September 18, 2014

Football Players- Learn From Rugby!


Looking for a way to help the sport of football with the issue of players leading with their head when tackling, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has made an instructional video that has been embraced by the NFL and is being sent to high school and youth programs around the country. This video features rugby style tackling.

Why Play Rugby?



Women’s USA Eagles Decisive Victory over Kazakhstan

Meya Bizer

Meya Bizer

Women’s Rugby World Cup Finals



Reposted from USA Rugby and Jonathan Swart  to read the original post


The 12 teams participating in Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 have arrived in France and are all set for kick-off in Paris this Friday, August 1.  The Woodlands Rugby Club is excited and proud to see our alum Meya Bizer in the starting line up against Ireland!

#WRWC2014 was officially launched in the French capital on Tuesday. New Zealand is in France to defend their title which they claimed after a thrilling final against England in 2010.The Final in ’14 motto is now being put to the test as the Women’s Eagles open the IRB Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 against Ireland  on Friday. The two Pool B members square off at the FFR Headquarters in Marcoussis. Kickoff for the match is set for 11:00 A.M. ET with coverage being provided by Universal Sports.

A defensive-minded Ireland will be a big test for the Eagles, who are looking to break a 16-year drought of reaching the World Cup Final. “We are looking forward to the test Ireland presents,” said Pete Steinberg, head coach of the Eagles. “They are one of the best teams in Europe and we will know a lot about ourselves by the end of the game.”

The Eagles will need to break the expected staunch Irish defense while handling a forward-heavy attack from the opposition, as well. While the forwards are expected to be a main focus of the game, so too is the ability to limit the dynamic backs of Ireland. “Winning the tackle contest will be tough and we know they have a great lineout,” commented Steinberg. “[Niamh] Briggs is a really dynamic runner and they play a dynamic, wide game.”Briggs has booted her way to a team-leading 31 points during the 2014 campaign, through four appearances for the Irish. The fullback also accounted for the only Irish points scored against the Eagles during the 2010 World Cup.

While defense will need to be at the forefront of this match, the Eagles will be looking to generate as many points as possible against the 2013 RBS 6 Nations champion.

View match notes >>

Ireland owns a 2-70-1 record when allowing 13 or more points in a match. Victories over Netherlands in 1991 (21-18) and Italy in 20089 (35-17) stand as the only times in team history that an opponent has broken the unlucky number and Ireland has won the match. Ireland tied France, 22-22, in 2008. The Eagles have been able to reach that mark in each of their four victories over Ireland. Holding a 4-1-0 record against the Irish, the Eagles have been able to tally 23 or more points in series wins. Ireland’s lone series victory came during the 2010 World Cup, at which the Eagles were defeated, 22-12, during pool play. However, the Eagles were able to avenge the loss shortly after. In the fifth-eighth place semifinal, the Eagles won the most recent meeting between the sides, 40-3.

See the Women’s Rugby World Cup travel squad >>

Vanesha McGee dotted down a try in the 2010 match. The wing will be looking to have a similar performance to the last contest as well as build on her recent scoring success. McGee accounted for at least one try in each of her appearances during the U.K. Tour this summer. The U.K. Tour featured a match against Wales and a scrimmage and test against England. The contests served as the final preparations for the Eagles before heading to Paris. Eight others are rejoining McGee and the Women’s Eagles from the 2010 squad. Jamie Burke, Sharon Blaney, Emilie Bydwell, Lynelle Kugler, Nathalie Marchino, Naima Reddick, Hannah Stolba, and Kittery Wagner have also been named to the current squad.

Blaney, Bydwell, Marchino, and Reddick played in the last match against Ireland during the 2010 World Cup. Stacey Bridges came on as a reserve in the match and has been selected as a World Cup reserve for the Eagles this time around. Number-eight Kate Daley has been tabbed as captain for the Eagles against Ireland. Daley captained the team during the U.K. Tour matches.“This has been an amazing three-year journey for the team and we are excited for the challenge of playing Ireland,” remarked Daley on being named match captain. The Eagles will now put their motto of “Final in ‘14” to the test. The slogan is derived from the team’s desire to make it to the Final of the 2014 World Cup – a feat that has not been accomplished by the Eagles since 1998.

