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Founded 2001 by Woodlands RFC.

Meet The Coaches- Season 2015

 Spotlight On…..Coaches

To coincide with the commencement of match play, this issue is dedicated to all the volunteer coaches who give of their time to make Woodlands Youth Rugby Club such a fantastic organization for youth rugby in our community. These men and women are committed to our club and our players. They give their time, the most precious commodity of all. We are thankful for their commitment. As you read their profiles, you will find the common theme that runs through all rugby veins….camaraderie, opportunity, experience and friendship. All the good things in life!



  Phil Beck- Head Coach

Coach Phil’s favorite quote is  “Leave it all on the field”. It’s possible that he likes that  quote because he lives it! Coach Phil’s dedication to the club is unwavering.  He has been Head Coach for WYRC for almost a decade, leading the club to one State Championship and top three performances nearly every season. Coach became involved with WYRC when he came to help out when the club was in its infancy. Today, Woodlands Youth Rugby Club is one of the largest rugby clubs Texas, thanks to Coach Phil and all the volunteers involved with the club.

From the young age of 8 in England, Coach Phil began his storied rugby career. Before he left England, he had 3 seasons with the Wasps before rugby went professional. Coach Phil’s background is in teaching so coaching is a natural fit. He states to be able to give back to this amazing sport and help introduce players to the game is very rewarding. I am extremely grateful to all the coaches who help us and the huge support from our board, team helpers and fans”  For Coach Phil, rugby represents great experiences, life long friends and huge camaraderie. This is not an uncommon theme armong rugby aficionados. Coach Phil has a nice collection of rugby pals all around the world.

Honorable Mention

Visiting Coach- Gareth Nicholas

Woodlands Rugby Club is thrilled to see the return of Welsh Coaching Legend Gareth Nicholas. Gareth is the Director of Rugby for the Bridgend RFC and Bridgend College in Wales, UK. He is a former Wales U18 & U19 Head Coach, and holds a UKCC Level 4 coaching certification. Two years ago, WYRC hosted the Bridgend College Rugby team. Rugby is a sport of friendships- we forge them and we keep them. Coach will be working with our club for the next week. If you see him on the pitch, please give him a big welcome. Our players will learn a lot. 

Frank Rizzo- JV/Varsity Coach-Forwards

Coach Rizzo got his rugby start playing for Santa Ana RFC in California in the      early 70’s, Back then, rugby was a relatively unknown sport in the US. Coach Rizzo then went on to play in college, then toured New Zealand, England,  Australia. He made it all the way to Texas, then      took on the role of  Head Coach at Sam Houston State University. With some      coaxing from Coach Phil, Frank graciously came on board to coach JV/Varsity.

All three of the Rizzo boys have played or are playing for Woodlands Rugby. To Coach Frank, rugby represents life as we attempt to make order out of chaos.  Woodlands Rugby is fortunate to have Frank on board. Here is a glimpse of Coach Frank’s philosophy..I don’t do facebook so no matter how hard you try to like me, it’s just not possible.” No coach, we don’t like you, we love you! Thanks for playing along.

Doug Mooneyham- JV and Varsity Coach

Coach Doug loves the game, just like every other coach out there. Another California transplant, What is it about these California kids? Coach Doug got involved with Rugby at San Diego State University in 1989, then played  from 1995 – 2003 in the newly formed Super League at the time (this was USA’s 1st stab at professional rugby).

 He became a part of WYRC when he landed in Texas and his son Conner played for the club. CD thinks about rugby as a character defining sport        based on what you put into it.If you can apply the same effort you do during games and practices to everyday life challenges then you have already won. I have seen it happen with players, more than once.”

We often see Coach Doug running around and playing like a varsity kid. In fact, his favorite rugby quote is “It’s the game they play in heaven.” Not that any one of us is rushing to get there, but it sure gives us something to look forward to!

Chelsea Peper – Ladies High School

If you like tricks, you’ll love the story of how Coach Chelsea came to be the ladies coach. She was asked by the coach at the time, to come and help the team out while the then coach was away. Two weeks later, the coach said she was leaving for England and Chelsea would be the head coach. “Best trick someone ever played on me!” says Chelsea. That was two years ago.

Coach started playing rugby at Texas A&M about 6 years ago, She has played for A&M, The AustinValks and the Houston Athletic Rugby Club (HARC). She assists with the Ladies team at A&M assistant Coach for Texas High-Performance U19 Girls.

