After missing out on the 2020 rugby season, the TRU is excited to announce the return of the women’s All Star program. The coaching staff for the 2021 TRU All Stars will be Mary Swanstrom of Houston, Lachlan Ferguson of Austin, and Paul Graham of Houston. These individuals bring a wealth of coaching experience with almost 100 years of combined rugby experience. Please review their bios below.
The All Star dates and locations were chosen based on existing rugby schedules in order to decrease travel for players. The first development and selection camp will be in Austin on Sunday, October 24 in connection with the Austin Valkyries vs Colorado Gray Wolves match on Saturday. The second camp will be alongside the TRU Summit Conference on November 6-7 in Pflugerville, TX. Please note that this is a 2 day camp and the final team will be selected after this event. The selected team will then have a training camp in Grand Prairie, TX on Sunday, November 21, 2021 following the Harlequins vs SHARCs match on Saturday.
All TRU members (collegiate & club) who are 18 years old (as of December 1, 2021) are eligible to play. Players are encouraged to register by October 22. There is no cost to attend the development and selection camps. If you’re unable to attend the camps, but would still like to be considered for the team, please contact TRU All Stars Manager Traci Young ASAP.
The coaching staff will assist in finding housing for players who are traveling in from other cities to attend camps. Please contact TRU All Stars Manager Traci Young or the local teams.
TRU Development & Selection Camps
- Oct 24 (Sunday) – Austin
- Nov 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday) – Pflugerville
TRU Team Training Camp
- Nov 21 (Sunday) – Grand Prairie
VENUE CHANGE – We hope you’ll join us on December 4-5 at Prairie Park in Grand Prairie, TX for a weekend of selects rugby. Initially we hoped to have the event in Houston, TX but due to field availability we were unable to secure a location. With teams coming from all over the US, we had to finalize details quickly.
2021 Mary Graham All Stars Tournament
For more details on the event, go to https://texasrugbyunion.com/tru-all-star-challenge/.
Mary has been involved in rugby since 1991 when she began playing at the University of Minnesota, Duluth. She has played all over the United States, most notably with Chicago Northshore and San Diego Surfers. While playing, she began coaching in the late 90s, helping out with various college programs. After a career ending injury while in the Navy, she took on her first head coaching role with the San Diego Armada men’s rugby team. Over the last 20 years she has coached at the high school boys, college women, college men, adult club women, adult club men, and various all-star programs.
Mary is also a Licensed Athletic Trainer working with the Houston SaberCats and Baylor College of Medicine. She has a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology and exercise science from California State University, Sacramento. She went on to earn her Master of Science in Athletic Training from the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Also a World Rugby Educator, she serves as the USA Rugby Training and Education Southern Region Administrator, is a member of both the USA Rugby Senior Club Council Training and Education Committee and USA Youth and High School Training and Education committees.
While much of Mary’s coaching career has focused on men’s rugby, she has a passion for the growth of women and minority groups in rugby and sport in general. She feels passionately that having women working in the men’s game increases the opportunities and visibility of women in sport. “I would say one of the important newer additions to the women’s game is the increasing numbers of women coaching men’s and boy’s rugby. Until women can be seen as legitimate equals with men as coaches, referees, managers and organizers, there won’t be equity. I feel one of the best places to build this legitimacy and necessary respect is having women coaching boys and men day-to-day. When men get used to hearing women’s voices as authority figures, it will pave the way for other areas of the game. When the media shows women leading programs, young girls and women will see rugby as a realistic option for themselves. This is also true of commentating. When we hear women doing play by play or color commentary for televised or streaming games, we learn to listen to women’s voices.”
- Head Coach sHARC
- Assistant Coach sHARC
- Commissioner Girl’s Rugby for Rugby Texas
- Head Coach RT HP HSG Team
- Director of Rugby Katy Barbarians
- Director of Rugby TRK (in-school rugby programs)
- Coach Danville Oaks
- World Rugby Dual Track Educator
- L2 (L300) Coach
- L2 Referee
- S&C L1
- NFHS Certified Interscholastic Coach
In the United States, Coach Ferguson has previously been the Director of Rugby for the Austin Blacks Rugby Club, Head Coach at The Huns Rugby Club, the Austin Valkyries Women’s Rugby Club and the St Edward’s University Rugby Club for five seasons.
Coach Ferguson has over 20 years professional coaching experience. He has coached in Ireland, England, New Zealand and Australia. In Queensland he was a Regional Development Officer and Coach Educator for the Australian Rugby Union and the Queensland Rugby Union between the RWC99 and RWC03 cycles. He is immensely proud to be the first professional coach employed by the Ulster Education Board and Portora Royal School in Northern Ireland.
Coach Ferguson holds an IRFU Level 4, ARU Level 3, USA Rugby Level 200 and 300 qualifications.