Friday, December 25, 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Podcast Episode 7: Roberto 'Berto' Santiago

For my last podcast of the year, I talk to my good friend and former Washington Renegades teammate Roberto Santiago, who is a referee with the Northern California Rugby Referee Society. He shares some stories from his playing days and how diversity in the sport can offer some surprising perks. We also talk about the transition from player to referee, the challenges facing the societies and teams in the US, and his future aspirations.

Roberto Santiago (center in blue) on the attack for the Washington Renegades

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Update: Village Lions Calendar Party this Saturday

As I posted recently, the ladies of the Village Lions are launching their 2010 calendar this Saturday, December 19th.

The event kicks off at 4pm at the Bull Moose Salon (44th and 9th ave in NYC) and working its way through the a few bars in Hells Kitchen. There is a $20 cover for a "discount beer" bracelet and you also get one of the calendars.

For more details, head on over to

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Weekend Rugby

There are few great rugby events on this Saturday, which I have listed below. If you know of any others, please feel free to post them in the comments and I'll add them to the list:

New York 7s (New York, NY) - New York Rugby Club are hosting there 51st Annual Sevens tournament on Saturday. First matches kick off off at 8:20am and are played over on Randall's Island Park which is located in the East River below the RFK Bridge and the park is accessible by public and private transportation. More details can be found on the New York RFC's site

Turkey trot 7’s (Bethesda, MD) - Maryland Exiles are holding there annual sevens tournament this Saturday, Kick off is at 8:15am and is being held at Timberlawn Park in Bethesda.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Monday, November 23, 2009

Podcast Episode 6 - Lisa Lake / Willie Dominguez

Last month I posted a story on local NYC coach and high-school teacher Lisa Lake who was named as a coach of the year in a National Contest. In a follow up story, I met with Lisa and Willie Dominguez, the young man who nominated Lisa, to learn more about their stories, the award, and life with New York Rugby Club.

iTunes | Download | RSS Feed

Lisa Lake (in red) receiving her award in Washington DC

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Zealands Ambassdor's Shield this Sunday in Washington DC

The 13th Annual Ambassador's Shield tournament is on this Sunday November 15th.

Held at Trinity University

Held at Trinity University in Northeast Washington DC, the tournament will feature mens, women's, golden oldies and youth rugby plus the featured match between New Zealand Ambassador's XV, a team of New Zealand's best, and the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Union All-Stars XV.
Match details are below and for more information on the tournament, head over to

Here's the match schedule:
9:00am - 10:15am: MARFU Women XV v. Ottawa Select Women
10:20am - 11:30am: Poltroons v. French Embassy Old Boys
11:35am - 12:40pm: Virginia Cardinals v. KEA Kiwi's Old Boys
12:45pm - 1:50pm: PRU U19s v. EPRU U19s
1:50pm - 2:15pm: Hyde School VII v. Gallaudet VII
2:30pm - 4:00pm: NZ Ambassador's XV v. MARFU XV

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

51st Annual New York Rugby Sevens on November 28

If you are in Manhattan on November 28th and fancy a spot of sevens action, New York Rugby Club are hosting there 51st Annual Sevens tournament. The tournament is the largest and longest running in the US and marks the end of the fall rugby season in the local area.

Over 106 teams are expected to participate and should be a fantastic day of rugby.

For more information, head over to the
New York RFC's site
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Samoans play for tsunami victims at GGI Sevens

One of my podcast guests and good friend, Scott Martell, is currently down in Oz for the Gold Coast International Sevens (his company, Rugby Ink , are the official kit sponsor). This is one of many stories and photos he will be sharing in the coming days.

