Texas Cup Series Starts This Weekend!

TRUThe Texas Cup is an All Star series that is designed to foster the best players within the Texas Rugby Union (TRU) in a regional competitive venue. The series is split up into three Geographical Regions and each has an All Star team. The North region includes teams from North of Waco to Oklahoma City and Midland and to Shreveport. The Central region includes South of Waco to San Antonio. The South region includes Stephen F. Austin/Woodlands to McAllen and east to New Orleans and Houston. The Texas Cup selections were based on active and CIPP’d Men’s Club members of the TRU.

See below for a word from each of the coaching staffs and their player rosters. Also see the complete Texas Cup schedule and the assigned referees below.

Texas Cup Schedule & Assigned Referee**

September 28
Texas Cup South vs Central, 7:00pm @ Alden Bridge Sports Park, Woodlands, TX [MAP]
Referee: Scott Green

October 5
Texas Cup North vs Central, 3:30pm @ Cowtown Tournament, Ft. Worth, TX  [MAP]
Referee: Jon Savage

October 12
Texas Cup North vs South, 3:30pm @ Lake Highlands Park, Dallas, TX [MAP]
Referee: Shawn Martin

October 19
Texas Cup Central vs South, 3:00pm @ Huns Field, Austin, TX [MAP]
Referee: Scott Green

October 26
Texas Cup Central vs North, 3:00pm @ Burr Field, Austin, TX [MAP]
Referee: Wendy Young

November 2
Texas Cup South vs North, 6:00pm @ Alden Bridge Sports Park [MAP]
Referee: Jon Savage

 

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**The TRRA is excited to partner with TRU High Performance Rugby in the inaugural Texas Cup competition. We have carefully chosen our top local referees and promising fast track refs to provide the very best in referee services.

We wish the players, coaches, fans and media a safe, exciting competition and look forward to the opportunities ahead of us.

Jim Wolfinger, Texas Rugby Referee Association Chairman


 

#TexasCup

Follow all the updates on the #TexasCup on Twitter and Facebook.


South Team

The initiatives launched by the Texas Rugby Union to rapidly accelerate the development of the unions players is to be applauded. The recent IRANZ Academy courses run in three cities was a real coup for Texas. There is no exaggeration is saying that the opportunity for players in Texas to receive coaching from the hottest coach in the world in back to back Super Rugby Champion coach Dave Rennie and Jamie Joseph, another Super Coach who also has coached the Maori All Blacks, was as good as it gets. Those players who attended are the envy of thousands of Kiwi players who literally beg their clubs to get the chance to attend an IRANZ Academy course. It has become a gateway to the highest representative honours with their alumni now consisting of about 70 percent of the current All Black squad and most of the All Blacks Sevens and All Black U20 squads as well as several of the Springboks.

I am sure the enthusiasm shown by the Houston area players was matched by those in the other regions. However it would all have been of limited value if a program like the Texas Cup had not been put into place on the back of the IRANZ Academy. Texas elite players needed an opportunity to express the skills learnt and the sooner the better so they could become ingrained and replace inferior skills and bad habits. The Texas Cup is the perfect opportunity.

The Souths Select squad represents 6 clubs and the players and coaching and management staff have gelled extremely well. With limited time to learn new systems the side may take a game or two to hit their stride but there will be no doubting the players commitment. The team will be looking to play an attractive style of rugby that is enjoyable for players and a good advertisement for the game to those that attend games. While I am sure every team places winning the inaugural Texas Cup as their top priority; I feel it is of more importance that both players and spectators get to participate in a celebration of high quality, attractive rugby.

The excellent all weather surface of The Woodlands field couple with the first class lighting will provide an ideal venue to kick off what promises to be an exciting new era for Texas Rugby.

Roster:
Mike Wong, BARC
Taylor Kraft, Galveston
Chris Parker, HARC
Chris Saint, HARC
Andres Dias, HARC
Rafael Casas, HURT
Ben Teaney, HURT
Justin Blocker, HURT
Gary Eakin, HURT
Randy James, Katy
Paul Nieuwoudt, Woodlands
Chris Saxon, Woodlands
Connor Mills, Woodlands
Colby Kreft, Woodlands
Chris Tofte, Woodlands
Jadeon du Toit, Woodlands
Danny Dunlop, Woodlands
Matt Drennen, Woodlands
Desmond Birdow, Woodlands
Josh Alden, Woodlands
Mitchell Earley, Woodlands
Yamar Washington, Woodlands
Neil Campbell, Woodlands
Ken Wilson Woodlands
Charles Peterson, BARC
Ben Gehring, BARC
Sib Sikobi, BARC
Daniel Aaron, HARC
Matt Hayes, HARC
Ken Peterson, HARC
Robert Rutherford, HARC
Kenneth (Petey) Hepburn, HARC
Paul Mullen, HARC
Taylor Burkhalter, HARC

Coaches:
Greg Doolan, Head Coach
Phil Beck, Assistant Coach
Nemani Delaibatiki, Assistant Coach
Dave Yeoman, Manager


 

Central Team

The Texas Cup All Stars Central Representative Team has been announced. A squad of 30 players have been selected from rugby clubs representing the central region of Texas rugby. 14 players from the Austin Rugby Club, 10 players from the Huns Rugby Club, 5 players from the San Antonio Rugby Club and 1 from the San Marcos Greys. Bob Kasper from San Marcos Greys would have been the second selection from that club but unfortunately had his orbital bone broken playing in a club match last weekend. Over 45 players have been training three times a week for the past month in preparation for this High Performance Series. The IRANZ Coaching Clinic conducted in late August provided an excellent weeks evaluation and coaching seminar for most of these players selected, training with two top Super 15 coaches in Waikato Chiefs Dave Rennie and Otago Highlanders Jamie Joseph. It was a fantastic way to start this representative program.

