The Boston Irish Wolfhounds Rugby Football Club (also known as BIWRFC) is a rugby union team based in Boston, Massachusetts, US. The club competes in, and is governed by, the New England Rugby Football Union (their LAU), the Northeast Rugby Union (their TAU), and USA Rugby. In 2014 it joined the American Rugby Premiership.
The club was established in the late 1980s as a social touring side, but was not recognised as an official club until 1992, when they entered the NERFU Division II in 1992. They advanced to the NRU Premier Division in 1995, winning it for the first time in 1998 and entered the Super League in 2007. Currently, BIWRFC competes in the NERFU Division 1. BIWRFC is recognised as one of the leading rugby union clubs in the United States.
|Boston Irish Wolfhounds|
|Full name||Boston Irish Wolfhounds Rugby Football Club|
|Ground(s)||Irish Cultural Center (Capacity: 2,000)|
|League(s)||American Rugby Premiership|
The Wolfhounds began as a social touring side of rugby players in the Boston area looking to travel the United States during their off-seasons with their respective clubs. Due to their successes while touring (particularly in New Orleans and Texas) and enormous support from the Boston Irish community, the Wolfhounds became an official team and entered into the New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) Division II in 1992. An unintended consequence of the establishment was the eventual disestablishment of Beacon Hill RFC (lost most of its first XV pack), the end of Mystic River Rugby Club's appearances as a national level club (lost three key first XV), and the relegation of Charles River RFC (lost complete first XV backline) to Division II.
During their inaugural season, the first XV suffered only one regular season loss and reached the Northeast Championships.
In 1995, the Wolfhounds met enough success to warrant the leap to the Northeast Rugby Football Union (NRU) Premier Division.
In 2000, they won the Northeast Championships for the first time. In 2001, they advanced to the USA Rugby Division I National Championship pool for the first time, reaching the Sweet 16 pool. In 2002, they matched their 2001 successes and reached the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.
In 2003, the Wolfhounds entered and won a number of local and national tournaments and they were able to win the NERFU Division I Championship as well as the National Championship. Wolfhounds scrumhalf Dave Williams was named tournament MVP. In 2004, the Wolfhounds repeated as both NERFU Division I champions and USA Rugby Division I national champions. Adam Thomas of the Wolfhouds was named tournament MVP. In 2005, the Wolfhounds became NERFU Division I champions for the third straight year and finished in fifth place in the Division I National Championship tournament.
In 2006, the Wolfhounds became the first-ever US team to submit two sides to the national championship tournament. Both the first XV and the third XV came in second place (Division I and Division III, respectively). In 2007, the Wolfhounds became USA Division III National Champions in San Diego.
The Wolfhounds also field a third XV of "old boys" and new players with little experience. They compete in the New England Rugby Football Union Division III. They have been met with recent success, winning the NERFU Division III championships in 1996, 1997, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2009.
The SuperLeague's primary sponsor is Michelob Amber Bock and as such, each individual team receives a portion of those revenues. In addition to Amber Bock, the Wolfhounds have several individual sponsorships. Notable primary sponsors include Guinness and Tullamore Dew. The club also has several secondary sponsorships from local and regional businesses.
The Wolfhounds have been able to provide hospitality, housing, and career opportunities for players coming to Boston to play for the Hounds. This is one of the reasons they have been able to maintain success on the field. The team is composed of Americans, but there is also a large contingent of foreigners. Many countries are represented Australia, England, New Zealand, Fiji, and Wales.
BIWRFC has established relationships with local high school and college sides, which become feeder teams for the Wolfhounds. This allows the Wolfhounds to maintain a large player pool of young athletes. Members of the Wolfhounds have coached Northeastern University RFC, a nationally ranked Division I college side, Boston College, Harvard University, MIT and University of Notre Dame. Wolfhounds players also coach the Boston collegiate select-side All-Star team, which won the NERFU collegiate all-star tournament last spring. The Wolfhounds also coach Boston College High School RFC, which is perennially one of the best high school teams in the country.
