U.S. Rugby Squad Starts Olympics July 25

The U.S. men's rugby team heads for the Olympics
(Image credit: USA Rugby)

The U.S. men’s rugby team begins its Olympics campaign July 25, when the squad faces Kenya. On July 26, the U.S. plays Ireland. NBCSN has that match, which begins at 11 p.m. ET. 

A day later, the U.S. plays South Africa. NBCSN has the match at 1:30 a.m. 

Mike Friday coaches the U.S. men and Madison Hughes captains the team. Carlin Isles, who plays wing, is considered by some to be the fastest man in the game. 

The U.S. men, who had NFL player Nate Ebner on the team in 2016, finished in 9th place in the Rio Olympics. 

NBC Sports has the Olympics, which begin July 20. 

Seven-per-side rugby is played in the Olympics. Traditional rugby has 15-per-side. “Sevens” is faster, with shorter matches. 

The U.S. had a tough loss to Ireland in 15-per-side rugby July 10, losing 71-10. The week before, the U.S. lost to England 43-29 in London. 

NBCSN has a replay of the men’s rugby gold medal finals July 28, and then the women’s rugby action happens. 

The U.S women’s rugby team plays China and Japan July 29 and then Australia July 30. NBC has not shared if and when the U.S. women’s matches appear on TV, though NBCSN will have women’s pool matches before CNBC has the women’s semifinals and finals. 

Chris Brown is the U.S. women’s coach and Kristen Thomas and Abby Gustaitis are co-captains. The U.S. women finished fifth in 2016. 

Sevens rugby debuted in the Olympics in 2016. 

All Tokyo Olympics coverage will be streamed live on www.nbcolympics.com and the NBC Sports app.

Michael Malone

Michael Malone is content director at B+C and Multichannel News. He joined B+C in 2005 and has covered network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television, including writing the "Local News Close-Up" market profiles. He also hosted the podcasts "Busted Pilot" and "Series Business." His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The L.A. Times, The Boston Globe and New York magazine.