Formation of new domestic championship in US highlights conflicts between PRO and Club Rugby

December 8, 2016

Formation of new domestic championship in US highlights conflicts between PRO and Club Rugby


Victor Drover

After months of rumors, on Monday the American rugby community learned that 5 teams would come together in a new competition in the Southwest called the Major Rugby Championship (MRC). Despite lacking a published sanction from USA Rugby, the MRC will play in teams will include the Austin Huns, the Griffins (TX), New Orleans, Rugby Utah, and the Glendale Raptors.

Glendale is unique in this list of member clubs: it is the only team to also be part of another regional competition. Glendale typically plays it’s winter and spring season in the Pacific Rugby Premiership (PRP). However, The PRP is currently on a break and set to return in the Fall of 2017.

On it’s face, the formation of a new regional competition in the US is not that newsworthy. The timing of the PRO Rugby season (conflicting with club rugby playoffs) and existing trends in seasonality predicted the formation of competitions like MRC, the Cal Cup, and the Gold Cup.

But buried in the the MRC announcement was a quote from Glendale’s Director of Rugby that stood out like a sore thumb:
“We also were aware that PRO had communicated verbally to players from Glendale that they would not allow them to play for Glendale so we would not have had our players available had [we] moved to a fall schedule.”

Initially I found this statement quite unbelievable. After all, how could a commercial third party (PRO Rugby) actually be sanctioning an amateur club that is under the purview of USA Rugby?
But after making some enquiries I obtained online confirmation from PRO Rugby that contracts would be terminated for employees who play for Glendale in the off-season.

Additionally, I learned that this off-season restriction also extends to another club, Life West based in Hayward, CA.

Clubs blacklisted for off-season play
To get some context, I had a long telephone conversation with PRO Rugby CEO Doug Schoninger.

Mr. Schoninger explained that Glendale and Life West were on PRO Rugby’s unofficial list of non-cooperative clubs for allegedly pressuring players to appear in club matches during the PRO Rugby season.

Mr. Schoninger elaborated via E-mail:
“[It] is extremely hard to be labeled a “non-cooperative club” by [PRO Rugby]. In these two cases, both clubs, against earlier agreements, tried to influence PRO players to play in club competitions during our season and in conflict with our schedule. Their actions caused quite a bit of disturbance to a few teams rosters and put the players in awkward situations.”

Mr. Schoninger went on to say that in at least one case a player was asked to participate in a club match on Saturday, the day after a PRO fixture on Friday.

Glendale confirmed online that their club members had been informed of the off-season playing restriction made by PRO Rugby. However, they did not reply to my request for comment on the allegations of player interference.

Venue disagreements compound problems for Denver
In addition to issues surrounding player availability, there appear to have been some problems between PRO Rugby and some venues like Glendale’s Infinity Park (which also serves as the Raptors venue but is independently operated by the City of Glendale). For example, the disagreements led to PRO relocating the Denver Stampede mid-season to the University of Denver.

Unfortunately, this tug of war over players and disputes with facilities have put a cloud over Glendale’s inclusion in MRC. It’s also unclear how well the Raptors will fare in the PRP next Fall without their PRO players who appear to be respecting PRO Rugby’s restrictions.

For both Glendale and Life West, the sanction will likely affect their ability to recruit and rebuild. Top talent with eyes on a professional rugby career will avoid playing for these clubs to maximize the chance they can earn a PRO contract.

Players caught in the middle
As noted above by Mr. Schoninger, the situation has also placed the players from Glendale and Life West in an awkward position: they are forced to choose between their club and PRO loyalties.

For the current Glendale and Life West players trying to make a full-time career on the pitch, it is clear from Glendale’s public comments above that most have chosen to continue their paid positions with PRO Rugby. But their prospects for staying match-fit in the PRO Rugby off-season are now limited.

For example, a Glendale Raptor with a PRO Rugby contract with the Denver Stampede would have to play with another club in the offseason. This may not be possible or convenient depending on where the player lives and works.

