Hello Fellow Ruggers -

It's the very last day of 2014 and we hope that the past year treated you well, both on and off the pitch. Happy New Year to everyone in our Wisconsin rugby community! Let's see what's happening in rugby this week ...

FAVORITE RUGBY MEMORIES

We asked our WRFU members what stands out as some of the best rugby moments in 2014 for our Union. Here's what you shared:

  • Continued growth of our Youth Tag Rugby programs
  • Hosting the USA Rugby Senior Club National Championships in Madison, showcasing our state's strong rugby tradition
  • USA vs. All Blacks in nearby Chicago (and the huge crowds of Wisconsin ruggers)
  • The continued success of several Wisconsin teams on a regional and national stage, demonstrating that rugby is successful in the heartland and not just on the coasts. Specific examples included several undefeated seasons, Whitewater finishing second overall at nationals, and the Barbarians beating Metropolis in Division 1 league play.
  • Hosting a Serevi 7s camp for both players and coaches featuring Ben Gollings and Justin Fitzpatrick, at a discounted rate for all WRFU members
  • -One of our men's club players being featured on a video of a nice tackle on rugbydump.com. He was the one being tackled, but in his favor, his team were the big winners for that match.

Have another great memory to share? Be sure to let us know! And three cheers to an even better 2015 for all of our Wisconsin teams.

COACHING EDUCATION OPPORTUNITY

From our friends over the border in Minnesota:

Minnesota Youth Rugby will be teaming up with USA Rugby to offer a LEVEL 200 COACHING COURSE. To sign up visit: http://www.minnesotayouthrugby.com/level200
The course will be on Saturday January 17th, 2015
Check in will be at 7:45am
Clinic will run until approximately 5:00pm

Course will be held at the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center (123 Harvard St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455). We are currently working with USA Rugby to find out if any professional development credits will be offered for this course, please stay tuned for additional information.

**This event is open to anyone interested in coaching contact middle school age and older, please help spread the word**

GIRLS HS SELECTS UPDATE

A big update from our successful Girls High School rugby league:

The Select side program is beginning to take shape for 2015. Select 15's coach, Jeff Noe, would like to have two Select 15's teams this year. One team would go to Elkhart and one team would go to Pittsburgh. Those dates are tentative.
In addition our new Select 7's program is rounding into form. We would like to field two Select 7's teams. We will have an 8 team, one day tournament in early to mid July either in Madison or Milwaukee. MN has committed to bringing two teams, IA will bring one or two, IL will attend. We think IN and Maybe KS will bring a team or maybe OH. As we start this program we want to keep travel to a minimum. As the program grows there will be opportunities to travel to some high profile events if the interest is there.
In preparation for this we are looking into gym time for February and March. We would like to have 4 skills sessions open to anyone interested in playing select. These will most likely be held on Sunday afternoons (more to follow). The February sessions will be focused on ball skills and the March sessions will be focused on 15's strategy and tactics.

Attached is the tentative schedule for the Spring season.
Feb/March* Select skills sessions - TBD
March 6th High School Nashbash - Nashville, TN
April 11th-12th St Louis Ruggerfest - St. Louis, MO
April 25th-26th Midwest Championships - Elkhart, IN
May 2nd The Crusader Cup 7's - Catholic Memorial HS
May 16th-17th National Invitational Championship - Pittsburgh, PA
May 30th WGR State 7's Tournament - TBD
Early June WGR Fall Scheduling Meeting
June 13/14* Select 15's - Elkhart, IN
June 20/21* Select 15's - Pittsburgh, PA
June 27 Lakefront 7's - Milwaukee, WI
July 11 or 18* Select 7's - TBD
* Dates are not confirmed

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're sharing a video from rugbydump.com highlighting some big hits. Because if knocking the stuffing out of someone on the field doesn't motivate you in the gym, what will? Ha! Check out this link – "Aviva Premiership Biggest Hits of 2014." Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.

Have a great New Year's Eve tonight and we'll see you all in 2015!

Hello Fellow Ruggers –

Happy holidays to our Wisconsin Rugby community. We hope you're having a great week celebrating and travel safely if you're out visiting family and friends. Here's what's happening in rugby this week ...

 

WISCONSIN'S BEST 2014 RUGBY MEMORY

What stands out as your favorite Wisconsin rugby memory from 2014? For the whole state, your team, or even just you? Email us to share or join our discussion in the WRFU Facebook group this week. We'll share a list of great rugby memories next week!