Samoans play for tsunami victims at GGI 7's

The Samoan based team has promised to provide as much support as possible for the victims of the recent tsunami which has caused so much devastation and loss of life back home. They announced that any prizemoney they win, which includes a $20,000 reward to the winners, will be donated to the Tsunami Appeal.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Village Lions Womens Calendar Release Party

The lovely ladies of the Village Lions are launching their 2010 calendar and you're all invited to join in the festivities at the launch party!
The event is scheduled for Saturday, December 19 at 8:00pm in New York city and
to see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Thursday, October 29, 2009

MARFU Sharks Men's All-Star Program

The MARFU Sharks Men's All-Star team has been reconstituted this year by the MARFU board as a development tool for the best players in MARFU. The goal of the MARFU Sharks program is to provide the top players in MARFU with an elite rugby experience that will help them develop and improve as players. The program is particularly looking for the best high school and college players to participate. The development program will include regular training sessions with top coaches, and international competition.

This fall the
MARFU Sharks will have a match against the New Zealand Embassy XV and then a high performance camp in December. In 2010 the program will include regular training sessions and an international tour in the summer. Selections for the 2010 program will be made this fall.

The start of the
MARFU program is this weekend with the first of 2 tryouts/practices. The tryouts are:

  • November 1, Severn River 9.30-11.30am
  • November 8, Doylestown, 11am-1pm
Registration is not required for the tryouts, however coaches' recommendations can be made at and will be used in the selection process.

Players that plan to attend should Head Coach, Peter Steinberg, directly.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ruggers needed for movie being filmed this weekend in DC

Got this from Stefan Hankin of PAC Rugby (thanks Stefan!).

Adams Morgan the Movie, a full length feature film, is currently filming in Washington DC. There are two rugby scenes in this film which will be filmed on Sunday morning.

The producers have requested 30 players and at least 60 people to act as "fans". Filming will start at 7am on Sunday and run until about 2pm. Breakfast and Lunch will be provided.

Filming will take place behind the DC United's practice field next to RFK at the corner of C street and Oklahoma Ave NE. Turn off C street onto Oklahoma, take your first right into the parking lot. Closest metro is Stadium / Armory.

If you are interested in being part of this movie, please email Stefan so he can put you on the list.

Players: The "match" is between two adult men's teams, sorry ladies (and young looking college players). Please wear normal rugby attire, boots, headgear if you normally wear it etc, jersey's will be provided.

Fans: The "match" is supposed to take place in the Fall, so just dress as you would if you were going to watch a match. Please do not wear any articles of clothing that could be viewed as product placement, rugby jerseys are ok. Need people of all ages, gender etc. Little kids are more than welcome. Need to make this look as genuine as possible Please let me know if you have any questions.

More information on the movie can be found at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

NYC Youth Rugby Coach Named A Coach of the Year

I wanted to share a press release I got tonight, compliments of Sara John (USA Rugby) and Noel Wolfe (thanks guys!), on local NYC coaches and highschool teacher Lisa Lake (in red in photo at left). Lisa has been named as a coach of the year after coming in third in the “Play it Forward” contest held by Youth Noise, a youth social network.

Congratulations to Lisa! Read the full press release after the break.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Ruggers help local animal humane society

Great article on Radford University RFC who are working with a local humane society to take their homeless dogs on a run each week.

The full article
is here (compliments of The Roanoke Times)

And if any local clubs in the New York Metro region are interested in doing a similar thing and need contact information for local shelters in the area, let me know. My good lady wife works with a few organizations and would be happy to share the info.

Friday, October 16, 2009

USA Rugby - College information for High School rugby players

USA Rugby has recently launched a website ( with information aimed at students, parents, and coaches about academic, financial, and scholarship opportunities for college rugby. By doing so, the hope is that players will make rugby a major consideration when choosing a college. They have already posted information for Male High School players and the Female information will be posted soon.

The site also has a form that Colleges can use to submit information and if you or someone you know can help contribute, please pass the information along.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Podcast Episode 5 - USA Rugby & the Olympics

Graphic: cluepill
With the historic announcement on Friday, October 9th that rugby has been readmitted into the Olympics in 2016, I joined the staff and players of USA Rugby to celebrate the news at Mr Denneheys in New York City.

