Saturday, Oct 8 is a big day for the newly formed Greenwich Men’s Rugby Club. Rugby is a sport that has grown considerably in Greenwich in the last few years and the Greenwich Men’s Rugby Club, a non-profit that is partnered with the OGRCC, will play New Haven at Greenwich High School’s Cardinal Stadium at 2:00pm.
In an interview in Friday with Greenwich Free Press, club president and co-founder, Andres Sheppard said the club formed last year, and has members ranging from 20 to 34 years old.
And to help offset costs of joining the Empire League, which include fees for referees, uniforms, two major sponsors have been secured: Garden Catering and OG Social Club.
“Frank Carpenteri of Garden Catering played rugby at Greenwich High School and wanted to keep playing afterward,” Sheppard said. “But he had to travel to White Plains to play.”
The second sponsor is Old Greenwich Social Club, whose owner Jed Simon has several friends who are active rugby players.
“Rugby is a very physical, aggressive and passionate game,” Sheppard said. “This is a full contact sport, but after the whistle blows the host team invites the opposing team to a post-match drink up and dinner. The other team does not have to pay.”
With a reference to sportsmanship and modeling good behavior on and off the field, Sheppard said he’s eager to collaborate with the GHS boys rugby team and the youth program for ages 6-14 through OGRCC.
“Part of the reason we built this program is to grow and promote the sport of Rugby in Greenwich,” he said.
Sheppard said he is thrilled that the club, a non-profit, has gotten off the ground. “Players have said to me they’re so grateful to put on a Greenwich red jersey and relive their days playing rugby at Greenwich High School.”
Saturday’s game is an official game of the Empire GU league, which is officially part of USA Rugby.
Saturday’s game is an important decisive game. So far this season the Greenwich Men’s Rugby Club has had victories over New York City Landsdowne Men’s Rugby Club and Hudson Valley Men’s Rugby Club. They have lost to Fairfield, the defending national champions, and Danbury, which also made it to nationals.