 

GIRLS HS 2014 ALL-STATE TEAM NAMED

The Wisconsin Girls High School League named its 2014 All-State Team recently. Congratulations to the following athletes:

Forwards – Year- Team
*Taylor Bragg Brock 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Emma Conrad 10 Fond Du Lac
Amanda Ezell 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Raquel Galarza 11 Brookfield
Aoifa Hanley 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Jackie Helmeid 12 Appleton
Kelsey Gustafson 11 Catholic Memorial
Emma Malucha 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Katie Mcginn 11 Catholic Memorial
Chiana Roman 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Claire Schmitt 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Meaghan Schmitt 11 Catholic Memorial
Libby Shubert 12 Kettle Moraine
Lizzy Walicki 11 Catholic Memorial

Backs – Year - Team
Reina Anderson 12 Brookfield
Madison Aprahamian 11 Brookfield
Megan Bird 10 Oak Creek
*Kendyl Braun 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
*Maggie Brennan 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Claire Brown 11 Divine Savior Holy Angels
*Lizzy Jacobson 12 Catholic Memorial
*Kat Macphearson 12 Divine Savior Holy Angels
Ellie Metz 11 Catholic Memorial
Nell Opila 12 Muskego
Morgan Pinzer 12 Brookfield
*Lexi Prusheik 12 Vernon
Meg Walker 11 Divine Savior Holy Angels
*Indicates repeat All-State selection

 

COLLEGE UPDATE – SCHOLARSHIP OPPORTUNITY

Shared via the Milwaukee Barbarians:
We've been contacted by New England College in New Hampshire (http://www.nec.edu/). They have 2 - 3 full scholarships available to great rugby talent. Scholarships are worth $35K per year and run for 4 years. They'd need to pay their own room and board but tuition is covered. They're looking for marque rugby talent, and that person can come from anywhere in the US.

More Info from the NEC Website - The New England College Rugby team (www.necrugby.org) is a men's collegiate rugby program that plays in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO). Head coach Jeremy Treece () welcomes all players of various skill levels to his program. NEC plays a full conference 15's schedule in the New England Rugby Football Union in the fall and full 7's schedule in the spring.

Know about other scholarship opportunities to share with Wisconsin high school athletes? Please share it.

 

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're sharing a video on training. Check out this link from ESPN UK featuring Scottish rugby stars John Barclay and Chris Cusiter – "How to train like an International Rugby Athlete | Exercise and Diet." Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.

Hello Fellow Ruggers –

Welcome December! Time to wrap up 2014 and look ahead to the New Year. Here's what's happening in Wisconsin rugby this week ...

REMINDER! – UNION MEETING THIS SATURDAY

The Wisconsin Rugby Football Union annual December meeting will be held this Saturday, Dec. 6 in Stevens Point, Wis. The Agenda, reports and minutes [draft] from our last meeting have been posted online here for your review.

LOCATION:
Collins Classroom Center
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
1801 4th Avenue
Stevens Point, WI 54481

SCHEDULE:
11 AM – Breakout Meetings
Room 206 – Men's Collegiate Meeting (Chair: Brad Dufek)
Room 214 – Referee Feedback Session (Chair: Brad Cassetta)
Please note there will not be a women's collegiate breakout.
12 PM – General Meeting (Chair: Vic Drover), Room 213

You can RSVP to the WRFU Facebook event for the meeting here. All WRFU member teams must send at least one representative to the meeting.

WHITEWATER RETURNS TO NATIONALS

The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Men will make their second-straight appearance in a Final 4 this Saturday at 11 a.m. central time (12 p.m. local time South Carolina) against Notre Dame College in the USA Rugby Division 2 Championships. See the bracket and schedule here. You'll also be able to watch the match online here - http://www.usarugbytv.com/.

The team is also hosting an online donation for their travel to South Carolina here if you would like to support the team.

OPPORTUNITY ABROAD FOR REFEREES

In Case You Missed It: There are still two weeks left to apply for the Shanager Morris Referee Fund that provides an opportunity for young referees to spend a season officiating in New Zealand or South Africa.

GOOD FOR CHICAGO, GOOD FOR WISCONSIN?

World Rugby (formerly the IRB) shared this story last week – "How the Windy City is Waking Up to Rugby". It features an interview with Jack Cushing, the Director of Rugby for Mount Carmel High School and a former coach with the University of Illinois-Chicago, on how hosting the recent USA versus All Blacks match in Chicago is helping grow the game in the area. It's also worth noting that Wisconsin has welcomed collegiate and senior players from Mount Carmel and UIC to our playing ranks.

WOMEN'S RUGBY SURVEY

USA Rugby has shared a survey for all women's rugby players, coaches and administrators to offer feedback to the national office. Please take the survey here. It's important to help improve the women's game.

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're sharing an example of an offseason training plan for club rugby players. Check out this link from EliteFTS by Ashley Jones, a Strength & Conditioning Coach who has worked with the All Blacks, Wallabies, and the Crusaders. Hope this provides you with some new ideas to keep your gym workouts fresh. Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.

Hello Fellow Ruggers –

With snow on the ground and the winter holidays rapidly approaching, it's quiet here in our Wisconsin rugby community. Here's what's happening in rugby this week ...