Coach Chelsea details the meaning of rugby in the following way. “Rugby is a great game it brings together all different people, it teaches you strength and discipline to work hard, play to your strengths and to work on your weakness. As great as that is it’s not the part of rugby that has stuck out the most for me. It’s the close knit groups that we become as we play together and against each other, it’s the friends that you have made for life! It’s about the friends that you don’t see for months at a time, but as soon as you do, you fall back into that friendship like you still see each other every day. They are the reason that the game is played with passion, the reason you will push yourself a little harder. You play the game for the love of the game, but it’s the friendships that are made that will make you a little bit better, make you work just a little harder and a little longer! They are your best friend on the Pitch and off, they become a part of your family. That’s what rugby has meant to me, I love the game and know I will be a part of it as long as I can but I know when I stop playing and stop coaching I will still have those friends that have become part of my family.”
Nic James also assists the ladies team. This dynamic duo keep the ladies team excited about rugby. Should you ever get a chance to see these coaches play, you should. They are phenomenal players and Woodlands Rugby High School Girls are fortunate to have such talented volunteer coaches.

Mitch Earley- Junior High

Coach Mitch answers the question of the meaning of rugby

“Rugby to me means opportunity. Opportunity to
meet new friends, learn life lessons, travel the world, and most importantly
have fun.”

Coach Mitchell has come full circle with Woodlands Rugby. As the son of one of the club founders, Donovan Earley, Mitchell started playing rugby at the YMCA in the 5th grade.  As Woodlands Rugby got  its start, Mitchell continued on his rugby journey, playing from the ages of 10 through high school. During this time, his mad skills were recognized and he was chosen to play for the Texas Select side starting his sophomore year.  He moved up to play scrum half for the USA Eagles on their U17 and U18 teams.  Following his graduation from high school, young Mitchell went on to play rugby for Life University on scholarship.

Today, Mitchell has the honorable distinction of being addressed as Coach Mitchell. He has coached the U11/13 for the last  2 years is now the Junior High team coach.

He recently completed his Level 200 Coach Certification which focuses on player welfare and teaching players the technical skills to play safely. The assessment requires coaches to demonstrate effective coaching techniques. These techniques include teaching through games, technical skill development through progressions and collaborative coaching. Rugby is a special community and we are grateful to have Coach Mitchell giving back to the club.

“The aspect of sport that you learn is that you have your good times and your bad times, but you share it with great people.” – George Gregan

Phil Devos- Youth Rugby

Originally from sunny South Africa, Coach Phil started playing school rugby when he was 12 years old until his senior year. He also had the honor of serving as the school’s rugby captain. Played for U21 Alberton Rugby club, then immigrated to the great State of Texas. Played a season for the Houston Old Boys RFC before joining The Woodlands RFC in 1993. A proud player on the team that won the 2001 USA National Division II Rugby Championship for the Woodlands. Still an active member/player of The Woodlands RFC Men side and Woodlands Deadwood (over 35) side.

Coach Phil started helping out the club when his sons started playing a couple of years ago. He is glad to be a part of the club and to able to give back to youth rugby. He is even more thrilled that his two boys are keen to play and learn this great sport. Thankful that The Woodlands has a great youth program. Looks like Phil will have lots more rugby to watch and help with in the near future!For those of you in the front row, hear Coach Phil’s favorite quote  “Squeeze – Sink- Drive!

Kevin Murphy- Youth Rugby

Newcomer Coach Murphy relocated back to the states from Australia. ” Ironically his coaches asked some guy from upstate NY to help coach the forwards.  They were great mentors for coaching kids at this lev
el so upon moving to the Woodlands, it was excellent to see the strong youth rugby program and I knew it would be a good way for my son to meet friends with a bit of character.”Without hesitation, Coach Murphy jumped right into Woodlands rugby. He was instrumental in developing the club’s Touch Rugby League and he continues to help coach now that the season is in full swing.

Kevin switched from soccer to rugby his freshman year of college and he never looked back. He has played for many clubs in Fort Colins, Co and in NY.“These days I try to keep Woodlands Old Boys ‘Deadwood’ Games on my calendar and hope to make Siena Rugby Alumni Match in the spring without looking to beat up for work on Monday.”


Woodlands Youth Rugby Tournament  is scheduled February 28th at the Alden Bridge Sports Park.

Our goal is to provide a great day of rugby for all of the players. We hope to help grow youth rugby in Texas as a safe and exciting sport and invite new players check out a few matches. Please note: The Woodlands Marathon is Feb 28th. Some roads will be closed off in the Woodlands from 7am – 1pm. Check the Woodlands Marathon Website for road closures.

