RugbyTown 7's Teams
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The history of Army rugby goes back to WWI when the ‘Yanks‘ (Grid Iron Football Players) would play the British and French soldiers in Europe in rugby camaraderie. US Army Rugby reemerged in the 1970s and grew across the army bases. After 9/11, Army Rugby took a back seat to the Global War on Terrorism. Historically soldiers paid for all their expenses and used personal vacation time to compete in local, national, and international rugby matches. The Army Rugby Union (ARU) a 501 c 3, was formed and modeled after the British Army Rugby Union. ARUs mission is to administratively support the American Soldier-Rugby player, so they can compete and enjoy rugby within our rugby community, and across the country. RugbyTown 7s will be the first event that the Army Rugby Union competes in with a 7s side, comprised of former ALL ARMY 7s players. We are able to compete from generous partnerships, and the Army Rugby players.
Barbados 7s are the national rugby sevens side for Barbados. A member of World Rugby since 1996, this small island has a proud rugby tradition. They have played fifteens against Canada and USA. Over the past few years they have competed in Hong Kong sevens qualifying tournament, Central American Games and the Commonwealth Games. Recently, they have toured the New England area winning the RoadKill Sevens and Morris sevens. Although their side is relatively young, some of their players have played against a number of top international sides such as Great Britain, Wales, Scotland and New Zealand.
The Colorado XOs are a rugby team composed of high-level crossover athletes from several different sports. Consisting of football players, wrestlers, track & field athletes, and basketball players from established collegiate programs, the National Football League, Canadian Football League, XFL, Alliance of American Football, and The Spring League, the XO program is designed to introduce elite athletes to the game of rugby. After just one season, six members of the XOs – Kaleb Geiger, Max Dacey, Gelen Robinson, David Still, Shawn Clark, and Ma’ake Muti – signed Major League Rugby contracts while captain Michael Bandy signed a contract with the Los Angeles Chargers.
DBlock Santa Rosa
The Santa Rosa Rugby Club (SRRC) is a non-profit organization aimed at developing and progressing the sport of rugby in Sonoma County. Originally formed in 1971, the SRRC encompass active members and alumnus hailing from Healdsburg to Marin. Currently, the SRRC has 50 active members playing in the Men’s Senior Club Division II of USA Rugby. In the history of SRRC, the team has maintained a high level of competition, winning back to back national championships in 1994-95 and top 16 finishes from 2010 to the present day as one of the most successful and storied clubs in USA Rugby.
Denver 7s Selects
The Denver Rugby 7s Selects were branded by USA Rugby in early 2014 as a city-based regional Elite Select team and in July 2017 USA Rugby added the Denver Sevens as a National Development Academy. We have a culturally diverse staff and players including 4 Olympians (Martin Iosefo, Ben Pinkelman, Kevon Williams & Cody Melphy) on our team as well as 5 other players who have recently played on the US National 7s team. We also have another 14playersthat have been invited to train with the National 7s team. The Denver 7s are 2 time RugbyTown 7s Champions in 2016 & 2015 and took 2nd in 2014.
Director & Assistant Coach: Howard Kent
Head Coach: Steve Laporta
Physiotherapist & Trainer: Purvi Desai
Gorilla Rugby Academy started in 2018 to create an additional avenue for U14-U23 Rugby players to be able to travel and compete in higher level tournaments throughout the US and internationally. The Academy is currently focused on developing both youth and adult players in 7s rugby through development clinics and touring events as well as local non-select side tournaments. The men’s team is not limited to U23 players but is made up primarily of college aged players from Texas with a few others joining from other regions. Many of these players join Gorilla Rugby to play during their summer break from school. The 2021 local and travel teams have multiple players from Lindenwood University, Life University, Texas A&M, University of North Texas, American International College, University of Arkansas, and Sam Houston State University. Players from other universities and Texas clubs such as the Austin Huns, Rugby HTX, or Dallas Reds occasionally join Gorilla Rugby for touring events as well.
North American Lions
The North American Lions (NA Lions) were originally conceived as a pathway team that would allow the top players from the NAHS7s series to compete as a single unit against the top competition in the best tournaments globally. Launched in 2017, the team placed 3rd in the Dubai 7s and won the u19 division in 2018 and the girls side will be playing in the Tournoi Des Capitales in Paris in Sept. The criteria for the men’s team is they must have come through one of the partner academy programs, including the HSAA of years past. Those partner academies are Upright Rugby, Atlantis, EIRA (including HSAA) and the Utah Rugby Academy. 2019 RugbyTown is the first year the NA Lions have competed with a men’s team.
Old Breed Select Sevens
We are Marines (active, reserve, retired, and veterans). Established in 2005, the Old Breed upholds the values of the Marine Corps and supports our mission to honor the memory of our fallen. The mourning band we wear on our jersey sleeve is to ensure they are never forgotten. We played with them, now we play for them.
