Todd Clever

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Todd Clever
Todd Clever Churchill Cup 2010.jpg
Full name Todd Stanger Clever
Date of birth (1983-01-16) January 16, 1983 (age 33)
Place of birth Palm Springs, California
Height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight 220 lb (103 kg, 15 st 10 lb )
Rugby union career
Playing career
Position Flanker
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
2015 OMBAC
correct as of 23 January 2015.
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Suntory Sungoliath
NTT Shining Arcs
Newcastle Falcons
correct as of 28 December 2015.
Provincial/State sides
Years Club / team Caps (points)
North Harbour
Golden Lions


Super Rugby
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2009–2010 Lions 21 (15)
correct as of 6 February 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
2003–present United States 68 (70)
correct as of 26 June 2016.
Sevens national teams
Years Club / team Comps
2004–2009 United States 24

Todd Stanger Clever (born January 16, 1983) is an American rugby union player who plays flanker for Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership.[1] He is the current captain of the United States national team.[2] He was the first American to play Super Rugby, for South African team the Lions.

Early life[edit]

Clever began playing rugby at Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, California, and played for the USA U19 team in 2000–02.[3] In college, he played for University of Nevada, Reno where he was a 3-time College All-American (2002–04).

Club career[edit]

National Provincial Championship[edit]

Clever began his professional career in New Zealand in 2006 when he joined North Harbour in the National Provincial Championship.[3]

Super Rugby[edit]

He played with the South African Lions franchise in the 2009 Super 14. Clever is the first American player to ever play in the Super 14 and scored the first try for an American in Super 14 against the Hurricanes on March 28, 2009. Clever played for the Lions against the British & Irish Lions.

Top League[edit]

Clever joined Suntory of Japan in June 2010. In March 2012 Clever and Suntory won the Japan Top League final over Panasonic.[4] He then went on to play for the BGC APBs which won the 2012 Hong Kong 10s tournament.[5] In March 2012 Clever signed a contract with NTT Shining Arcs another Top League club.[6] He confirmed that he would be leaving the Shining Arcs after the 2015 season to rejoin his former club OMBAC to compete in the 2015 Pacific Rugby Premiership.[7]

English Premiership[edit]

On 17 September 2015, Clever moved to England to join top professional club Newcastle Falcons in the Aviva Premiership for their upcoming 2015-16 season.[8]

International career[edit]

USA Eagles[edit]

Clever made his international debut against Argentina in August 2003, at the age of 20.[9] Clever played for the US during the 2007 Rugby World Cup, where he intercepted a pass against South Africa that led to Takudzwa Ngwenya scoring the try of the 2007 World Cup.[10][11]

Among other accolades, Clever was named the 2008 USA Rugby Men's Player of the Year by World Rugby Shop. Clever played in the 2009 Churchill Cup that saw the Eagles clinch the Bowl by beating Georgia.[12] Clever further led the Eagles to success in 2009 by beating Uruguay in a home-and-away series to clinch a berth into the 2011 Rugby World Cup.[13] Clever captained the team during the 2011 Rugby World Cup, starting three matches.

He was chosen as the North American Player of the Decade and the Ruggamatrix USA Player of the Decade for 2000-2009.[14] For many years Clever was the captain and face of the United States national team.

On July 19, 2015, one day after a loss to Samoa in the Pacific Nations Cup, USA Rugby announced that Todd Clever was released from the Eagles roster due to "multiple squad conduct violations."[15] After the Eagles finished their World Cup campaign, Clever published a letter explaining his version of the events. He claims that he had received permission to attend the ESPY awards show with Scott Lavalla as long as they were back and ready to train the following day. However the schedule was altered when Clever and Lavalla had left and they both missed an early morning gym session. Lavalla was dropped to the bench and Clever was dropped from the match day squad for their upcoming PNC match. Following this incident Clever also missed a morning jogging session, and this prompted Tolkin to kick Clever off the team. Tolkin did not recall Clever into the World Cup squad. Instead Clever spent a week training with the Barbarians F.C.. Originally Clever was going to retire following the 2015 World Cup, but this incident motivated Clever to continue playing professional rugby.[16]

Following poor results at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, USA Rugby parted ways with Mike Tolkin.[17] Newly appointed head coach John Mitchell reintegrated Clever with the team as well as reinstating him as captain of the squad.[2]

USA Sevens[edit]

Clever has also played for the US national rugby sevens team. In late 2009, Clever scored what was deemed the try of the day in George. In the final match of the day for the US against Scotland, Clever leaped over an injured player and physio and glided into the try zone for a consolation try.[18]


  • U-19 National Team Member (2000–2002)
  • 3-time College All-American (2002–2004)
  • USA Eagles (7s)
  • USA Eagles (XVs)
  • Captain USA Eagles (XVs)
  • First American to play in the Super 14[citation needed]
  • First American to score a try in the Super 14[citation needed]
  • 2006 ARN Player of the Year[19]
  • 2008 USA Rugby Men's Player of the Year[20][21]
  • 2009 Player of the Year[22]
  • 2009 Overseas Performer of the Year[23]
  • North American Rugby Player of the Decade 2000–2009[24]
  • RuggaMatrix USA Player of the Decade 2000–2009[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Players & Officials / Todd Clever". Retrieved May 4, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Eagles' captain Todd Clever hat-trick powers USA over Canada". February 14, 2016. Retrieved February 16, 2016.  External link in |website= (help)
  3. ^ a b Universal Sports, Todd Clever bio,
  4. ^ "Clever Wins". 
  5. ^ "Clever Helps APBs to HK 10s Cup". 
  6. ^ "Clever Signs with NTT". 
  7. ^ "Clever returns home to USA". TIAR. Retrieved 23 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Newcastle Falcons sign USA Eagles flanker Todd Clever". BBC Sport. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  9. ^ USA Rugby – Men's National Team – Player Profile – Todd Clever. Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  10. ^ YouTube – Ngwenya scores Rugby try of 2007[dead link]
  11. ^ "Habana wins player of year award". BBC News. October 22, 2007. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  12. ^ Loading. American Rugby News. Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Loading. American Rugby News. Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  14. ^ Rugby Mag, Clever Claims Award, Jan. 11, 2012,
  15. ^ "Todd Clever released from USA Rugby Eagles' Pacific Nations Cup squad" (Press release). USA Rugby. 2015-07-19. Retrieved 2015-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Todd Clever Speaks on Eagle Ouster". Goff Rugby Report. Retrieved 22 October 2015. 
  17. ^ "Tolkin Must Re-apply To Coach Eagles, U.S.A. Rugby Opens Search". November 9, 2015. Retrieved February 16, 2016.  External link in |website= (help)
  18. ^ Play of the Day: George Final day. YouTube (December 12, 2009). Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  19. ^ Loading. American Rugby News. Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  20. ^ By CountryNews | Rugby News. Retrieved on June 7, 2012.
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^ Archived from the original on February 25, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ [2] Archived April 12, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ [3] Archived May 10, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ [4][dead link]

External links[edit]