The Eagles have reached the World Cup Final three times in their history. They were able to capture the inaugural Women’s World Cup, but fell in the following tournament in 1994.




England are hoping they will be lifting silverware at Stade Jean Bouin on August 17 and their captain Katy McLean thinks there is a great mood in the camp.”You can’t help but look back to something like (Women’s Rugby World Cup) 2010 which was massive for the women’s Game but obviously the result wasn’t ideal for us. That was really tough but four years later you have to move on, you learn lessons, you play more Rugby and get better.”




This edition of the Women’s Rugby World Cup will be broadcast to more countries than ever before with more than 300 hours of live women’s Rugby to be beamed to homes all around the globe. Speaking in Paris, International Rugby Board CEO Brett Gosper said the tournament will be a great boost for the Game.


“We know that women’s Rugby is gaining popularity. It’s grown two or three times since the last World Cup four years ago. There is a raised interest and the visibility is huge. “It also means that it finds its way into school curricula around the world which is very important because you find it in physical education classes, it gives it an acceptability and it means that it’s being sampled by students who wouldn’t usually sample it. We’re really looking forward to this event.”


Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014 runs from August 1 – 17 in Paris. The pool stages will be played at Marcoussis with Stade Jean Bouin hosting the semi-finals and final.




Nike Elite Rugby Camp July 20th

nike rugby

Camp Director and Regis High School Rugby Coach, Gary Holub, invites players of all abilities to Nike Rugby Camp in Texas this summer for an unforgettable experience. Receive elite training on every facet of the game from some of the best coaches and players in the country. Campers reside in dorms on campus and participate in all rugby activities at Sam Houston’s athletic facilities. The camp in Huntsville runs the weekend of July 20-23rd.  Sign up here!


Two Woodlands Ruggers on Stars and Stripes Roster

USA Rugby Stars and Stripes

USA Rugby Stars and StripesAn incredibly opportunity just came knocking for two players from Woodlands Rugby! Garrett Soileau and Renzo Gonzalez, who finished the season with the honor of 2nd Place in Texas, were  selected for the Texas High Performance team and competed in the Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge in Colorado in early June. Since then, they have been selected for the USA Rugby’s 2nd Annual Stars and Stripes Camp.  The University of Northern Colorado in Greeley will host the second annual Camp, which will see more than 90 boys and girls work with national team and nationally-certified coaches, medical staff, and fitness and nutrition specialists July 13-15 in a high performance environment. The Stars and Stripes Camp seeks to bring the nation’s top high school rugby players into a national team environment to prepare the next Eagles and Olympians.  Read more about it HERE.

Woodlands Rugby is honored to have many of our players continue their passion for rugby beyond their high school years. We grow the sport, we raise the players. Congratulations to Garrett and Renzo and best wishes on your rugby journey.

Texas High Performance Teams Head to Colorado

high performance

The Tehigh performancexas High Performance Teams will head to Aurora Colorado on June 13-15 for the Rocky Mountain Rugby Challenge.

The 2014 Rocky mountain Challenge, America’s Premier High School All Star Rugby Tournament, will feature over 20 sides, the largest field in tournament history. Teams from all over the United States will compete in 3 brackets- girls, boys varsity, and boys junior varsity. This field will continue the Rocky Mountain Challenge’s long-standing tradition of providing the highest level of high school rugby competition in the country.

We are especially excited to see growth in the girls bracket, where teams from northern California, Minnesota, Texas, Utah, and Colorado will compete.

All teams competing in the Rocky Mountain Challenge play two 45-minutes matches each day, the maximize amount of play allowed by IRB rules. A Player of the Match from both sides in all matches is awarded a medal at the conclusion of each match. All-Tournament sides are selected in each bracket and are announced at the end of play on Sunday afternoon. All players selected receive RMC All-Tournament team t-shirts. Trophies are presented to the champions and runners-up in each bracket immediately after the conclusion of play on Sunday afternoon.