Unfortunately, the athletes are, as is typical, caught in the middle despite being the primary asset for a professional sports operation.

Putting together the details above along with some anecdotal comments I’ve heard from various sources, it seems that some clubs on the West coast have firmly resisted the transfer of players to PRO Rugby. The cost of not cooperating appears to be quite punitive with sanctions on both clubs and players.

But rugby isn’t supposed to work like this. Players should be able to keep their loyalties to both employer and club. Of course, all parties need to respect the appropriate boundaries. Players need to honor the terms of their contract. And clubs and professional teams should not interfere with each other.

Thus, a players association is urgently needed. At a minimum, a players association should offer collective bargaining and insulate players from disputes between PRO and Club Rugby administrators/ owners.

The recent formation of the United States Rugby Players Association (USRPA) for the US National Team is a step in the right direction. A fast and simple solution could be to expand the USRPA to include all paid rugby athletes in the US.

In addition, USA Rugby as the governing body for the sport needs to clearly set the rules of engagement for all parties, mediate disputes, and manage sanctions within clearly defined parameters.

Strong leadership from USA Rugby will be required to repair and maintain the current rift between club and PRO Rugby to maintain a functional pathway for American rugby athletes from amateur to PRO to the National Team.

Inaugural Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame Inductions

December 8, 2016

Inaugural Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame Inductions

Maccabi USA Rugby Release

Save the date of March 3rd and join us in Las Vegas for the induction of the inaugural class for the Maccabi USA Rugby Hall of Fame. We are planning this in conjunction with the World Rugby 7’s Series and Maccabi USA Rugby’s debut at the club/all-star tournament. The Hall of Fame event will be a cocktail reception Friday night.

Maccabi USA Rugby made its debut at the 1985 World Maccabiah Games winning a Bronze. Since that time, several hundred Jewish Ruggers have suited up for Maccabi USA Rugby at the World Maccabiah Games, Pan Am Games and various matches and non-Jewish tournaments in North America. The highlight of the program was winning the Gold Medal in 15’s at the 1997 World Maccabiah Games. It is only appropriate to begin the Hall of Fame marking the 20th anniversary of this historic event. At the last Games, Maccabi USA Rugby won the first ever Gold in 7’s and a Bronze in 15’s. The 2017 squad is coached by Shawn Lipman and is looking to connect the Alumni with the active squad in Vegas to celebrate Maccabi USA Rugby.

Our inaugural inductees will be Jordan Weinstein, Jeff Simon, Craig Levine and Jeff Ebner

img_2550Jordan Weinstein

img_2551Jeff Simon

img_2552Craig Levine


Jeff Ebner with son Nate courtesy of Nancy Pritchett

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Camp at OTC in January

December 7, 2016

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American Camp at OTC in January


USA Rugby Release: Chad Wise, Dec. 7, 2016
An AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Identification and Verification Camp will be held at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., Jan. 13-16, 2017.

Two-and-a-half years from Rugby World Cup 2019 in Tokyo, the High Performance Pathway is becoming more and more streamlined from the age-grade teams through to the senior Eagles. The MCAA Camp will coincide with the AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans Development Camp at the OTC, further connecting the pathway.

Following a successful AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Tour to Queensland sponsored by WellDog, from which seven young athletes went on to represent the U.S. at the senior level with either the Eagles or USA Rugby Selects, Head Coach Gavin Hickie and staff have been hard at work scouting collegiate competitions throughout the fall. As players – student-athletes – take time away from their programs in December, the staff is calling for nominations from coaches and players for Camp consideration.

Nominate an AIG Men’s Collegiate All-American

Sixty athletes will be selected to attend the assembly in southern California with the initial goal of earning a spot on the MCAA team for the second annual Tour to Queensland sponsored by WellDog in mind. Though only a portion of those in Camp will be named to the touring squad – and a separate portion unavailable for Camp selection due to winter/spring competitions – all participating players will receive feedback from the High Performance staff and have their analytics recorded for future training use.

