Todd Clever made his presence known at an early age as he burst onto the pitch at age 14. He played for College Park Rugby Football Club while attending Santa Teresa High School in San Jose, California. He played for the USA Junior Eagles U19 in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and played in the Junior World Cup in 2001 and 2002.
Clever attended the University of Nevada and played rugby for the Wolfpack from 2001 to 2004. His collegiate career was marked with three Collegiate All-American nods. Upon finishing his collegiate career, Clever would carry on to play a 15-year career with the Eagle 15s and received a record 76 international caps, 53 of them as captain. He appeared in three Rugby World Cup squads with the Eagles: 2003, 2007, and captained the 2011 team. His on-field performance would earn him recognition as the American Rugby Player of the Decade for 2000-2009 and selection to the Team of the Decade for 2010-2019.
Todd also appeared on the pitch as prop for the Eagles 7s from 2004 to 2011. During his tenure with the Eagles 7s, he played in 26 tournaments throughout the World, in addition to being named co-captain and vice-captain on multiple occasions. With the Eagles 7s he played in the 2005 and 2009 7’s Rugby World Cups. His illustrious career for the Eagles would affectionately earn him the nickname of “Captain America.”
“I have nothing but admiration for who he is, what he stands for, and how he goes about implementing his work as a person, back rower, teammate, and captain. He is also very competitive, passionate, and loyal to his country, teams, and to a team ethos that understands what he values most before anything else,” said former Eagles Head Coach, John Mitchell.
Alongside his career as an Eagle, he played at the club level for Old Mission Beach Athletic Club. With OMBAC, he led the team to a Cal Cup Championship. He also played for the Austin Huns in 2017 and led the program to a Division I National Championship. Clever was named to the Pacific Coast Grizzlies on over 10 occasions.
At the professional level, Todd’s first contract was with North Harbour in New Zealand, then moved to Johannesburg, South Africa for the Golden Lions from 2009 to 2010. In 2009, he set dual honors becoming the first American to play Super Rugby and the first American to score a try in Super Rugby. Todd also played in the Japan Top League for Suntory from 2010-2012. During his career with Suntory, he helped lead the team to the Japan Cup Championships in 2011 and 2012. He has also appeared on the pitch for Japan Top League’s NTT Communications. Clever’s last overseas contract was in the English Premiership with Newcastle Falcons before moving back to the States to play in the Major League Rugby competition for Austin.
Off the pitch, Clever has served on the USA Rugby Board of Directors as International Athlete representative from 2017-2019, executed administrative roles as Co-General Manager and Director of Rugby for Major League Rugby’s Austin Elite from 2018 to 2020, and as a Director of Memphis Inner City Rugby.
One of his many efforts in giving back to the game of rugby has been the recent establishment of the Todd Clever Foundation, an organization created to provide financial and supportive services to rugby players and teams across the globe.