We’re excited to announce that the 2021 Mary Graham All Star Tournament will take place in Grand Prairie, TX
Houston, TX* on December 4-5, 2021. This annual event has been renamed in honor of TRU Hall of Fame member Mary Graham who created the first U23 Texas Rugby Union All Star team in 2001.
“Because of Mary, we have had several women go on to play 7s and XVs for West U23s, West Seniors, USA U23s and with the USA Women’s National Team. Without Mary pioneering the U23 Texas All-Star program, we may never have had a Nick James or Stacy Bridges. Both these ladies have gone through the college and All-Star programs that Mary organized and created,” said Traci Young, former TRU Board Member and College Commissioner. “Mary was the first female TRU Board member representing college and club women and paved the way for future female leaders of the TRU.”
Mary Graham began coaching for the Rice University Women’s Rugby Club in 1999 as the forward’s coach. In 2000, she was asked by the Rice University Alumni Association to take over as Head Coach and help develop the women’s rugby program further. Mary served as the Head Coach for the Rice University club through 2006. Mary obtained a Level III USA Rugby coaching certificate and a Master Class Coaching certificate offered to USA coaches for continuing coaching development.
In 2001, Mary initiated the first Texas Rugby Union Women’s U23 Select Side team in effort to make available high-level competition to the TRU collegiate players. In 2001, Mary along with Dustin George (Eastern Rocky Rugby Football Union), would create the first West U23 LAU Tournament. The tournament continued to expand and evolve each year as a selection venue for the West U23 All Star team.
Besides serving as the TRU U23 Select Side Head Coach, Mary also served as the Texas Rugby Union Women’s Director from ~2002-2004 and Women’s Collegiate Director from ~2002-2006.
After moving to Colorado in 2006, Mary served as assistant coach under Karl Barth for the Eastern Rockies (ERRFU) U19 Women’s All-Star Team and West U19 Women’s All Star Team from 2007-2010.
It is for these reasons – and more – that the TRU honors and recognizes Mary Graham.
This year’s tournament will include at least four teams and we’ve already received confirmations from Mid-America and Pacific Northwest Unions. Tryouts and more details will be announced in due course.
What: 2021 Mary Graham All Star Tournament
Where: Prairie Park in Grand Praire, TX
When: December 4-5, 2021
Why: To continue developing high performance rugby in the TRU. We’ll have USA Rugby representation through SOAR coaches and scouts.
TRU Tryout Details
We’ll have more details on tryouts later in the year once XVs starts up again. Anticipate tryouts in Dallas, Austin and Houston.
*Initially we planned to have the event in Houston, TX but due to field availability we were unable to secure a location.