I had the great opportunity to interview USA National players
Mark Bokhoven and Jen Sinkler as well as USA Rugby Mens 7s head coach Al Caravelli. I gained insight into their rugby beginnings and what the announcement means to the USA rugby community.
iTunes | Download | RSS Feed

Jen Sinklar (Credit: Randy Mar)
Al Caravelli (Credit: Randy Mar)

 Mark Bokhoven (Credit: USA Rugby)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coach needed for Womans University team in Maryland

Received an email, via the PRU, from Erin Arentz who is the captain of Mount St. Mary's University Women's RFC, who is looking for a coach:

I am the captain for the Mount St. Mary's University Women's RFC in Emmitsburg, MD. Currently, we are without a coach. We have a full team of around 20 girls. We are looking to be a serious team and build on the growth we have already achieved. We are not playing any games this semester, but would like to schedule several games and possibly enter a few tournaments next semester. In order to do this, we need a certified coach who is willing to guide us. If anyone is interested, or knows someone who may be interested, please contact me at Thank you.

Erin Arentz
Anyone who is interested, please feel free to contact Erin directly or drop me a line, and I'll be happy to pass your details on.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Play Rugby USA - “Brownsville to Xavier: Developing Youth through Rugby”

Got this great email from my friends over at Play Rugby USA and thought I'd share it.

“Brownsville to Xavier: Developing Youth through Rugby”

Gaining a high quality high school education while getting the chance to compete in sports that you love, especially Rugby, is not an everyday opportunity in America. It is even further out of reach for young people from inner-city environments, where public high school rarely exists and educational opportunities can be limited. However, that’s exactly what one young man and Play Rugby USA program participant has just accomplished, having recently enrolled at Xavier High School an academically elite school in New York City with one of the top rugby programs in the country.

Isa Sylla graduated from IS 392 in Brownsville, Brooklyn this year as valedictorian of his class. A well liked member of the school community and MVP of the school’s 2009 Mayor’s Cup Championship winning flag rugby team, Isa is hooked on rugby. Given his athletic talent, Isa attracted the interest of local athletic directors and football coaches, and earned the offer of an athletic scholarship from a well know prep school in Brooklyn with a strong football program. For most public school students in Brownsville this would have been a dream come true, but for Isa it wasn’t enough...he wanted to play rugby!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009

USA Rugby - Upcoming events

Here are the latest upcoming events announced by USA Rugby:

October 2
Level 1 Officiating Course Flagstaff, AZ. Contact Knute Knutson for more information and to register,

October 4
Level 1 Officiating Course Tampa, FL. Contact Gerry Fitzgerald for more information and to register,

October 10
Americas Rugby Championship semifinals: USA Select XV v Argentina Jaguars – Infinity Park, Glendale, CO.

October 17
Americas Rugby Championship finals  Fletcher’s Field, Toronto, Ontario.

October 17-18
Introducing Rugby & Developing Rugby Skills Certification Workshops -Phoenix, AZ.

October 24-25 
Introducing Rugby & Developing Rugby Skills Certification Workshops - San Diego, CA.

October 24-25
Women's Club PlayoffsNARA Park, Acton, MA.

October 25
Level 1 Officiating Course Boise, ID. Contact Jim Kautz for more information and to register,

November 6-8
Women's Club Championships - Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA.

November 7-8 -
Introducing Rugby & Developing Rugby Skills Certification Workshops -Hingham, MA

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Americas Rugby Championship

USA Rugby just announce that this year, the Americas Rugby Championship will replace the IRB North America 4. The new Championship will feature six teams: four Canadian provincial sides, the Argentina Jaguars and the USA Select XV side, and aims to unite rugby in North and South America in a high performance sub-international structure for the first time.

The four Canadian teams will play in a round robin format with the top two meeting in the semifinals. The other semifinal on October 10, will pit the Jaguars against the USA Select XV side at
Glendale’s Infinity Park in Colorado.