In recent years, the Wolfhounds have sent some of these young collegiate athletes abroad to gain experience by playing professionally. As of April 2006, there are two Wolfhounds playing in the NPC league in New Zealand.
As of April 2006, members of the Wolfhounds include a current USA Rugby U19 National Team player, two former U19 National Team players, and the current captain of the USA Rugby Collegiate All-Star team.
The Wolfhounds were a key player in organizing the Boston Rugby Consortium which consists of all NERFU clubs in the city of Boston. The club lent their administrative expertise to secure practice pitches from the city's Parks and Recreation department on a regular basis for the clubs. They have also initiated several coaching clinics and courses to build rugby in the Boston area among all clubs.
The Boston Thirteens (officially written as Boston 13s) are a semi professional rugby league football team based in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. The team currently plays in the USA Rugby League.
The Boston Thirteens were founded in 2009 as an expansion team of the American National Rugby League (AMNRL). The league had been attempting to form a rugby league team in Boston for several years, due to the comparatively strong presence of rugby union in the area. The Thirteens played in the AMNRL from 2009–2010, going to the league semi-finals in their inaugural season. In 2010 they became one of seven teams to depart from the AMNRL in order to found a new governing body: the USA Rugby League (USARL).History of Irish Americans in Boston
People of Irish descent form the largest single ethnic group in Boston, Massachusetts. Once a Puritan stronghold, Boston changed dramatically in the 19th century with the arrival of European immigrants. The Irish dominated the first wave of newcomers during this period, especially following the Great Irish Famine. Their arrival transformed Boston from an Anglo-Saxon, Protestant city into one that has become progressively more diverse. The Yankees hired Irish as workers and servants, but there was little social interaction. In the 1840s and 50s, the anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant Know-Nothing movement targeted Irish Catholics in Boston. In the 1860s, many Irish immigrants fought for the Union in the American Civil War, and that display of patriotism helped to dispel much of the prejudice against them.
With an expanding population, group loyalty, and block-by-block political organization, the Irish took political control of the city, leaving the Yankees in charge of finance, business, and higher education. The Irish left their mark on the region in a number of ways: in still heavily Irish neighborhoods such as Charlestown and South Boston; in the name of the local basketball team, the Boston Celtics; in the iconic Irish-American political family, the Kennedys; in a large number of prominent local politicians, such as James Michael Curley; and in the establishment of Catholic Boston College as a rival to Harvard.Monmouth Rugby Club
The Monmouth Rugby Football Club is a rugby union team in Division 1I of the Empire Geographical Union based in Monmouth County, New Jersey.Mystic River Rugby Club
The Mystic River Rugby Club, sometimes called Boston Mystic, is a New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) club, founded in 1974, located in Malden, Massachusetts and Melrose, Massachusetts, who field teams in Division 1 American Rugby Premiership and Division 2 Rugby Union in the United States and are the current 2018 USA Rugby D1 National Champions.Their home field is located at Pine Banks Park. Their primary sponsor is Coors Light.New England Rugby Football Union
The New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) is a Geographical Union (GU) for rugby union teams in New England.Prior to 2013, NERFU had been a local area union ("LAU"), and part of the Northeast Rugby Union (NRU), which is the governing body for three LAU's (New York State Rugby Football Conference (NYSRFC) and Metropolitan New York Rugby Union being the others.
There are currently over 230 active teams and over 5,000 registered players in the New England area. Though many of these teams are not truly NERFU programs (See Ivy League Rugby Conference and U-19/HS Rugby issues noted below).Peter Bracken
Peter Bracken (born 1 December 1977) is a rugby union coach and former player and retired cage fighter. He played as a prop, primarily at tighthead.
In his formative rugby years he played for Tullamore RFC and also at St. Andrew's College, Dublin, which he attended on Scholarship.Rugby Super League (United States)
The USA Rugby Super League, usually known as the Super League, is a defunct national rugby union competition which ran from 1997 to 2012, contested by nine clubs in the United States by its last year. In the 2013 season, it was replaced by the USA Rugby Elite Cup.
