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Meet Dallen Stanford, UCT center, notorious Ikeys fines master, US Eagles 7s player and now a voice of World Rugby on the International 7s and 15s commentating circuit! Dallen famously tackled Springbok Coach Nic Mallet at a UCT Awards Dinner – rumor has it, he said it was the biggest hit since the Beatles.
Dallen Stanford’s time at UCT:
Dallen directs the crowd – Maties vs Ikey Tigers Intervarsity 2002 (Final score 8:8)
UCT u21A (1999 & 2000)
Captained the unbeaten side in 2000, which included legendary Springbok Brent Russell.
UCT 1st XV (2000 – 2002)
Part of the fantastic team that tied Maties 8-8 during Intervarsity at Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch and won 34-24 in the return fixture at the Green Mile in 2002.
UCT 1st XV United Kingdom Tour (2003)
Played against the famous Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England.
ikeytigers.com: You played at UCT for in the early 2000s, is there anything you are grateful for or that stands out for you now, 20 years on?
DALLEN STANFORD: Playing rugby for UCT was one of the greatest experiences of my life. We were fortunate to have inspiring coaches like Barry O’Mahony, Brendan Fogarty and others that were excellent role models, and did a great job of wrangling us.
It gave me the opportunity to meet so many remarkable characters, and have so many legendary nights out with amazing people. One of my best friends from that era was Grant Kolesky, and despite not seeing him for 15 years we met up in Japan for the Rugby World Cup in 2019, such a magic reunion.
Even though I only get to visit South Africa infrequently it’s always a highlight seeing those UCT teammates from years gone by for a couple cold jars, and plenty of laughs down memory lane!
Tell us about your Switch to the US and your playing highlights.
DALLEN STANFORD: I visited the US in 2003 to play rugby for a few months, and haven’t left haha. That was mainly due to meeting my beautiful and remarkable wife, Verity!
One of my all-time favorite memories is playing in the 2009 San Diego 7s in front of my wife, her sister, both my parents, and my in-laws. Another was the 2008 George 7s where my parents, sister Melissa, and my grandmother, plus friends from Rondebosch and UCT were present. Very special moments as my parents have since passed.
Some of my favorite rugby playing memories:
2007: USA Rugby Club 15s National Champions with Belmont Shore
2007-2009: Represented the USA on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series
2009: Won the Rugby World Cup 7s North American Qualifier in the Bahamas
2009: Rugby World Cup 7s in Dubai
2009: USA Rugby Club 7s National Champions with Belmont Shore
2013: Captained Team USA at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel (Won Gold in 7s & Bronze in 15s) & Named 7s Tournament MVP
2015: Captained Team USA at the Pan American Maccabiah Games in Chile (Won Gold in 7s & Silver in 15s) & was selected as a USA Flag Bearer
ikeytigers.com: That is a fantastic rugby journey! What are some of your favorite memories?
DALLEN STANFORD: Some of my favorite memories working in rugby include
Media Manager for USA Rugby at the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand
Media Manager for USA Rugby at the 2013 Rugby World Cup 7s in Russia
Program Director for Play Rugby USA from 2011-2017, a non-profit that uses the unique power of rugby to empower and inspire youth, primarily from underserved communities, to go forward and realize their true potential
Coached Occidental College to a National 7s Championship in 2013
Through Friends of the British Council, developed a rugby program that takes USA coaches to Premiership Rugby for an immersive coach education experience in England
Founded the Rugby Hive Podcast, which delves into the experiences of former and current international 7s/15s players and coaches
ikeytigers.com: You have become a voice of World Rugby, what stands out for you?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to be able to work in rugby broadcasting since 2012, fulfilling a dream role, which has allowed me to travel the world, be close to the most exciting sport on the planet, and meet amazing people on the journey. It’s such an honor and a thrill to be involved with international 15s, and the Sevens World Series.
One of my favorite moments was working with Springbok Joel Stransky and Argentine legend Santiago Gomez-Cora for a month in Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup. The crew for the Sevens World Series is also world class, so many brilliant kwagga burgers!
Some of my broadcasting highlights:
2016-2022 HSBC World Rugby 7s Series
2021 All Blacks v USA in Washington D.C. at FedEx Field
2018-2021 Major League Rugby on CBS Sports Network & Fox Sports
2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan covering 10 pool matches
2019 World Rugby u20 Championship in Argentina
2018 Rugby World Cup 7s in San Francisco at Oracle Park
2018 Springboks v Wales in Washington D.C. at RFK Stadium
2018 USA 30 Scotland 29 in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium
2016-2018 Americas Rugby Championship
ikeytigers.com: Dallen’s humor and unique style is already a hallmark on the circuit, here are some of the commentating highlights that have gone viral
“He’s more dangerous than climate change!”
Not even Wes Craven could have directed that, it’s frightening from the All Blacks!