Virginia Rugby Union Hall of Fame member, Bill Hayward Ph.D. biggest influence was watching his Dad 'Big Phil', punch it out on the rugby field when he was 8 years of age watching from the sideline as he played for club and county Cornwall. Mum gave some sage advice and said, “Don't look at the punches or listen to the swearing”. Bill played for Tunbridge Wells, as did British Lion Martin Corey who recently played his last game on English soil captaining the Barbarians against England, the country he captained 17 times. William had the greatest fortune from the age of 17 to have had the greatest coaches still in the current game. He attended Carnegie College but while undertaking his Bachelor's in Kinesiology. However, Bill elected to play for Headingly over the College team.

Headingley was a top D1 team at the time. Bill Hayward's coach was Ian McGeechan who coached Scotland and the British and Irish Lions. Ian has a brilliant rugby brain and actually is one of the few coaches who were back line players. Ian mentored Bill for 3 years as full back and fly half. There really is nothing that has changed about the simple principles, despite the modern game's changes.

Bill went to undertake his Masters in Sports Science at Loughborough University (a powerhouse of collegiate rugby and frequent Twickenham 7's participants). Again he was in the presence of a coach who was one of the most cerebral of all time; Jim Greenwood, the famed author of "Total Rugby". After gaining his masters Bill was recruited by Harlequins where he played against and with the best in the world representing them in 15’s and 7’s at Twickenham and again he had a fantastic coach; Dick Best (later the England national coach); a great straight forwards coach, Dick was fantastic yet different to many before.

Hayward at Twickenham,circa mid 80s

Hayward punts for USA Eagle circa early 90s
In 1987 Bill was offered the opportunity to study for his Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology in the USA. Bill had not made the top national levels in England and realized he probably was not going to. Opportunity landed him in Albuquerque. Prior to his arrival, he received a correspondence from Dan "Baluga' Jeffries and Dick Greene inviting him to join the Albuquerque Aardvarks. The rest is history! Bill brought his style of play and soon was made aware of a very different flare and passion the club possessed. All 15 players running hard, passionate and as good as anyone athletically he had played with in England This was to be Bill introduction to US rugby and a great one it was.

Bill had the pleasure of selection to the Rio Grande select, then the West, the Eagles and captained Atlantis 7’s at home and on tour with coach Emile Signes stating in “Rugby Magazine” that he was “The most accurate kicker, bar none on any team that I have coached”’ Emil is the 7’s coaching guru and coached with the Eagles sevens squad from 1989 to 1992. Bill eventually made his debut for the Eagles against Japan in Chicago on May 4th 1992 then against Canada in Calgary a couple of weeks later. He also played a couple of non tests against Canada, scored 15 pts against France for the West against France in Vail and was on the bench against France twice and Scotland and Japan. Subsequently went on to play in two internationals tests and then four years for Classic Americans in Bermuda in the World Rugby Classic.

After residing in Lynchburg Virginia, Bill moved to Lynchburg, to teach at Lynchburg College in 1994, and while retired was lured back into Rugby by Jason Maloni of the Maryland Exiles (via a free trip to Aspen) and Connie Roussos who started the local Blackwater Rugby Club. It was a great experience to witness the growth of a team from it’s inception. He has fond memories of rugby in Virginia and now is re-united with many he played with and against representing the Virginia Cardinals. He still does not tackle, but is proud of the four he made! Smoking Joe Stanley, Danie Gerber, Philp Sella and a gentleman wearing ‘red shorts in the ‘Golden Oldies Tournament’ in San Diego.

Virginia Rugby Union Hall of Fame