The Super League competition was sanctioned by USA Rugby, the sport's national governing body, and was the premier level of rugby union in the country until it was reformatted into the Elite Cup.Created by the management of 14 of the best rugby organizations in the United States, the league's goal was to create a high level, national rugby competition in the country. The competition was contested annually starting in 2007, with the largest number of clubs to have competed in the league being 18, in 2007 and 2008. In the 2011 season, the 11 teams competing were divided into two conferences, Red and Blue. The league's 2012 and last season had 9 teams, again divided into Red and Blue conferences. Most of the remaining teams after the final Rugby Super League season in 2012 entered the USA Rugby Elite Cup competition.Rugby union in the United States
Rugby union in the United States is a growing national sport. Rugby union at the youth, high school, college, club, and international levels is governed by USA Rugby. There are over 125,000 players registered with USA Rugby as of 2016. Over 2,500 rugby clubs exist around the country, with college rugby being the most popular.
There are several high-profile rugby competitions in the U.S. The USA Sevens is held every February at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, and draws over 60,000 fans and is broadcast on NBC. The U.S. national team hosts international matches every June, with attendances around 20,000. The Collegiate Rugby Championship is held every June at Talen Energy Stadium in the Philadelphia suburb of Chester, Pennsylvania, and draws around 20,000 fans and is broadcast on NBC.Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica (Spanish: Santa Mónica) is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, United States. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is bordered on three sides by the city of Los Angeles – Pacific Palisades to the north, Brentwood on the northeast, West Los Angeles on the east, Mar Vista on the southeast, and Venice on the south. The Census Bureau population for Santa Monica in 2010 was 89,736.
Due in part to an agreeable climate, Santa Monica became a famed resort town by the early 20th century. The city has experienced a boom since the late 1980s through the revitalization of its downtown core, significant job growth and increased tourism. The Santa Monica Pier and Pacific Park remain popular destinations.Santa Monica Rugby Club
Santa Monica Rugby Club is a rugby union club from Santa Monica, California, United States.
The club teams, known as the Dolphins, compete in the Southern California Territorial Union (SCRFU), fielding teams in the following divisions: Division 1 (men), Division 1 (women), Division 2 - White (men), U18 boys, U16 boys, U14 boys, U12 boys, U10 coed, and U8 coed. Santa Monica's top men's team competes in the Pacific Rugby Premiership competition: the top club rugby competition in the United States.Sports in Boston
Boston, the capital city of the U.S. state of Massachusetts and largest city in New England is home to several major league sports teams. They include the Red Sox (baseball), the Celtics (basketball, in the state where the sport was invented) and the Bruins (ice hockey). The New England Patriots (American football) and the New England Revolution (soccer) play at Gillette Stadium in nearby Foxborough, Massachusetts. Several Boston-area colleges and universities are also active in college athletics.
Sports are a major part of the city's culture (as well as the culture of the Greater Boston area). Boston sports fans are known for their fanatical devotion to the Red Sox and knowledge of the team's history. However, in recent memory Boston is now known as a football town, as the Patriots have long seized the title as the most popular team in New England. Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is the oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball (MLB) and holds a legendary status among baseball fans. Within the same era, what is now the world's oldest existing indoor multi-sports facility - today's Matthews Arena, primarily used by Northeastern University's college sports teams - first opened in 1910, only some 400 meters (1/4 mile) away from the original home field of the Red Sox - and is where on December 1, 1924, the Boston Bruins played their first NHL regular season game.The Greater Boston region is the only city/surrounding area in American professional sports in which all facilities are privately owned and operated. The Patriots own Gillette Stadium, the Red Sox own Fenway Park, and TD Garden is owned by Delaware North, owner of the Bruins. The Celtics rent TD Garden from Delaware North.USA Hawks
The USA Hawks was one of two national representative rugby union teams from the United States that competed in the North America 4 Series.
|Australian rules football|
(NCAA Division I)
(NCAA Division II)
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