Great number of youth teams competing in Grade Level’s:  7youth rugby

  • 7 th & 8th – 30 min matches
  •  5 th & 6 th – 24 min matches
  •  3 rd & 4th – 20 min matches
  • 1 st & 2nd – exhibition matches



We would like to thank our tournament sponsors:

BB Law Group PLLC P: (832) LEGAL-TX

Nutrition Depot Sterling Ridge            

Plant Design Solutions                             

Click below for the schedule

WRFC Tournament Schedule

Touch Rugby Deemed A Success

rookie rugby 2014






Woodlands Youth Rugby has taken yet another significant step in growing the game of rugby in The Woodlands and surrounding area. This season, WYRC introduced a new Touch Rugby League, also known as rookie rugby, to expose younger players to the great game of rugby. The season began alongside rugby try outs for contact and was open to players from 3rd grade to 6th grade. We had approximately 75 young players. Players were then assigned to teams of evenly skilled players to promote a fun, yet somewhat competitive atmosphere. At the end of the season, players then had the option to sign up for contact rugby. Many thanks to Kevin Murphy and all the volunteer coaches and parents who helped make this a success.


All PrPicture11actices will now take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Alden Bridge Sports Park.
Consider practices to be scheduled in rain. The fields are all weather. In the event of inclement weather, Woodlands Rugby will post on
Facebook and Twitter.  or check with your coach.


Team Times are listed below.

5:45-7:00 LADIES
6:00-7:30— U11 & JUNIOR HIGH

Youth Touch Rugby League

touch rugby league





In our effort to Grow Rugby and add valuable skill building to our youth side, Woodlands Youth Rugby will introduce a Youth Touch Rugby League in the Fall of 2014. This league will run Pre-Season to the regular rugby season.

Touch Rugby is the two hand tag version of tackle rugby mainly aimed at youth players. There is no tackling allowed in Youth Touch Rugby, however; since it is a running game involving two opposing teams, there is incidental contact as there would be in youth soccer or basketball.  Most of the other rules of rugby will apply, so the players will get the maximum enjoyment out of this fast paced game.  Youth Rugby is practically a non-stop sport.

Since Youth Rugby is non-tackle (sometimes called non-contact, but this really means non-tackle, since there is incidental contact), there is no advantage in Youth Rugby to being large or small, male or female.  Smaller kids can play successfully with bigger children (we do make two age groups within  the under-11 group), and girls can play successfully with and against boys. There are positions on the field and strategies that take advantage of players with and without speed.

Youth Touch Rugby involves running, passing,  kicking, offense, defense, scrums, lineouts, mauls, and scoring – lots of scoring for everyone on the team! It’s soccer and football and a lot more, all wrapped into one, fast, exciting game.

You don’t need very many skills to enjoy youth rugby and coaches will help kids learn how to play and enjoy the game.  Simple skills common to many sports, kicking, passing, catching and running are all that is needed.  The rest you can learn by coming to practice.  Many players may have other sports of interest…, basketball, soccer, lacrosse….rugby can help develop skills adaptable to all those games.  Anyone can play, it’s easy to learn, everyone plays offense and defense, everyone can score AND EVERYONE HAS FUN!



First day of touch rugby is November 5th

  •       Cost $50 – for the 7 -week season.
  •       All participants will receive a Team t-shirt
  •       Games will last 25 minutes.  Tentatively play 2  25 minute matches a night*
  •       Season runs November 5th to Jan. 8thThere are 9 playing nights Tuesdays and Thursday evenings 6PM (see dates below)*
  •       Season designed to take youth player directly into contact season (player must register for contact season)
  •       All practices take place at Alden Bridge Sports Park on SH 242
Age Groups:
  • 7th and 8th grade boys
  • 5th and 6th grade co-ed
  • 3rd and 4th grade co-ed
     The following forms will be included in your confirmation email. You may also download now. USARUGBY1415TOUCH
Playing nights:
11/5-  Wednesday
11/12- Wednesday
12/02 & 12/04 TTH
12/09 & 12/11 TTH
12/16 & 12/18 TTH
01/06 & 01/08 TTH
*All dates are subject to change
Contact: Kevin Murphy murphykd@live.comKevin Murphy


– See more at:

Rugby Try Outs Start in November

GET READY TRYOUTFACEBOOKCOVERFOR RUGBY! Tryouts will begin in November. Every Wednesday during the month of November, players from The Woodlands and surrounding areas are invited to come try on rugby.  This is a unique opportunity for potential players to come experience the game of rugby. During this time, there will be no contact play. This is the time to focus on skills and drills. Players from 5th  grade to high school are encouraged to come out. This game is for boys and girls alike. Our high school teams do comprise of  a boy’s and girl’s teams, while the younger players will co-ed.

NEW THIS YEAR- Touch Rugby League or “Rookie Rugby” will be available for grades 3-8. This is a good opportunity for a young rugger to prepare for the contact season, which begins in January Follow link for more info.

All tryouts  will take place at Alden Bridge Sports Park on SH 242. The pitches are all weather so practice always takes place unless the area is experiencing inclement weather. Of special note, there will be no tryouts the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving