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Allegheny Health Network physician selected to accompany Team USA to Rugby World Cup in Japan

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Pittsburgh, Pa  – Allegheny Health Network orthopaedic physician, Sam Akhavan, MD, will accompany the USA Eagles to the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Tokyo, Japan this October.

The Rugby World Cup will take place from September 20th through November 2nd, and Team USA will compete in its first match on September 26th against England. The Eagles are currently ranked 13th out of 105 countries and will compete against 20 other top-ranked teams at the tournament. 

This will be the second time Dr. Akhavan has accompanied the team to the Rugby World Cup.  Dr. Akhavan also accompanied the USA Rugby Men’s Eagles to the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015 and also served as Head Match Physician for the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco in 2018. AHN’s sports medicine program has provided comprehensive sports medicine and general health services to rugby teams, both local and nationally, since 2009.

During the competition in Tokyo, Dr. Akhavan will be responsible for the team’s medical care needs, including immediate care for injuries during matches such as fractures, dislocations, and concussions.  

“The most important role I play as a team physician is providing sideline emergency care at matches,” said Dr. Akhavan. “Rugby is an extremely physical sport, especially at the international level. I am always astounded by the pace of this game and the athleticism of these players, and I’m honored to accompany the team to a second World Cup tournament.”

Dr. Akhavan directs the Orthopedic Sports Medicine Fellowship and Orthopedic Research program at Allegheny General Hospital and is the medical director and team physician for the Pittsburgh Riverhounds soccer team and training academy. In Pittsburgh, he serves as head team physician for local club rugby teams, dealing with cuts, broken bones, shoulder and knee injuries, and helping teams screen for concussions.

Designated an Official U.S. Olympic Regional Medical Center, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is one of a few leading medical providers selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to provide comprehensive medical services to elite Team USA athletes, including orthopaedics and sports medicine, primary care, cardiovascular care, neurosurgery, physical therapy, and more.

AHN also is the official medical provider of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Gannon University, the Community College of Allegheny County and 20 Pittsburgh-area high school athletic programs.

To learn more about sports medicine services at AHN, visit