“The first AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans Tour to Queensland sponsored by WellDog provided our collegiate student-athletes with an intense, unique international environment not yet replicable domestically,” Hickie said. “The team and Tour proved to be important stepping stones for full senior Eagles honors for players like Bryce Campbell and Matt Jensen, with many others close to breaking through.

“As part of the USA Rugby High Performance Pathway and working closely with the Junior All-Americans, it is our role to provide our Eagles with the next crop of international rugby players. We are excited to work with this year’s collegiate players who aspire to be part of the 2019 Eagles World Rugby squad.”

Members of the MCAA coaching staff and the Eagle Eye Scout Network will continue to attend collegiate competitions throughout 2017 in the lead-up to the Tour, which is not yet finalized. If a student-athlete is not able to attend the January Camp, he will still be eligible for selection in 2017.

Nominations for the Identification and Verification Camp at the OTC will be accepted until Jan. 1, 2017. For more information, visit the AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans page on or contact Coach Hickie at

AIG Men’s Collegiate All-Americans | Coaching Staff
Gavin Hickie – Head Coach
Justin Hickey – Manager
Greg McWilliams – Assistant Coach
James Willocks – Assistant Coach
Ben Schuler – Team Trainer
TBA – Video Analyst

Flow Rugby Barbados World 7s

December 7, 2016

Flow Rugby Barbados World 7s


Photo: Flow Rugby Barbados World 7s

Doug Coil

The Flow Rugby Barbados World 7s is being held December 10-11, 2016 in Trent Playing Field, Holetown, St. James, Barbados. There is an international field of ten men’s and women’s teams competing in two, five team pools.

Each of the teams in the pool will play each other on a round robin basis. Three points are awarded for a win or walkover. In the event of a walkover the score will be listed as a 35-0 result. A draw will be worth 1 points, while a loss zero. The top two teams from each pool will play in the main section on Sunday, while the third, fourth and fifth teams in the pool will play in a round robin plate competition and the top team in each pool then play in the Plate Final.

Men’s Pool A

  • Atlantis (USA)
  • Barbados
  • Esher Golden Lions (England)
  • USA Rugby South Panthers
  • Xhosa Southern Select (Trinidad & Tobago)

Men’s Pool B

  • Defence Force (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Northeast Academy (USA)
  • Border Reivers (Scotland)
  • Upright Rugby Rogues (Canada)
  • Warriors (Barbados)

Women’s Pool A

  • Apoella Angels (Canada)
  • Atlantis (USA)
  • Barbados
  • Rugby Ecosse Feminin (Scotland)
  • Scion Sirens (USA)

Women’s Pool B

  • Dog River Howlers (Canada)
  • Northeast Academy (USA)
  • Phoenix (USA)
  • Police (Trinidad & Tobago)
  • Toronto Saracens (Canada)


Schedule Of Events

Thursday 8th December

6.00 p.m. : Captains, Coaches & Referees Meeting in the Foyer, Time Out Hotel, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.
8.00 p.m. : Fancy Dress Christmas Carol Contest at the Pavilion, Dover Cricket Ground, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church

Friday 9th December

2.00 p.m. : Segway Racing Challenge at the Dover Cricket Ground, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.
7.00 p.m. : Managers, Coaches & Referees Cocktail Party at The Old Jamm Inn, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church.

Men’s Squads – (Updates as known)

Atlantis: (USA) Matt Hughston, Chris Milledge


Defence Force Rugby Team: was formed in the early 70’s  and is made of Regiment soldiers and Coast Guard sailors (Trinidad & Tobago)

Esher Golden Lions: (England)

Northeast Academy: (USA) Article – 1 Nate Augspurger 2 Joseph Bonano 3 Jared Collinson 4 Vincent Daley 5 Gavan D’Amore Morrison 6 Adnan Kawuma 7 Richard Kirkland 8 Derek Lipscomb 9 Tyrell Moore 10 Michael St. Claire 11 John Sullivan 12 Connor Wallace-Sims Coaches: Sean Horan and Ryszard Chadwick, Manager Tom Clark, Physio Laurel Myers