WHITEWATER SECOND IN NATION

In their second-straight appearance at the national championships, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Men finished second overall in the USA Rugby Division 2 Championships. Whitewater battled to the end against fellow Midwest team, the University of Minnesota-Duluth, but fell 24-14 in the national final. USA Rugby has the recap here online. You can also watch the match here - http://www.usarugbytv.com/.

Congratulations on an outstanding season Whitewater! Wisconsin is proud of you.

THANK YOU!

Thank you to all of our members who attended the WRFU Annual Meeting in Stevens Point this past Saturday. It was a short afternoon of updates from around the state and great discussion on how we can continue to improve Wisconsin's excellent rugby efforts.

Congrats to our newly-elected WRFU officers as well. Todd Streeter returns for another stint as our Vice President of Competitions, while the Union welcomes Megan Aprahamian (a UW-Madison player and officer) as the new WRFU Secretary. She replaces her older sister Brittany in the position. Thank you to Brittany for your hard work on behalf of the community.

Please save the date for our next meeting – Sunday, March 1, 2015 in Madison. We'll be sharing more details closer to the date and possibly a breakfast meet-up to watch some Six Nations matches before the meetings.

RUGBY, 7s IN NEW YORK TIMES

In Case You Missed It: This week's New York Times featured a front-page article on rugby, the sevens game, and the sport's growing global reach. Check it out here.

GIRLS HS ALL-DECADE TEAM NAMED

The Wisconsin Girls High School League named an All-Decade Team of Forwards and Backs from 2000-2010. Be sure to check out the lists and see who you recognize from this outstanding group of players. Many are still active in the community and across the nation.

The WGR also named its 2014 All-State Team recently. We'll share that with you next week.

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're sharing a video on rugby playing technique and tips. Check out this link from rugbydump.com featuring Sam Warburton on "3 Ways to Retain Possession at the Breakdown." Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.

Hello Fellow Ruggers –

Happy Thanksgiving to all WRFU members. We're thankful to have such a thriving and talented rugby community here in our state. Here's what's happening in Wisconsin rugby this week ...

REMINDER! – UNION MEETING DEC. 6

The Wisconsin Rugby Football Union annual December meeting will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6 in Stevens Point, Wis. The general meeting will start at 12 p.m. in Room 213 of the Collins Classroom Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1801 4th Ave., Stevens Point, WI 54481). Breakout meetings (Men's College teams, possibly others TBA) will be held at 11 a.m. prior to the general meeting in rooms 206, 207 and 214). We'll share more details as we lock them down or you can RSVP to the WRFU Facebook event for the meeting here.

All WRFU member teams must send at least one representative to the meeting. Plan accordingly and find your representative now for that Saturday's meeting.

CONGRATS WHITEWATER!

Congratulations to the University of Whitewater Men who will play in the USA Rugby Division 2 Men's Collegiate Championships next weekend Greenville, South Carolina. This is the second-straight appearance in a Final 4 for Whitewater.

The team is hosting an online donation for their travel to South Carolina here if you would like to support the team.

Whitewater defeated Vermont to advance to the national semifinal next weekend. Fellow D2 Wisconsin program, UW-Stout, capped their season in the Elite 8 last weekend with a loss to Duluth. Here are the full Round of 8 scores.

WISCONSIN TIES TO USA 7s WOMEN

Did you know that two of the USA Women's 7s team players have ties to Wisconsin? And will be traveling to the upcoming Dubai 7s?

A Minnesota-native and long-time Eagle in both 15s and 7s, Katie Johnson played one year for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Women. Katie is a well-known fixture in the Midwest women's community.

New to rugby, but not Wisconsin athletics, Alev Kelter is one of the new crossover athletes competing for the national team. She played varsity women's hockey for the University of Wisconsin Badgers before ditching the skates for her rugby boots.

Both Katie and Alev also played for the Serevi Selects team (an Eagle squad supported by Serevi) at the recent Coral Coast 7s in Fiji. Best wishes to Katie, Alev and all of the Eagles in Dubai!

WOMEN'S RUGBY SURVEY

USA Rugby has shared a survey for all women's rugby players, coaches and administrators to offer feedback to the national office. Please take the survey here. It's important to help improve the women's game.

WISCONSIN RUGBY CLUB FEATURED ON MADISON'S CW

In Case You Missed It, check out this interview with Madison's Wisconsin Rugby Club on local television program "Talk of the Town". Madison's CW may start featuring rugby on a regular basis in a monthly sports highlight show. Great to hear!

WINTER TRAINING MOTIVATION

This week, we're sharing a motivational video from England Rugby 7s. Check out this video "Rugby Sevens Training Drills from the England Team". Hope this provides you with some new ideas to keep your gym workouts fresh. Have a great fitness or training resource to share? Let us know.