Congratulation to the following players participating from Woodlands Youth Rugby. Best of luck to you and bring back the goods!


Garrett Soileau
Conner Mooneyham
Renzo Gonzalez
Ryan Brantley


Evan Smith
Jake Rivera
Jose Morato
Alex Rayton


Eleanor Landsbaum
Rebecca MacNeill
Kati Morgan
Shannon Caletka
Emily Squier
Madison Randolph

Varsity Boys take Second in Texas


WestlakeWoodlandsFollowing an unusual season of injuries, The Woodlands Varsity team took second place at the Rugby Texas Championship, Red Division. Austin Westlake HS emerged victorious The Woodlands advanced in the championship tournament by first winning over Plano

The Woodlands executed a great game plan against Westlake before eventually falling 39-17.

The following rundown is partly provided by  Charles Vermont-Westlake Picayune contributing writer

The third time was a charm for the Westlake rugby team. In Westlake’s third-straight trip to the Texas State High School Rugby Conference championship match, the Chaps finally won bragging rights as the best high school rugby team in Texas. The Woodlands claimed the title in 2012. These two teams have always held each other in high regard and acknowledge each other’s power.  While the the Chaparrals  beat The Woodland’s 39-17 in the finals, the final score does  not tell the whole story. Despite Westlake’s impressive season, The Woodlands team was not intimidated. At the beginning of the match it appeared that there might be another extremely lopsided Chaps victory in store. Using speed, aggressive tacking and effective rucking, Westlake jumped on the Woodland’s early. In the first seven minutes of the match, both All-American scrum half Justin Brown and fullback Alex Rees scored tries to put the Chaps up 14-0.

Combined with two penalty kicks by Alex Rees, the Chaps managed to score 20 points during the first half. However, The Woodlands kept playing aggressively and their huge pack caused some problems for the smaller Westlake forwards. Whenever The Woodlands got within sniffing distance of the try line they began pounding the ball again and again against the Westlake forwards. With impressive rucking, power runs and misdirection, The Woodland’s forwards managed to punch in two late tries at end of the first half to narrow the score to 20-10.

The Woodlands kept up the pressure in the second half and using the same strategy when attacking the try line they added another try with power running against the undersized Chaps pack. But it was too little, too late and the Chaps started pulling further away in the second half after nice tries by Lance Clayton, Luke Womack and a second try by Rees. To make it to the title match, the Chaps got through their rival Lake Travis in Saturday’s semifinal match.



Ladie’s Rugby Season Highlights

girls rugby

The Woodlands Ladies High School rugby team finished 3rd in State for the 2014 season.  The ladie’s ended the regular season with 13 points, 1 point behind the leader, Kingwood.  The ladies have much to celebrate as their young team will only improve in the coming years.  While three seniors are graduating, there are several sophomores on the team to extend continuity for the ladies.  Eleanor Landsbaum will be attending University of Colorado, Boulder and will play rugby for the Women’s team.  Haley Nelson will attend Texas A&M  and Morgan Materne, who unfortunately suffered a season ending injury early in the year, will attend Sam Houston University. The Woodlands Ladies also have the honor of being coached by Chelsea Pepper, who received Ladie’s Coach of the Year award by Rugby Texas. Sophomore, Rebecca MacNeill was named Back of the Year. Woodlands Youth Rugby Club is proud of the Ladies and their accomplishments this season. Go Green!

girls rugby

Ladie’s Team Take 3rd in State Championships

ladies state championship

The Woodlands Ladies High School rugby team played their first match against Plano, hoping to emerge the winners and move on to play for State Champs. While they played well, The Woodlands fell to Plano with a 20-0 loss. Plano went on to claim the State Championship, while The Woodlands  moved on to play Eagle Mountain and took third place in State. Woodlands Rugby is extremely proud of our girls! While we have a few veterans, most of the girls experienced their first season of rugby this year. Fortunately, they love the game and will return for more. A State Championship is within reach! Congratulations Ladies!! ladies state championship