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Rugby Hive Hosts

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Dallen Stanford

Robin MacDowell

Born and raised in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, former Rugby Canada International Robin MacDowell is an athlete-centered coach who has been coaching sports at all levels for over 27 years. After several years playing professional rugby in France and Italy, he returned home, where he played on the University of Victoria varsity team, and to realize his dream of playing Sevens Rugby for Canada. 

 

As a former international athlete who travelled the world as both player and coach, Robin has a strong understanding of what it takes for elite athletes get to the next level. He is passionate about growing the game across North America, and has coached at the University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, and University of Regina.

 

Robin has been highly successful in coaching various select teams, as well as has vast experience coaching at the international level, most notably five years with the Mexican Women’s National Sevens team through the 2018 Rugby World Cup 7s in San Francisco, and their Olympic qualification and appearance. For the past 6 years, Robin has worked with the Canadian Men's and Women's 7s pathway programs.

Currently, MacDowell Rugby programs are operating successfully in Saskatchewan and on Vancouver Island, where MacDowell is also hard at work establishing his first ever high performance academy in partnership with Cowichan High School. As well, he's recently announced a partnership with Thunder Rugby to advance Indigenous rugby on Vancouver Island and throughout Canada. 

Dallen hails from Cape Town, South Africa, relocating to the USA in 2003. He represented USA on the Sevens World Series from 2007-2009, won National 15s and 7s titles with Belmont Shore RFC, coached Occidental College Men's RFC to a National 7s title, captained Team USA to a Gold medal in 7s at both the 2013 World Maccabiah Games in Israel and 2015 Pan American Maccabiah Games in Chile, and is a World Rugby commentator.

For the past decade Dallen has worked in broadcasting as a lead commentator covering various events including the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, 2018 Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series (since 2015), World Rugby u20 Championship in Argentina, Americas Rugby Championship, USA Rugby, and Major League Rugby on CBS Sports Network and Fox Sports.

From 2011 to 2017 Dallen was the Los Angeles Program Director for Play Rugby USA who use the unique power of rugby to empower and inspire youth, primarily from underserved communities, to go forward and realize their true potential. The program expanded from 50 to over 5,000 elementary and middle school girls and boys in that time period.

Dallen is currently the Director of Sports Partnerships for Friends of the British Council, working with Premiership Rugby and USA Rugby on Coach development. He is also working in content creation for the New England Free Jacks assisting with player and coach interviews as well as a monthly Major League Rugby LIVE show.

Karen Gasbarino

Karen adds the written word to The Hive. Her Legends of Tomorrow Spotlights shine the light on up-and-coming talents, but she also writes about present legends. She's been writing about rugby union for more than a decade and is proud to have interviewed genuine legends from home and abroad. Karen has written more than 100 pieces for various rugby outlets, including Rugby Canada. She's run the Rugby United Canada Twitter account @RugbyCAN_ since 2012, as well as working with the Arrows supporters' club, #ArrowsUP. While Karen is probably the Toronto Arrows' number one supporter, she is an enthusiastic fan of the positive influence the MLR is having on rugby throughout the Americas.