We know the great power sport has to change lives. As such, we especially appreciate those coaches and athletes who spend their energy and time dedicated to sharing sport with younger generations. Dallen Stanford has brought his passion for rugby across oceans to the United States, and now he devotes himself to teaching kids and teens his favorite sport and the character values it offers.
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Dallen began playing rugby on a team when he was just six years old. He played the sport throughout his childhood and teen years, and he went on to become Captain of the u21 Rugby Team and played three seasons in the 1st XV at the University of Cape Town.
After graduating from the Cape Technikon in 2002, Dallen traveled to Los Angeles and played for the Occidental Olde Boys Rugby Club. Dallen then met his wife Verity and decided to make the move to the United States permanently.
He played 54 matches for Team USA’s Rugby 7’s from 2006-2009. During that time Dallen competed in 13 tournaments, including the 2009 Sevens World Cup in Dubai. In 2013 he Captained the Maccabi USA Rugby Team at the Maccabiah Games. The 7’s team won Gold and the 15’s team won Bronze. At the end of this current year, Dallen will coach the Maccabi USA Rugby Team at the Maccabiah Pan American Games in Chile.
COACHING, WRITING, & COMMENTATING
Dallen’s zeal for rugby is evident in his career as an athlete, but also as a coach and in his other efforts to share the sport with others. He has been involved with several teams in the past few years, including:
- The Austin Huns
- Austin Area High School
- The University of Texas at Austin
- ELITE Rugby
- Palos Verdes Rugby
- Occidental College – The Occidental Tigers were 10-1 in 2012, and 11-1 in 2013. In 2013 they won the California Cup, the Small College PacWest Championship, and the Small College National 7’s Championships.
His passion for sharing the sport doesn’t stop with coaching though. Dallen created “The Rugby Corner,” which is “a website about rugby, travel, and life.” The site features a bevy Rugby videos and photos. Dallen has also written for other rugby websites, including World Rugby Shop, Rugby Today, and Rugby IQ.
He also served as the Media Manager for USA Rugby at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, the 2013 Sevens Rugby World Cup in Russia, as well as various stops along the World Sevens Series, including the George 7s, London 7s, and Las Vegas 7s.
Dallen is currently one of the top Rugby commentators in America, working for the City of Glendale announcing Rugby fixtures, like the Pacific Rugby Premiership, NSCRO and Serevi Rugbytown 7s at Infinity Park, and various other events for USA Rugby.
PLAY RUGBY USA
In 2011 Dallen was appointed as the Los Angeles Program Manager for Play Rugby USA. This non-profit organization brings flag rugby to underserved youth, ages 8-13, in the Los Angeles area. Through Play Rugby USA, these youth can learn some of the core values of rugby, including respect and teamwork. Rugby as a sport is unique, as there are not key positions or players that are valued over other team members (such as a quarterback in American Football). Since 2010, this program has impacted over 4,500 children from 115 schools.