Tickets are on sale with price being $20 for adults, $15 for students (13-18). $5 Children (5-14, 4 under is free) and cane be purchased here.

For more information on the Americas Rugby Championship, head on over to or

Podcast Episode 4 - Phaidra Knight

Phaidra Knight (Credit: Randy Mar)
I had the great pleasure to sit down recently with one of the USA's top female rugby players, Phaidra Knight. Phaidra has already earned 25 caps playing for the US National side and also plays locally for New York Rugby Club in the Premier League. I talked to her about her early playing career at college in Wisconsin and what its like to play and prepare for being on the National team. We also talk about her many other endeavors and her future rugby ambitions.

PRU Annoucement - U23 womens all star camp

Potomac Rugby Union (PRU) is holding their second U23 women's all star camp on Sunday, Oct. 4th at the fields located on the corner of 23rd and Constitution in Washington DC (right behind the Abe Lincoln Memorial) from 11:30am-2:00pm. High School women are welcome and encouraged to attend. This will be the PRUs last "Open Camp" for Fall 2009.

The PRU will be hosting the MARFU U23 Round Robin in November and will be looking to fill two sides. Please bring cleats, mouth guard and thirst quenchers.

The tentative itinerary is as follows:

11:15 - 11:30 Arrival and Registration
11:30 - 11:50 Dynamic Stretching/Warm Up
11:50 - 11:55 Water
11:55 - 12:55 Skills Sessions
12:55 - 1:00 Water
1:00 - 1:20 Break Down Session (Forwards & Backs)
1:20 - 2:00 Games

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to contact Kenny Pope (Head Coach). U23 All Star Info can also be found on the PRU website.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Save the Black Rooster!

I discovered over the weekend from my friends in the Potomac Rugby Union that one of the local rugby pubs in Washington DC is under threat of closure. The building is owned by the Peace Corps and wanted to expand there offices at the expense of the pub.
I have frequented the Black Rooster Pub many times during my time in DC and is a proud sponsor of
Northern Virginia Rugby Football Club, whose woman's team I have had the pleasure of refereeing. Its been a pillar of the community for over 39 years and I, along with many others, would like to see continue serving the locals and visitors to the Capital.

If you are in DC and would like to help, please swing by the pub on
1919 L Street NW and sign the petition. If not, you can still help by joining their Facebook group. I will post some updates as things progress.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

US Womens Premier League

The Womens Premier league got kicked off a few weekends ago here in the US and for anyone who is interested, there are some great sites to follow the action. One of my personal favs in Your Scrumhalf Connection which is a great site with lots of info on the league and Womens rugby in general. I also recommend two of the official league sites, USA Rugby and Womens Premier League blog.
If anyone has any news that they would love to share, please post a comment or tweet me.

Womens rugby this weekend

Come and join me this Saturday in Brooklyn as the Village Lions take on the locals.

Details are as follows:
Event: Brooklyn Women's Rugby vs. Village Lions Start Time: Saturday, September 19 at 11:30am
End Time: Saturday, September 19 at 7:00pm
Where: Red Hook Playground Complex

For further details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Monday, September 14, 2009

Podcast Episode 3 - Scott Martell

In this episode, I talk to Scott Martell, the founder and CEO of Rugby Ink (, a premier rugby design agency & custom team-wear supplier in the US. We talk about Scott's business including their extensive product line and superb designer kit services. We also talk about his rugby beginnings in Wisconsin and playing for NYAC rugby club, a New York based Super League club.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Play Rugby USA - Free Guinness & Social on Wednesday Sept 2nd

If your in NYC this week, pop on over to Tonic (727 7th Ave, New York, NY 10019 ) between 7-9pm on Wednesday, Sept 2nd to enjoy a few drinks and a little Wii Sports action! The event is open to all and gives you the opportunity to meet the folks at Play Rugby USA and join a team in the Mucky Rugger Run.