This is the debut tournament for the Old Breed Select Sevens invitational team. The players competing this year are made up of young active and reserve Marines serving in units across the country. They look forward to the fierce competition in the Armed Forces Pool and the tournament as a whole.
The Sharks were formed in 2017 and compete in the Pacific Northwest Rugby Football Union. We are a collection of athletes with roots across the globe including Africa, North America, Central America, Micronesia, and Polynesia but proud to call Oregon our home. We developed our program to provide a bone-jarring example of how people from very different backgrounds can work together to achieve something truly remarkable. Our goal is simple: to dominate the competition, show the world that diversity is power, and #ruckracism.
During our first two years of competition, we have been a rising force in National competition including Cup winners of the Capital Classic (2019). Examples of our success include placing athletes in the Major League Rugby competition with the Austin Gilgronis (Domnic Akina), and yet another two have received a rugby scholarship to Lindenwood University. In each case, the athletes point to our rugby club as a primary driver of their success.
But we’re not done yet. This year we have created a partnership with the International Rugby Institute in Pretoria, South Africa to take our performance to the next level. In addition to fostering skill improvements as a result of combining with IRI, we view our partnership as an opportunity to foster cultural exchange and understanding. In addition to participation in rugby competitions, each player will have access to services for entrance exam preparation (i.e., SAT) and access to admissions counselors to discuss academic options at Western Oregon University, Oregon State University, University of Oregon, Stanford University, and the University of Texas.
An invitational 7s team that not only plays around the world but sources, develops, nurtures and supports players ambitions to play International 7s and professional 15s. The team this year will represent the USA with pride as the players will be sourced from the host nation’s colleges, national programs and Major League Rugby.
- 2019 UK Super 7s Series Champions
- 2019 Nancy France Champions
- 2019 London Summer Social Champions
- 2019 Sunshine 7s UK Champions
- 2019 Surrey UK Champions
- 2019 Scandinavian 7s Champions
- 2019 Dubai 7s Finalists
ROOTS Rugby played its first tournament in 2018 at the New York 7s with just a mens side, but we officially became ROOTS Rugby Family in 2019 with the intent to represent the African diaspora and give players opportunities that they usually do not get while also representing their communities and family. While our purpose is to mainly serve the African diaspora, we have come to realize that there are many who come from the same areas and have similar stories of not having chances to play higher level rugby or not being given the chance to grow within the sport. Since this realization we have gone into our beginning stages of starting “Pacific ROOTS” and “Latin ROOTS” we want to give players a chance of higher-level rugby while representing their culture and families. Our program does not limit itself to one code of rugby, or one style of the code. We play rugby league 13s, 9s, and rugby union 7s, 10s, and 15s. We were the 2018 New York 7s Champions, 2019 Las Vegas 7s Aces Division Champions, 2019 Carolina 9s Champions, London 9s runners up, 2019 New York 7s runners up and 2019 Barbados 7s runners up as well. This will be our first 7s tournament since postponing tours due to Covid and we look forward to representing our culture, families and communities proudly on and off the field.
In 2017 the Houston Strikers, a local rugby team, decided to re-brand themselves and become one of the founding members of Major League Rugby. The team’s management was excited to choose a new name, saying that the change would reflect a positive and stronger image for their organization. Soon after, the Houston City Council agreed to the construction of a $3.2 million rugby stadium, to be finished in 2019. The SaberCats then played an exhibition season at a local stadium owned by the Sugar Land Skeeters, a professional baseball team.
Samurai Rugby Football Club was founded by Terry Sands in 1996, being inspired by the playing spirit and tenacity of the Japanese national rugby team in the 1995 Rugby World Cup. Samurai Rugby has gone on to become one of the best 7s clubs in the world. It operates on a purely invitational basis, usually creating a new squad of coaches and players for each tournament, with a win/loss ratio which is the envy of the sport.
Squads are usually a mix of professional and amateur players and coaches, but more especially a mix of nationalities with frequently at least five or six countries being represented. Players do not get paid for playing and being selected to play for Samurai Rugby is seen as an honour, even for professional players.
We have both women’s and men’s teams. Our Mission is to be the world’s best rugby 7s club in our talent cultivation, performances and our development of the sport. Every year we travel the globe to play in some of the most iconic rugby tournaments, including Dubai 7s, Safari 7s in Kenya, Amsterdam 7s, Hong Kong 10s, St Petersburg 7s, and Edinburgh City 7s. We also compete in the UK elite 7s competition the Super Sevens Series, a four-leg series which regularly attracts teams from the English Premiership rugby clubs.
