Fletcher is the team manager for the current Super Rugby Champions. He has played and coached at a representative level and has many years of experience coaching provincial age group teams.
Both are part of a Crusaders program that has won 13 Super Rugby titles in the competition’s 26-year history.
After Seattle, the couple traveled to Houston, Texas, where they worked with the Woodlands program.
“They go everywhere and really build something,” Flay said. “And they wanted to look for ways to get where they want to go.”
It was an eye opener for Fletcher as he worked on a program that starts kids at U6.
“It’s great working with younger players on these concepts because you think about which players could have an impact in 2031 when the USA hosts the World Cup,” Fletcher said. “They look at Japan and how they behaved as hosts. It’s part of the mission to help everyone become more competitive.”
The couple is in North Carolina this weekend and will later return to Virginia for another session.
And it’s not so much technical rugby training as it is a look at what makes a successful team, a successful programme.
“We’re not like Manchester United trying to spread their brand to sell more Crusaders jerseys,” Fletcher said. “We want to continue to evolve the game and the brotherhood and sisterhood of the game. The game of rugby is an incredible thing to be a part of, we are passionate about spreading the word. If more people think “these Crusaders are good guys” and support the Crusaders, that’s great. But we’re talking about not just appointing a captain or leader, but developing it; how to create a team framework that works across the organization and helps young people thrive, whether they’re playing for the Eagles or entering a pro career.
“And we’re having a great time doing it, too.”
That US Rugby Foundation was a supporter of Crusaders Academy efforts, but while many pay to attend these various sessions, Crusaders Rugby picks up much of the bill here