Bring your friends, potential runners, potential sponsors and enjoy some free drinks on them. Find out more here.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Nations Cup Update #4

Here's a quick round up of yesterdays matches:

England 25 - 0 South Africa
South Africa's final match ends in defeat to the English. Click here for the full story

10 - 15 USA
Last minute try by the Eagles denies the home side a draw. Click here for the full story

The final matches will now take place on Saturday with the US taking on France at 2pm and Canada versus England at 4:30 pm

Monday, August 17, 2009

Get muddy for a good cause

The great folks over at Play Rugby USA are taking part in Runamuck , a muddy 5k run, and want you to join the fun!

They are looking for 10 teams of 4 to join in and challenge the Play Rugby USA team for some great prizes - including the best costume. For more details on how to take part, head on over to their Facebook page.

If you would like to sponsor a team or make a donation to the race, simply click on the donation link below and simply reference the team name in the dedication line.

100% of sponsor / donor proceeds will benefit Play Rugby, Inc in establishing its new youth development programs for 2009-2010 academic year. These programs include rugby, fitness, nutrition and academics for 2 schools in West Harlem and 2 schools in East Harlem.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Rugby Olympic update

Great news has made the cut!

As I blogged yesterday, rugby was one of seven sports being considered. Well rugby, along with golf, will be put forward for ratification by the full 106-member IOC assembly in Copenhagen in October. For the full story, click here.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

AP - Rugby is looking good for 2016 Olympics

The campaign to get rugby into the Olympics got a boost today as it appears to among one of the two favorites (golf being the other) to be selected, according to the Associated Press.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) will choose two sports from a proposed list of seven (the others are baseball, softball, squash, karate and roller sports), and will be voted on by the full IOC assembly in Copenhagen, Denmark in October. For full story, click here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Womens Nations Cup kicks off next week

The US Womens National team head off North next week to take on Canada, England, France and South Africa in the Nations Cup. This is the 2nd Nations Cup tournament and will be played in Oakville, Canada from August 10th through 22nd. For more details, head on over to Rugby Canada and if you can make it in person to see the games, you catch them live online at

The schedule of the games are as follows (all kick off times are
GMT -4 hours EDT i.e same as EST)

August 10th
France vs South Africa 4:30 PM
England vs USA 6:30 PM
August 13th
France vs England 4:30 PM
Canada vs South Africa 6:30 PM
August 16th
South Africa vs USA 2:00 PM
Canada vs France 4:00 PM
August 19th
England vs South Africa 4:30 PM
Canada vs USA 6:30 PM
August 22nd
USA vs France 2:00 PM
Canada vs England 4:00 PM

Monday, August 3, 2009

Podcast Episode 2 - Mark Griffin & Christian Mayo (Play Rugby USA)

I added last night the second part of a two part podcast on Play Rugby USA. The new podcast features a interview with Mark Griffin, the founder and president, and Christian Mayo, Director of Programs.

You can listen to the podcast on the player below as well as on iTunes, our Facebook page, or via Feedburner.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

American rugger takes on the Kashmir

The Jammu Kashmir Rugby Association (JKRA) has hired American professional rugby coach Gregory Bruce to help develop the game. Bruce, a former player with the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, was invited by special request to Srinagar where he is helping men, women, and youth players learn the essentials of the game.

Check out the video of Bruce in action, complements of footage by Asian News International

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

Village Lions WRFC Beer Pong Tournament - Saturday Aug 1st

The Village Lions Women's team are putting on a beer pong tournament this weekend as a club fund raiser. What happens if I win? Everyone wins with beer pong! (There will be a prize, but its a surprise).

If you are interested in taking part, please RSVP (details below) by this THURSDAY.

RSVP to include your name, your partner's name and your team name. Don't forget to mention I sent you :)

When: Saturday August 1st from 5:00 - 9:30

(34th St between 2nd and 3rd Av)

How Much? $35 = all you can drink domestics and shots.
The Lions encourage responsible drinking and respect non-drinkers. You don't have to drink to play, any team or individual player can play with water.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Village Lions Hells Gate 7s tournament this Saturday

If you fancy catching some fantastic sevens action in New York City before the Summer is over, then head on over to Wards Meadow fields on Randall's Island this Saturday for the Village Lions Hells Gate 7s Tournament.