USA Rugby South Panthers:

Border Reivers: (Scotland)

Xhosa Southern Selects: (Trinidad & Tobago)

Warriors: (Barbados)

Women’s Squads – (Updates as known)

Apoella Angels: (Canada)

Atlantis: (USA) Hannah Gauthreaux (Lindenwood University), Megan Hanson (NOVA), Summer Harris-Jones (Virginia Women’s Rugby), Ariel Johnson (NOVA), Peyton Larus (James River, UVA grad),
Kaelene Lundstrum (Twin Cities Amazons
), Kim Semiglia (Life University), Christina Swift (Life University), Davon Thomas (Lindenwood University), Jessica Turner (Berkeley All Blues), Abby Vestal (ARPTC), Josie Ziluca (San Diego Surfers) Head Coach: Dana Creager, Asst Coach: Billy Nicholas, Manager: Stephiejo Edwards, Media Specialist: Amy Kingsbury


Dog River Howlers: There are 6 capped Howlers*, 4 Canadian and 2 Jamaican national team players , 2 Canadian U20 players and 3 high level Canadian University players .

* Elissa Alaire ( Victoria BC – capped for Canada 7’s and 15’s), * Davine Burton (Victoria BC – capped for Jamaica), * Arielle Dubissette (Toronto Ontario – capped for Canada 7’s and 15’s), Crystal Groves (Jamaica – capped for Jamaica), Arielle Normandin Leclerc  (Montreal Quebec – Canada National Universities Team),  Temitope Ogunjimi (Calgary Alberta – leading try scorer in CIS Canada West), Karen Paquin (Quebec City Quebec – Capped for Canada 7’s( Olympic bronze medalist) and 15’s), Justine Pelletier (Quebec City Quebec – capped for Canada U-20), * Mckenzie Pusch (Edmonton Alberta – capped for Canada U-20), Elisa Sandron (Calgary Alberta – leading scorer in CIS Canada West), * Alaya Scramstad (Lashburn Saskatchewan – Praire Wolfpack U-18), * Natasha Smith (Victoria BC – capped for Canada 15’s), Coaches: Elissa Alaire – Victoria BC, Fabiola Forteza – Quebec City, Karen Paquin – Quebec City Quebec, Managers: Davine Burton – Victoria BC and Leo Lane – Regina Saskatchewan

Rugby Ecosse Feminin: (Scotland)

Northeast Academy: (USA) Article – 1 Amanda Berta 2 Sarah Buonopane 3 Corinne Heavner 4 Emily Magee 5 Deanna Nash 6 Kat Ramage 7 Morgan Roberts 8 Jenn Salomon 9 Francesca Sands 10 Claire Stingley 11 Miranda Wakimoto 12 Darlene Walko-Siua Coaches: Steve Lewis, Tom Feury, Gary Heavner Manager: Tom Clark Physio: Laurel Myers

Phoenix: (USA): Kris Hall (Capt.), Gina Steffano (VC), Jamie Doone, Jonelle Francios, Rayehanna Salkey, Abby Solaum, Kat Scheerer, Cyndi Campbell, Kim Tran, Courtney Jessamy, Shay Villeneuve, Jinnie Pratt

Police: (Trinidad & Tobago)

Scion Sirens: (USA)

Toronto Saracens: (Canada)

Men’s Eagles Take On Brazil in Texas in Americas Rugby Championship

December 7, 2016

Men’s Eagles Take On Brazil in Texas in Americas Rugby Championship


The Americas Rugby Championship begins on February 4, 2016. The USA will be hosting Uruguay in San Antonio, Texas. The following week, on February 11th, the Men’s Eagles will host Brazil which is ranked 36th at Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas. This will be Brazil’s first ever match on U.S. soil. This past February the Eagles lost to Brazil 24-23.

JJ Gottsch, COO of Ryan Sanders Entertainment said “We’re excited to host USA Rugby in the Americas Rugby Championship for the second consecutive year. Bringing in events like this one not only showcase the versatility of Dell Diamond on an international level but really help grow the game of rugby here in Texas. We’re looking forward to growing this match and welcoming even more fans through the gates this year.”

