Sunday, April 25, 2010

Freetime Machos Tribeca Premiere tonight

Just a reminder that Freetime Machos will be making its US debut at the Tribeca Film Festival tonight.  Although tickets are almost sold out, there are still some available.  Head on over to the Tribeca Website to pick them up.

I'll be at the screening, so if you spot me, come on over and say hi!

In case you missed can find my review of the film here and my interview with the Director,  Mika Ronkainen, here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

NJ: US Womens team World Cup Prep Camp May 1st

The Women's National team forwards are holding a World Cup prep camp on Saturday May 1st in New Jersey.   The event will kick off at 1pm at Thompson Park in Lincroft where you can watch them in action at practice.

At 3pm moves to Monmouth Rugby's clubhouse (153 Shrewsbury Ave, Red Bank) for the BBQ Social where you can meet the players and test your skills against the ladies.  There will be also be a raffle to support the WNT's road to the World Cup.

For more information, please contact Alex Williams at and don't forget to follow the team at

UK rugby magazine features USA Sevens' Al Caravelli

The new issue of online rugby magazine Sin-Bin Rugby has just hit the web and includes some great interviews and features:

 • USA Sevens Head Coach Al Caravelli (provided by yours truly!)
 • British and Irish Lions legend John Bentley
 • Ben Mercer’s Life in the Championship
 • Charlie Perry’s Life in National One
 • Agustin Pichot
 • The Summer 7s Circuit
 ... and more!

Read it online at or download the PDF edition here

Thursday, April 22, 2010

PRU: North Bay Gray Ghost Cup May 8th

North Bay Rugby will be hosting their Gray Ghost Cup (formerly the North Bay
Cup) on May 8th, at Cedar Lane Park in Bel Air, Maryland.   The cup is a social tournament recently renamed to honor the memory of a former coach and longtime supporter, Bill Tarello.

They still have some openings left and all interested teams should contact the Match Secretary Eddie "Pharoah" Mikhail at for more information or to register.

Details are as follows:

When: Saturday, May 8, 2010 (All Day Tournament With After Party)
Where: BelAir, Maryland at Cedar Lane Park (
What You Get: Each Team will Be Guaranteed Three Games (each is 60 minutes long/ two 30 minute halves) then Playoffs Begin. After party Social includes free beer and food.
Cost: The tournament costs $250.00 per team, paid by April 30, 2010. If a team enters more than 1 side, the second side may enter for $150.00. Any payments made after May 1, 2010, the cost will be $300.00. ALL TEAMS MUST PAY PRIOR TO MAY 5, 2010. Once you confirm that you will enter a team, payment information will be made available.

DC: Ruggerfest this weekend (April 24th - 25th)

For anyone in the Capital area this weekend, the DC Furies will be hosting the 30th annual Ruggerfest, a two day womens rugby tournament.

Its a fantastic event to see some great womens rugby.  My beloved Village Lions will be there, as will a rugby life podcast interviewee, Wendy Young aka Your Scrum-Half Connection.    

The tournament will take place at Rosecroft Raceway (6336 Rosecroft Drive
Ft Washington, MD 20744) and will have three divisions:
  • Competitive (Division 1 Teams) and 
  • Social Division Group 1(D1 B-sides; D1 mixed A/B; Competitive College teams)
  • Social Division Group 2 (D2 Club Teams and College Teams).
The Third half i.e the Tournament party, will take place 8 pm to 12 am at DA’s Regional Food and Drink in DC (810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001).  Not too be missed!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Virginia Youth Rugby Union looking for coaches

The folks down at Virgina Youth Rugby Union are looking for coaches to help with the Vienna Youth Inc Program this summer (June and July).  The program is now in its 5th year with over 100 kids taking part.

