Plenty of action going on this weekend in Texas rugby. Cup matches for men’s D-III get underway next weekend, so a lot of teams are using this as a final warmup.
The big story is the Cowtown Tournament in Fort Worth. Cash money is on the line in the Men’s Open division, which features the Dallas Harlequins, Texas Islanders, Shreveport, Austin Blacks, The Dirty Dogs and The Woodlands RFC in two brackets.
The men’s open bracket features the Harlequins Gentlemen, Bay Area, Dallas RFC and the Sam Houston alumni, while the social bracket has Alamo City, Fort Worth, UT Alumni and Denton. The college division is made up of Texas State, North Texas, Rice, TCU, Baylor and Angelo State.
On Friday, before the tournament, the Fort Worth RFC hosts the biggest individual match of the day as new coach Butch Neuenschwander takes his University of Texas team up to Fort Worth for their annual grudge match versus the University of Oklahoma on Friday. Neuenschwander says UT is young this year with only one senior. He hopes to use the rugby version of the Red River Rivalry as a gauge for where the team is so far, before D-I competition begins.
Texas Tech travels to College Station to take on A&M in D-I vs. Premier League “friendly”. A&M coach Craig Coates is looking to get a lot of new guys quality game time against what he believes to be a quality Tech side. He is looking for younger players who can help in the spring when the Premier League games start up. Coates has a lot of freshmen with high school rugby experience.
Rounding out the college games are University of Dallas at Sam Houston and University of Houston at SFA. The Lumberjacks will be unveiling their pink jerseys in the games as a fundraiser for breast cancer research. We hope they send us a photo!
In addition to Cowtown, two men’s games are going on – both in North Texas. The Frisco Griffins take on Arlington, and the Dallas Diablos travel to Fort Sill in Oklahoma to take on the artillery.
“The army is actually more friendly towards us than other teams that we have played,” says Diablos president AJ Tello. “They don’t mind us being gay at all, and accept us as rugby players. We are there to play ball and they treat us as equals. They are superb team, and it should be a great match and weekend for it!”