Pre-sale tickets for the game against Brazil will be available Wednesday, Dec. 7, at 10 a.m. CT, while the general sale of tickets begins Friday, Dec. 9, at 10 a.m. CT. Fans hoping to get early seats to the final home game before the summer months are encouraged to sign up for the USA Rugby Ticket Pre-Sale Email list if they have not done so already to receive relevant pre-sale information. Upon release, tickets can be purchased via

USA Rugby International Events Director Kellie Cavalier said “It may not look like your typical rugby stadium, but Dell Diamond was a great home for the Eagles for a match that was a success on and off of the field. We knew we had to bring international rugby back to Round Rock, and we couldn’t be more excited to be doing it so soon.”

Dell Diamond has previously been involved in hosting USA Rugby events. It hosted last year’s World Rugby U20 Trophy qualifier match between the AIG Men’s Junior All-Americans and their under-20 Canadian counterparts.

Venue and ticketing details for the Feb. 4 match in San Antonio will be announced in the near future. Each of the five Eagles fixtures during the Americas Rugby Championship competition will be broadcast live on The Rugby Channel (subscription required). Follow the Eagles on

To apply for media credentials, visit

Americas Rugby Championship Schedule

Fixture for 2017
Saturday, February 4
Canada v Argentina XV – Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC. Kick-off: 5PM
Brazil v Chile
United States v Uruguay

Saturday, February 11
Argentina XV v Uruguay
USA v Brazil
Canada v Chile – Westhills Stadium, Langford, BC. Kick-off: 5PM

Saturday February 18
Chile v Argentina XV
Uruguay v Brazil – Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo
Canada v USA – Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC. Kick-off: 5PM

Saturday February 25
Argentina XV v Brazil
Uruguay v Canada – Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo
Chile v USA

Saturday, March 4
Argentina XV v USA
Brazil v Canada
Uruguay v Chile – Estadio Charrúa, Montevideo

Northeast Academy Squads for Barbados Sevens

December 6, 2016

Northeast Academy Squads for Barbados Sevens

Northeast Academy Release: Steve Lewis

New York, NY; (Dec. 6, 2016) – Fresh from its successes at the New York Sevens tournament, the Northeast Academy will continue to fulfill its mission of providing aspiring rugby players from the region with competitive opportunities, as it competes in this year’s FLOW Rugby Barbados World 7s this coming weekend December 10-11, 2016. Previously held in Tobago, the Northeast is a former winner of the Mens Division
The Northeast Wolves Mens side will be captained by USA Eagle Nate Augspurger and includes veteran players such as Derek Lipscomb and Jared Collinson. While missing the regular forward trio of Brakeley, Schwarz and Higgins, there is still plenty of firepower with the emerging talents of Connor Wallace-Sims and John Sullivan. The team will be coached for the last time by outgoing Director Sean Horan who is assisted by Ryszard Chadwick. The Northeast will be tested by international opposition such as the Border Reivers (Scotland), Esher (England) and Canada’s Upright Rogues, as well as familiar domestic foes Atlantis.
In a very competitive Womens bracket featuring Aptoella (NZ), Ecosse (Scotland) and the Howlers from Canada, there will also be plenty of American talent on show with the Northeast joined by teams from Atlantis and Scion. The Northeast will be skippered by Morgan Roberts and feature the high-scoring Sarah Buonopane in what is a relatively young squad. Longtime Northeast and Old Blue Mens coach Steve Lewis will assume the Head Coaching duties ably assisted by Gary Heavner and Tom Feury.
“We are delighted to be heading to Barbados” said Lewis, “and giving our young men and women further opportunities to grow and test themselves against quality competition in unfamiliar surroundings. And as always we are grateful to the support from both the New England and Empire Unions as well as Samurai Sportswear.”


Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad for Cape Town

December 5, 2016

Men’s Eagles Sevens Squad for Cape Town


The USA Men’s Rugby Sevens team plays this weekend, Dec. 10-11, in the HSBC Cape Town Sevens, the second leg of the 2016-17 HBSC World Rugby Sevens Series. The Men’s Sevens team comes off winning the Challenge Trophy Final against Samoa in the Dubai Sevens.

Madison Hughes will be taking a hiatus from the team, as he has recently played for the Men’s Eagles XV team and has played in 20 consecutive Series tournaments since being named captain ahead of the 2014-15 season, and led the circuit in points scored in 2015-16. Named to the Team USA squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Summer Games, Hughes also started in each of the team’s five games at Deodoro Stadium.

Hughes, along with Head Coach Mike Friday, left the squad in the United Arab Emirates over the weekend following the U.S.’s 4-2 Challenge Trophy win at the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby sevens. Davenport University graduate Anthony Wellmers will move into the team for the Dec. 10-11 tournament in South Africa to make his national team debut.

Mike Friday said that “We have had to do the right thing by Madison considering the year of rugby he has had. He has played every Sevens Series tournament the last 12 months and a lot of minutes in those tournaments.”

“We felt it was important that Madison was in Dubai for the start of the season to lead the team, but the plan was always that he would not be exposed to more significant travel time and additional playing time as the risk of injury is too high.”

According to USA Rugby “Hughes will start a three-week recovery period upon his return Stateside and will have a further five-week conditioning block leading into the Sydney and Wellington doubleheader beginning in late January. Perry Baker, ranked among the top-three performing athletes in Dubai last weekend, has been named captain under acting head coach Chris Brown for this weekend’s tournament in Cape Town.”

After a 1-2 start in Pool play at Dubai, including holding South Africa, the Gold Medal winner to its closest result, they then won three consecutive matches to win the Challenge Trophy. They will face South Africa again in pool play along with Australia and Russia.

The USA begins the Cape Town sevens with eight points in the Series standings and Chris Brown will have the team prepared to hopefully improve upon last week’s performance. The action starts Saturday, Dec. 10, as the Eagles take on Australia at 5:27 a.m. ET. Jersey numbers will be confirmed prior to kickoff.

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Cape Town Sevens
Perry Baker (captain), Danny Barrett, Andrew Durutalo, Alec Gletzer, Martin Iosefo, Matai Leuta, Folau Niua, Don Pati, Stephen Tomasin, Maka Unufe, Anthony Welmers, Kevon Williams

Men’s Eagles Sevens – HSBC Cape Town Sevens
v. Australia – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 5:27 a.m. ET
v. South Africa – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 9:10 a.m. ET
v. Russia – Saturday, Dec. 10 @ 12:34 p.m. ET

Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre

December 5, 2016

Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre


Photo: Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre

Rugby Canada Release: December 5, 2016

LANGFORD — Rugby Canada is pleased to announce that the new training facility located at the Centre of Excellence in Langford, BC, will be named the Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre.

The announcement comes as His Worship Stewart Young, Mayor of the City of Langford, and Allen Vansen, Rugby Canada’s CEO, were onsite to officially break ground for construction to begin.

“The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is a critical resource for the development of Rugby Canada’s National Teams,” Vansen said. “Rugby Canada is grateful for the investment the Government of Canada has made towards this facility and its leadership in inspiring Canadians to participate in sport. Today’s announcement is possible because of the tremendous effort and financial support by numerous committed donors and partners.

“We are excited to announce the naming of this world-class facility in honour of a true Canadian rugby legend, Al Charron.  On behalf of Rugby Canada’s Board of Directors and thousands of Rugby fans across Canada, we congratulate Al and his family for this very deserving recognition.  As Al did during his playing days, this facility will inspire and help hundreds of Canadian Rugby players to achieve their best and represent Canada to the fullest of their abilities.”

Charron, 50, won a record 76 test caps for his country and played in four Rugby World Cups. He captained Canada 25 times.