So Cal Griffins
The Southern California Rugby Football Union (SCRFU) was established in 1937 by Frankenstein actor himself Boris Karloff in Los Angeles California. The Griffins have been the All Star team for the union dating back to 1954. The Griffins Men and Women’s program (15s and 7s) have always been made up of the best players from SoCal teams. The Griffins have selected many players that have gone to play professionally both state side and overseas. Current Eagles Mikey Teo, Joe Taufete’e are both Griffin alumni. The Griffins extend from youth to U23 and seniors. Some Griffins sides have played overseas in tournaments and others have welcomed International teams to serve as testing grounds before international series. All staff are hand selected from SoCal teams both men and women. This will be the fifth straight year the Griffins have the privilege of playing in RugbyTown 7s!
The German Rugby 7s National Men’s Team lives and trains in the Olympic high-performance center in Heidelberg in the southwest of Germany and consists of students.
Summary of recent achievements:
- Several attempts to qualify for the World Series in the last couple of years including two Hong Kong finals and two semifinals
- 2018 Vice European Champions
- 2019 European Champions
- 2020 winners of the first leg of the World Rugby Challenger Series in Chile
- 2021 Vice European Champions
The team is also known as “The Wolfpack”. This nickname goes back to a TV commentator who used it to describe their style of defending. “They defend like a pack of wolves.”
The team’s goal is the 2024 Olympics and to become a core team of the World Series.
The Tsunami Barbarians, started in 2018, embodies the spirit of Barbarian rugby. This invite-only tournament team presently draws players from 7 different countries, with different cultures and playing styles. Our mission is to provide up and coming international players the ability to grow their experience by competing at a very high level with players from around the world. In 2018 our initial team performed better than expected, delivering some great results and providing a foundation to build upon. This year we have assembled our strongest squad to date, expectations are to go deep into the 2019 competition. Tsunami Barbarians is supported and sponsored by Tsunami Sport an eco-friendly apparel company, Hooligan Sport and JEB Asia.
Tsunami is coached and managed by an experienced staff. This includes ex Hong Kong 7s Internationals Nigel D’Acre and Riaz Fredericks, Denver local and USA Classic representative Mark Perle, and Atlantis and USA Highschool 7s coach Greg Schor. Presenting a vastly experienced 7s management team.
U.S. Air Force
The U.S. Air Force Men’s Rugby sevens team is comprised of top athletes from active duty, guard, and reserve forces from around the world pursuing excellence and integrity to become leaders, innovators, and warriors. With the 7s team established in 2012, the USAF Men’s Rugby team has finished second every year in the Armed Forces Championship. Their launchpad and team aim to propel them to new heights. They take the pitch with only 7 but in their jersey lies the entire support of Air Force ruggers and warriors from around the world who have given the ultimate sacrifice. The sky has never been the limit for the USAF, and their players strive to be the best on and off the field as players, Airmen, and citizens. Their kits represent Air Force pride and history while their logo represents Sevens and the concept of flight. In addition to the Men’s 7s team, the Air Force rugby family includes a men’s and a women’s 15s team, the first women’s rugby team in the U.S. Armed Forces.
U.S. Coast Guard
Coast Guard Rugby was founded in 1983. The team is comprised of active duty Coast Guard members that come from all over the world. The team has seen success in winning the Combined Services championships throughout the 80’s and 90’s. The team finished as silver medalists in the Armed Forces Championships in 2010-11 . Many of the personnel on the Coast Guard teams give back to the game as coaches and administrators in the game. On and off the field, the members of the Coast Guard Rugby program strive to represent the service in a positive light. We take pride in playing for the service at RugbyTown 7s and love interacting with the fans and other teams during the week! The USCG Rugby community is currently comprised of men’s and women’s 7’s sides, and supported through the CG Community Services Command and CG Rugby Foundation.
The US Navy Men’s Rugby team represents the entirety of the Fleet in the Men’s Armed Forces Rugby Championships and provides the opportunity for Navy service members to compete in rugby at a highly competitive level. In its fourth decade of existence, All Navy Men’s Rugby draws from athletes on active duty and in the reserves who are stationed throughout the United States and around the world. Athletes selected to the All-Navy team represent the highest ideals of honor, courage, and commitment in pursuit of their athletic goals.
Athletes are invited through a rigorous application process and participate in a high-performance camp to select the team that competes in the Armed Forces Championships and in the RugbyTown 7s tournament.
All Navy won 2nd place at the 2013 Military Memorial Cup and captured the RugbyTown 7s Shield in 2017.
Previously called the Collegiate All-Americans, the USA Men’s U23s are one of USA Rugby’s Junior National Teams. The team consists of the top U23 talent from across the country including players from collegiate and club programs. The Under-23s have competed at RugbyTown multiple times and finished 2018 in 3rd place. Led by Colton Cariaga as Head Coach the USA U23s will look to make a strong showing in their first hit-out following the COVID-19 pandemic.