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Rugby

Rugby returns

For the first time in a long time, Guelph will have a rugby club to call its own.

The new Guelph Rugby Football Club is starting the 2013 campaign with four league teams and two 7s teams.

The teams will be senior men’s, senior women’s, U18 boys, U18 girls, men’s 7s and women’s 7s, said a news release.

The league teams will start at the entry level of the Niagara Rugby Union.

The city hasn’t had a rugby club since the Guelph Satyrs folded in 1996, said the release.

The Guelph Rugby Football Club is being put together by the Guelph Oaks soccer club, which plays in the Kitchener and District Soccer League.

Among the rugby talent that is on board at the new club is Darrell Devine, the Guelph Gryphons’ men’s rugby coach, who will be the club’s director of rugby. Wayne Stobie, a former Gryphons captain who has coached at various levels, is to be director of operations and rounding out the board of directors will be David Esenbergs, owner of Absolute Soccer & Rugby Supplies in Kitchener-Waterloo. The former rugby player, who has a law enforcement background, will oversee the kit and equipment management for the club and will be the youth protection officer.

“We’re using much of the same culture and ethics that made the Oaks successful out of the gate,” says Matt MacNeil, president of the rugby club and of the Oaks, in a press release. The Oaks reached the KDSL championship game this past season, their first.

“The club is based on ethics, values and a professional attitude. The player commitment is that you show up on time, play hard and play fair. The club commitment is to provide top coaches, good equipment and a robust training and practice program. We strive for excellence in everything we do.”

The Guelph Rugby Football Club teams will have Redcoats as their handle, in honour of the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, said the release.

Early 2013 will see open practices where players are invited to come out and test their skills.

Home games for the Redcoats’ outdoor seasons will be held at the University of Guelph’s Varsity Field.

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