“I am deeply moved by this honour of having my name on a facility that will help train and mold our excellent Canadian athletes of today and the future for years to come,” Charron said. “This is big for my family and I know my late mother and father would be immensely proud of this honoured being bestowed on me and to see the name they gave me attached to a facility like this.

“I also cannot forget my other close family and extended family members but most of all my son Rylan or my wife Annette who allowed me to be the person and athlete I was. What I was able to do on the field was only possible due to her love and unwavering support and sacrifices she was willing to make for my benefit and that of my Canadian rugby career.”

The 1,765 square metre, two-storey training centre will allow all of Rugby Canada’s teams to train in a single location. It will also be available to support the training needs of other high performance amateur athletes as well as the general public. The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is the single largest investment ever made by Rugby Canada in its pursuit of growing the sport in Canada. The facility, located in the heart of City Centre Park in Langford, BC, will provide Rugby Canada, its athletes, coaches and staff, with the necessary infrastructure to keep its National Teams competitive in domestic and international competition.

Inside the training facility will be a 650 square metre gymnasium, changing rooms with shower and bathroom facilities, recovery and stretching rooms, including one with hydro-therapy facilities, a kitchen/dining and lounge area, meeting, office and storage space, six one-bedroom studio units, a therapy clinic, a reception area, and the recently announced Rugby Canada Hall of Fame.

“This project is another example of how the Government of Canada is delivering real results on our infrastructure priorities to benefit communities like Langford and in large and small communities across the country,” said The Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. “Our government recognizes that investing in infrastructure is essential to growing the middle class and equipping municipalities with the building blocks they need to support a high standard of living for Canadians and their families.

“Once complete, this facility will provide Rugby Canada, its athletes, coaches and staff, with the necessary infrastructure to help our teams stay at the top of their games, for decades to come.”

Over his distinguished career, Charron also made five appearances for the famed Barbarians and also suited up as part of the World 15’s squad that faced Argentina to celebrate their centenary anniversary in 1999. Charron played for Bristol, Moseley, Pau and US Dax overseas and domestically suited up for the Ottawa Irish Rugby Club.

The Al Charron Rugby Canada National Training Centre is scheduled to open in September 2017. The facility will support elite athletes from across the region and across the country and inspire a sense of national pride in our national teams. It will also help bring a community closer together through their shared passion for rugby.

“To have my name associated with such a facility when I think of the hordes of other great men and women who have played rugby for Canada over the years both before and after my time on the scene is overwhelming,” Charron said. “It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge my coaches and teammates from high school, to club, to representative rugby at the provincial and national level. I was the player I was due to my time spent both on and off of the field that was forged by the great teammates I was fortunate to have.”


Photo: Al Charron

USA Wheelchair Rugby 2017 National Team Selection Camp

December 5, 2016

USA Wheelchair Rugby 2017 National Team Selection Camp


USA Wheelchair Rugby Release: Mandy Goff, December 5, 2016

Only 11 weeks have passed since the closing of the Rio Paralympic Games and it is already time to begin thinking about the future of the USAWR program. This year will play host to the Americas Championships, a direct qualifyer for the 2018 IWRF World Championships held in Sydney. USAWR is excited to announce that the following athletes have received an invitation to attend the upcoming Selection Camp, 4-8 January, 2017 held at Lakeshore Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama.  Official Selection Procedures can be found  under the “About” section and any questions should be directed to Mandy Goff, High Performance Manager, at Congratulations and best of luck to all the athletes!
  • Chuck Aoki
  • James Adams
  • Clayton Brackett
  • Clayton Braun
  • Josh Brewer
  • Jeromy Brown
  • CJ Brown
  • Jeff Butler
  • Adam Cavanaugh
  • Eric Chase
  • Ernie Chun
  • Andy Cohn
  • Chad Cohn
  • Kevin Crombie
  • Jake Daily
  • Joe Delagrave
  • Rob Deller
  • Lee Fredette
  • Landon Groff
  • Derrick Helton
  • Joe Jackson
  • Talbot Kennedy
  • Seth McBride
  • Chuck Melton
  • Lee Mercado
  • Eric Newby
  • Josh O’Neal
  • Alejandro Pabon
  • Daniel Pitaluga
  • Kory Puderbaugh
  • Jason Regier
  • James Sa
  • Adam Scaturro
  • Mike Schacherbauer
  • Mike Schamburg
  • Nick Springer
  • Chance Sumner
  • Josh Wheeler
  • Tim Vixay