Central Texas Head Coach Lach Ferguson “ This has been a awesome experience for players and coaches alike, coming together from different clubs to put together a very strong representative team. I’ve been really impressed by the players attitudes and their excitement about playing top level rep rugby. The guys have absolutely bought into the concept and every training session has been a pleasure to be involved with. I want to thank my coaching staff of Kirk Tate Forwards Coach and Pete Pettinari Backs Coach from the Huns Rugby Club and Steve Corcoran Defence Coach from the Austin Rugby Club. These guys have worked tirelessly and really prepared the players well providing them with a high level of professional coaching. The Texas All Stars Series is going to be a very close competition and provide exciting matches for all the players involved. All three regions have strong squads and rugby supporters in Texas are going to see some very high caliber rugby over the next month. My guys are really looking forward to getting out onto the pitch this weekend in Houston for the first game between the South All Stars and the Central All Stars”.

Roster:
1. Anthony Arnold, Huns RFC
2. Austin Byrne, Austin RFC
3. Brad Vaughan, Huns RFC
4. Bradley Yandle,Austin RFC
5. Brian Welborn, Huns RFC
6. Chris Hanson (Captain), Huns RFC
7. Connally McKay, Austin RFC
8. Craig Welborn, Huns RFC
9. Curtis Patrick, Chaffin Austin RFC
10. David Caswell, Austin RFC
11. Giovanni Bonilla, Huns RFC
12. Gonzalo Sanchez, Austin RFC
13. Jacob Wurz, Austin RFC
14. Jake Bacon, Huns RFC
15. Jarrod Amante Bueno, San Antonio RFC
16. Joedee Reyes, San Antonio RFC
17. Joey Malanka, Austin RFC
18. John Hart, Austin RFC
19. Justin Casino, Austin RFC
20. Kellen Burke, Austin RFC
21. Kevin Kemp, San Marcos RFC
22. Levi Kereti, San Antonio RFC
23. Matt Zappa, Huns RFC
24. Paul Dombkowski, Austin RFC
25. Rickey A. Johnson, Austin RFC
26. Robert Drummond,Huns RFC
27. Troy Spencer, Huns RFC
28. Vainuku Siosaia, San Antonio RFC
29. Will Martin, Austin RFC
30. Zach Gonderman, San Antonio RFC

Coaches:
Lachlan Ferguson, Head Coach
Kirk Tate, Forwards Coach
Pete Pettinari, Backs Coach
Steve Corcoran, Defense Coach


North Team

It is my belief that the introduction of the Texas Cup is one of the most forward thinking programs that the Union has proposed. It is absolutely vital that young players experience the representative environment and it is equally important that the Texas Union supports it as such.

When the trials match for our region was scheduled the response was outstanding with over 72 players representing 8 different clubs attending. Many players travelled up to 5 hours to participate, which is an immediate endorsement of the program by the players. It must be recognized that the clubs themselves were the driving force behind this participation and is a result of the tireless work of our administrators, without whom, none of this would have happened.

Further, anytime that players can experience coaching in an environment as professional as the IRANZ Academy it is essential they do so. Nowhere will our players be exposed to the level of knowledge and expertise provided by programs of this caliber. However, if the players do not have the fundamental skills to truly benefit from these events , programs such as the Texas Cup become increasingly important. To allow the best players to interact with the best coaches and administrators provides the bridge that takes average players to above average, and above average to excellent. This is singularly the best way to bring the undiscovered talent from our Union to the attention of those who can influence their rugby futures. It also becomes a vehicle to highlight the emerging talent pool from our regions.

It is imperative that the Union continues to bring support to these representative programs as they are invaluable in presenting a quality product to young men and women who may wish to embrace this incredible sport.

Roster:
Darragh Lynch, Dallas Quins
Gerad Crosswy, Tulsa
Kelly Kolberg, Dallas RFC
Collin Yerian, Dallas RFC
Zachary Mudd, Ft. Worth
Chad Joseph, Dallas RFC
Charles Davidson, Dallas Quins
Gareth Ducray, DARC
Michael Kenealy, Dallas RFC
Spencer Cameron , Dallas Quins
John Paul Rodriguez, Ft. Worth
Jordan Sheibeh, Dallas Quins
Bradley Luyt, DARC
Cobb Brandon, OKC
Gonzalo Ruiz, Griffins
Andrew Stock, Dallas RFC
Anthony Gregory II, Shreveport
Chris Hopkins, Dallas RFC
Drew McCure, DARC
Chris Kelly, Dallas RFC
Peter Santos, Dallas Quins
Austin Ryan, Dallas RFC
Jonathan Moore, Tulsa
Ryan Green, DARC
Skylar Allbritton, Dallas RFC
Robert Lindsey, DARC

Coaches:
Dean Robinson, Head Coach
Kelly Joe, Assistant Head Coach
Rhys Ball, Forwards Coach
Matt Craig, Backs Coach
Gordon Hanlon, Dallas Quins
George Munstedt, Dallas Quins
Jon Jefferies, Dallas RFC
Bruce McGregor, North Texas Representative
John Dale, Treasurer
Fil Keuppens, Manager


Can’t make the Texas Cup matches but still want to watch some rugby? Check out the Texas Rugby Calendar, it has all the league schedules for all of our Men & Women’s Club, Men and Women’s Collegiate and Youth (Spring only) matches.

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