best and it is a privilege to be involved in recognizing them."

USA Rugby's CEO and President of Operations, Nigel Melville agreed, adding, "I don't usually get excited about awards, as there are so many people that do such wonderful things across the game, singling out one or two people is always a challenge. On this occasion though, the awards went to three people who make a tremendous commitment to the game of rugby in their particular field. John, Christy and Todd accept their awards on behalf of all those who make such a valuable contribution to the game and it is well deserved."

2008 USA Rugby Coach of the Year

John "Chin" Klein was the recipient of this year's award for his outstanding performance on and off the field. As coach of the Divine Savior Holy Angels High School Girls team in Milwaukee, Wisc., John has been with the team for over 11 years and has brought home five national titles in that time. In addition to his on field exploits, he has managed to serve as an outstanding role model and mentor for all of the players on his team.

2008 USA Rugby Men's Player of the Year

Todd Clever received this year's award for his remarkable efforts in captaining and representing his country. The 2008 award winner started playing rugby when he was 14 years old and most recently has been playing for both the USA National 15s and Sevens Team. Todd has consistently proven himself to be one of the most outstanding Eagles players. In addition to captaining the Eagles, Todd has recently signed a professional contract for the Xerox Lions in South Africa. His remarkable on-field achievements coupled with his dedication to and leadership of the USA national team has earned him this well deserved honor.

2008 USA Rugby Women's Player of the Year

Christy McFarland, formerly Stelzer until her recent marriage, is this year's winner and a perfect example of the dedication and honor of the game that these awards sought to identify and reward. A graduate of Illinois State University, Christy recently captained the team on the field as an all-star player and was president of the team off the field. Her commitment to her team and the game as a whole won her accolades from coaches, players and administrators from across the country.

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