They have openings from U-11 to U-15 and anyone who can commit to 2 weekday evenings and Saturday games, please contact Barr Snyderwine via email ( or phone (202-438-2682) for further details.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Monday, April 12, 2010

Freetime Machos brings rugby to Tribeca

In his latest documentary Freetime Machos, Finnish director Mika Ronkainen takes us on an interesting journey into the lives of a rugby team in his home city of Oulu, Finland.

The story focuses on Matti and Mikka, two friends brought together by the love of the sport but growing painfully apart with the demands of everyday life.  Matti, the cockier of the two, isn't sure if he wants to settle down with his long-time girlfriend or live the life of Reilly.  Older and wiser Mikka struggles to balance his commitment to his teammates with ever-growing responsibilities to his wife and four kids.   

Their beloved team is also facing problems: without a single win, they face relegation from the first division.  English coach Roger is troubled by the glaring deficiencies of his team, but finds solace in practice as he faces the prospect of losing his job in a round of mass layoffs at Nokia.

Helping Matti and Mikka on and off the field are fellow teammates Jarmo, an accomplished author writing his next book; Tuomo, an ornithologist with a dislike for the team's mascot; and Ana, a Spanish exchange student recruited to practice with the guys but forbidden to play in games. 

As the season progresses,  the team's fate and the future of the two men unfold comically yet poignantly.   Though rugby is the vehicle, this film is really about friendship, modern Finnish life and men's changing role in society.  

Grab a mate, head for one of the screenings (see below), and enjoy a rare glimpse of amateur rugby at its rawest.

Freetime Machos premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York on Sunday, April 25th with additional screenings additional screenings 4/26, 4/28, and 5/1.  For further details visit Tribeca Film Festival and the Freetime Machos homepage.  For an exclusive interview with the director, check out my podcast here .

Friday, April 9, 2010

DC: Host family for Netherlands high school rugger needed

Brigid Beech of the DC Furies (via the folks at PRU)  is looking for someone to host a young rugby lass from the Netherlands who hopes to spend her sophomore year in the US (August 2010 -June 2011).

Brigid, who volunteers with a student exchange program, is ideally look for a place in the DC area where there is an active girls' HS rugby program,  as well access to cultural and educational opportunities.

If you are interested in finding out more, please visit or if you would be able to be a host, you can contact Brigid directly at

Podcast Episode 9: Director Mika Ronkainen

Last month,  I posted a blog about a new documentary coming out called Freetime Machos by Finnish director, Mika Ronkainen.  The film follows two friends, Matti and Mikko, who play for a rugby team in the Northern wilds of Finland.  The film has officially been selected to be shown at this years Tribeca Film Festival and will premier on Sunday April 25th.

For the latest podcast, I caught up with Mika and we chatted about the inspiration behind the film and gain a little insight into what rugby is like in Finland.

You can listen to the podcast online on the Podcast Page, via iTunes, or by RSS Feed 

To find out more about the film and buy tickets to see it, check out the Tribeca festival page.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Angry Ref is on Spring Break...thanks to rugby

Photo from Life Magazine, compliments of
No Angry ref this week folks.  The ref needed a bit of well deserved R & R.  And according to the folks over at Ralph Lauren, everyone has rugby to thank for spring break. 

Before Spring Break became...well..Spring break, its was actually called Rugby Week for a select few Ivy Leaguers. In 1935 the Bermuda Athletic Association invited Harvard, Yale and Princeton's rugby teams to come down for a friendly scrum, offering the students a $50 travel stipend, and the spring break tradition of sun and sport (indoor and outdoor) was born.

To learn more, head on over to

Thursday, April 1, 2010

NYC: Community Coach Education Workshop on April 11th 2010

Play Rugby USA is hosting a Community Coach Education Workshop along with Positive Coaching Alliance for Flag Rugby and  Rugby Sevens.  The workshop will be held in New York over on Randalls Island on April 11th from 10am to 4pm.  

The registration deadline is closing soon and spots are quickly filling up. If you are interested in attending this great workshop, please see the details below.

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