The tournament will feature both Men and Women in action and kicks off at 11am on fields 74 and 75.

You can get over to the island by foot, public transport, or by car, and your welcome to message me if you would like more specific directions. I'll happy to pass them along.

There will be a social afterward held at BB&R bar, 1720 Second Avenue (between 89th and 90th), New York, NY 10128.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sports water, JA MAN!

Closeup of the label
I just recently got back from a short break in Jamaica.
Although the Jamaicans do play rugby, cricket and
Football (soccer) is by far the most popular sports.

In saying that it isn't every day you see rugby on a
bottle of sports water :-)
Sport Wata

World Cup qualifier round-up

Great news for Samoa, who beat Papua New Guinea 73-12 to qualify for Pool D in the 2012 World Cup in New Zealand.

The last remaining place in Pool D will be settled in November as Tunisia and Namibia face off.

The USA still has the opportunity to qualify after their loss to Canada earlier this month. Canada has now sealed the spot in Pool A, and the Eagles will face Uruguay to compete for the Americas 2 qualifier spot in Pool C. The loser will still have one more chance to qualify through the cross-continental final place playoff in 2010.

The winner of the Asian 5 Nations will qualify as Asia 1 in Pool A with the runner-up playing in the final place playoff. The 5 Nations teams are made up of Arabian Gulf, Hong Kong, Japan, Kazakhstan, and Korea.

With England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Wales already pre-qualified, there are two definite pool places up for grabs, with one additional chance in the final place playoff. Battling it out are Belgium, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Ukraine. The top 2 from the European Nations Cup (ENC) Division 1 will qualify as Europe 1 (Pool B) and Europe 2 (Pool C). The 3rd and 4th place teams from the division will compete for a spot in the final place playoff.

Here's how the current pools are looking:

Pool A - New Zealand, France, Tonga, Canada, Asia 1 (Winner of Asian 5 Nations)

Pool B - Argentina, England, Scotland, Europe 1 (winner of ENC Div. 1), Final place playoff (TBD)

Pool C - Australia, Ireland, Italy, Europe 2 (runner-up of ENC Div. 1), Americas 2 (USA or Uruguay)

Pool D - South Africa, Wales, Fiji, Samoa, Africa 1 (Namibia or Tunisia)


All Blacks off to a great start in the Tri-Nations

New Zealand start their Tri-Nations campaign with a 22-16 win at home against Australia. The Aussies led the first half 10-13 with a try from Berrick Barnes, and conversion and penalties from Matt Giteau. All Blacks Captain Richie McCaw scored their only try (also in the first half) and superb fly-half Stephen Donald sealed the deal with fours penalties in the second half. The All Blacks will now head to South Africa for the next two matches in the tournament.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Let's celebrate

Happy 4th of July, folks! And what a great day for rugby!

The day started off well with a victory for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa. A bit bittersweet after a tough tour, but a great win today of 9-28 with tries from Williams (2) and Monye (1), and two conversions by Jones who also knocked over three penalties. The Boks' Steyn delivered the team's only points from three penalties.

And don't forget...ESPN 4pm today: USA take on Canada at home for a chance to secure their place in the next World Cup in New Zealand.

Podcast anyone? Episode 1 - Mayors Cup (Play Rugby USA)

As a few of you might have known, I have been the co-host of an online radio show called 'The Jolly Good Sports Show' which has gone on hiatus.   Rather than sit on my laurels, I headed out to the Mayor's cup flag rugby tournament, organized by Play Rugby USA and got some great audio. So as an early July 4th treat, I have posted online my first podcast episode!

You can listen to the podcast on the player below as well as on iTunes, our Facebook page, or via Feedburner.

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