Worcester Valkyries Stumble Against Bristol Ladies Rugby

December 5, 2016

Worcester Valkyries Stumble Against Bristol Ladies Rugby


Becki Blecher and Sarah Bern gave Bristol a comfortable lead before Shona Powell-Hughes hit back for Worcester.

El Snowsill added a penalty to give Bristol a ten-point lead going into the break but second-half tries from Poppy Cleall, Meg Jones and Cat McNaney sealed victory for the league leaders before Rachel Lund added a late consolation score for Valkyries.

Bristol scored a try within two minutes with a neat move as the ball was quickly recycled from a scrum and Belcher received it to score in the corner.

The hosts were on the front foot with quick attacking play and pressure told as they added a second try through Bern, with the hard-hitting prop smashing through the defensive line to score and Snowsill added the extras.

Worcester began to grow in confidence and dominated territory and possession in the Bristol 22.

The hosts’ defence held out well until Powell-Hughes received the ball from the ruck and found a gap to give Worcester a way back into the game. Ceri Large narrowly missed the conversion.

From the restart Bristol dominated possession and were awarded a penalty with the visitors penalised for not rolling away.

Snowsill added three points to the score as the hosts went in at half-time with a 15-5 lead.

Bristol started the second-half as they did in the first with high intensity and on the front foot.

A quickly-recycled ball fell to Lottie Holland and the centre looked set to score but Lydia Thompson made a last-ditch challenge to deny her.

However, moments later Bristol extended their lead through Cleall as the number eight found a way through three defenders to score and Snowsill added the conversion.

Rochelle Clark and Tracy Balmer looked to charge forward but mistakes were the Valkyries’ downfall with knock-ons and penalties conceded leading to Bristol adding their fourth try of the game.

Jones capitalised on a quick penalty and ran in from close range with Snowsill adding another conversion.

A lapse in concentration then saw Worcester concede a fifth just moments later when McNaney received the ball out wide from the restart and she ran in to score.

With a convincing scoreline, Bristol took their foot off the gas in the final quarter as Worcester dominated possession.

Lisa Campbell and Dyddgu Hywel caused problems for the defensive line showing their strength crashing through several challenges and late on Bristol’s Sarah Graham received a yellow card for consistent infringements at the breakdown.

And Valkyries capitalised after a prolonged period in the Bristol 22 as Lund shoved her way through a challenge to score a consolation try for Donna Kennedy’s side.

Valkyries face play-off rivals Saracens Women in the league at Sixways on Sunday 11 December (kick-off 2pm).

02m | Belcher try 5-0
11m | Bern try 10-0
12m | Snowsill con 12-0
29m | Powell-Hughes try 12-5
32m | Snowsill pen 15-5
48m | Cleall try 20-5
48m | Snowsill con 22-5
59m | Jones try 27-5
60m | Snowsill con 29-5
61m | McNaney try 34-5
78m | Lund try 34-10

Valkyries | 15 Dyddgu Hywel, 14 Alexia Mavroudis (Thompson 40), 13 Lisa Campbell, 12 Rachel Lund, 11 Sam Bree (c) (S Parker 72), 10 Ceri Large, 9 Megan Goddard, 8 Shona Powell-Hughes, 7 Helena Bunce (Snead 57), 6 Lyndsay O’Donnell, 5 Courtney Gill, 4 Rosie Haigh (Byrne 57), 3 Tracy Balmer, 2 Lark Davies (Robinson 57), 1 Rochelle Clark (Dunn 72)

Replacements | 16 Paula Robinson, 17 Harriet Dunn, 19 Chelsey Snead, 20 Lydia Thompson, 21 Sam Parker, 22 Charlie Byrne