GRR on X  GRR on Facebook GRR in Instagram GRR Vimeo Library GRR on YouTube RuggaMatrix America Podcasts Support GRR on Patreon

Around the Nation in HS Rugby

irish rugby tours

Around the Nation in HS Rugby

East Jefferson (Mettairie, Louisiana) after their first rugby games.

Several leagues in boys HS rugby are getting going already and while we've given you details on those that are fully up and running, more are just getting started.

Let's have a look.

Torrey Pines Comes Back After Orange Lutheran Scare

Hough Fires on All Cylinders in North Carolina Action

Marvin Ridge Wins North Carolina Top-of-Table Clash

South Carolina

The opening jamboree was held in Mt. Pleasant, SC with 13 shortened games across Boys HS, Girls HS, and JV Boys.

Among the girls teams, Lucy Beckham went 2-0 with wins over Spring Hill (30-22) and James Island (35-10) in games that were either 7s or 10s. Oceanside beat James Island in a 10s/15s game, and Tigress 59-0 in a 7s/10s game.

Among the boys, Cape Fear beat Wando 17-0 and Spring Hill 41-0. Spring Hill edged Lucy Beckham 10-5. Among the JVs James Island played their first games of rugby wince 2020 and showed up with 20 players and a plan. This was the first weekend of competition ever for the James Island girls team as well as they second year for Lucy Beckham.

All teams came with more numbers compared to last year.

In the feature Boys HS game of the day, Oceanside beat Greer 17-7 in a repeat of the 2022-23 state final. 

Greer was big up front and shifty out wide and it was Oceanside's hard-working defense that won the game for them. They held on in goalline stands several times, defending bravely. It wasn't a perfect game by any means, being the first weekend of play, but 

Oceanside flyhalf Johnny Gunn was outstanding, defending well and leading by example both in attitude and in his work rate.


Jesuit NOLA, Brother Martin, St Paul, and East Jefferson met up for a preseason jamboree of 20-minute games. Brother Martin and Jesuit also fielded junior varsity sides.  

This was the first game of rugby for many players.

Brother Martin started well and was led by sophomore fullback Andrew Wender, who, despite his size, made numerous try-saving tackles to stymie opposition line breaks. Senior Michael Sauve along with juniors Cameron Coughlin and Branson Perez, also played well.

The jamboree was East Jeff's first full-contact games and was a good experience for players new to the rugby culture. Leo Rivero led on defense, with Paul Jones and Siania "Porkchop" Andrews attacking well.

For St Paul’s, there were also many first-time players today. One of those players, Hunter Flauss, had a solid performance on defense and he was backed up by Connor O’Quinn and Culver Stone. Senior Nick Lowe had a big day on both sides of the ball with several line breaks, a try, good play at the breakdown, and a couple of key tackles.  


Southern California

Other results in SoCal included Los Alamitos shutting out San Marcos 44-0 and give us a strong top three in the single-school league of Torrey Pines, Orange Lutheran, and Los Al.


Cathedral Catholic remains the top dog here and they won 59-0 over St. Augustine. Fallbrook pulled off a nice 24-14 win over Mira Costa behind a solid defensive front. It was a rainy, unpleasant day and Fallbrook handled it better with a strong kicking game and punishing Mira Costa errors.


The first group of Rugby Arizona included the old rivalry game between Red Mountain and Tempe. After a series of years where Tempe was very strong, they have graduated a large group of experienced players and were a bit younger this time around. Red Mountain played well and ran hard and won 35-17.


There is much more rugby to be played in Texas. A controlled scrimmage series was held in Houston—Ruggapalooza—while Faith Family Academy and Plano ran to a 12-12 tie in a full game.


Tampa beat Wellington 29-26 and Boca Raton beat Cardinal Gibbons 35-21 in preseason action. Okapi played two shortened games with Key Biscayne and Jacksonville, winning both.

And it is preseason—teams are using the games to test out players and combinations so don't hang too much meaning on the results.

"A lot of the teams now are just getting into their own rhythm finding out what players they have and getting them all on the same page," said Boca Coach Chris Vassel. "Boca Raton as we do every year, we find a way to win, and we look forward working hard to get us to April and the final state championship.

This Coming Week

Top SoCal single-school team Torrey Pines plays top SoCal not-quite-single-school team Carlsbad in a non-conference clash that still carries a lot of weight. NOLA Jesuit hosts Faith Family Academy in a cross-border matchup. Texas gets started in earnest and we're told to keep an eye on St. Thomas of Houston so ... we will.

Northern California's single-school season starts too with four games. Perhaps the most interesting is new team St. Ignatius (which we will be listing as St. Ignatius SF to differentiate it from St. Ignatius Chicago and St. Ignatius Cleveland ... which we have traditionally called just St. Ignatius; we might have to change that). They play St. Francis, which is a relatively new team. The arrival of St. Ignatius (SF) makes this a nice, robust eight-team league.