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 Dr. Lyle Micheli

2017 U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame Inductee

San Diego, CA (March 28, 2017) - As an undergraduate student at Harvard, Lyle Micheli was encouraged by his football coach to participate in lacrosse or rugby to stay in shape during the off-season. As a guard on the football team, Micheli never touched the ball, but he immediately fell in love with the endless opportunities to play the ball on the rugby pitch, even as a prop. And that’s where Micheli’s rugby career began!

Upon graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1966, Micheli continued to play prop for many clubs, including the Boston Rugby Football Club, Cleveland Blues Rugby Football Club, Washington Rugby Football Club, and Mystic River Rugby Club, where he also served as coach. After 40 years, and at the age of 60, Dr. Micheli retired from the playing field.


Off the rugby pitch, Micheli has remained active in the rugby community, serving on the Board of Directors for the United States Rugby Foundation for over 30 years and as Chairman of the USA Rugby Medical and Risk Management Committee. In February of 2013, Micheli was inducted into the USA Rugby Sports Medicine Hall of Fame.


Micheli has remained dedicated to dispelling rugby’s “dangerous” reputation through clinical research and published a research paper, “The incidence of injuries in rugby football” in the American Journal of Sports Medicine in 1974. Through his research, he showed that in comparison to gridiron football, the incidence of injury in rugby is rather low. Micheli has been involved in numerous injury studies, including the United States Rugby Football Foundation’s 2006 Injury Study, “Internet-based Surveillance of Injuries Sustained by US High School Rugby Players,” done in collaboration with the USA Rugby Medical and Risk Management Committee.

In 1988, Micheli organized the United States’ first-ever conference focusing on rugby sports medicine, where the recommendation that scrum formation be done in four phases was implemented.


Dr. Micheli is Director of the Division of Sports Medicine and O'Donnell Family Professor of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital. He has served as Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is a past president of the American College of Sports Medicine and co-chaired the International Olympic Committee consensus on the health and fitness of young people through physical activity and sport. He was the recipient of the 2011 Robert E. Leach Mr. Sports Medicine Award at the annual meeting of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) in San Diego, CA in July 2011. He has served as Chairperson of the Massachusetts Governor’s Committee on Physical Fitness and Sports, and on the advisory board of the Bay State Games. He has been Attending Physician for the Boston Ballet since 1977 and is Medical Consultant to the Boston Ballet School.


In 2013, Dr. Micheli founded The Micheli Center in Waltham, Massachusetts, conducting medical and scientific research focused on the prevention of sports injuries and the effects of exercise on health and wellness.


Lyle’s passion for rugby both on and off the pitch is unmatched and has had a profound impact on the advancement and growth of the sport.