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Marin Highlanders to Join NorCal HS Premier

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Marin Highlanders to Join NorCal HS Premier

Marin and NorCal All-Star Kyle Fulton in action this past season.

Rugby NorCal has announced that the Marin Highlanders will join the Rugby NorCal Premier League in 2017.  

The Premier League was created before the 2016 season for larger clubs who can commit to fielding three high school sides every weekend: Varsity A, Varsity B, and JV (frosh/soph). After a successful inaugural year with seven teams, the league plans to expand to ten clubs in 2017 with five clubs each from the Bay Area and Sac Valley Conferences. In 2016, three teams in NorCal Premier were ranked in the top ten by Goff Rugby Report.

“The Highlanders were invited to join the league after a successful 2016 campaign in the Redwood Conference, a season highlighted by winning the Division 2 Plate Championship over perennial Central Conference champion Bullard Youth Rugby Club," said Jon Straka, VP Competitions for Rugby NorCal. "Marin's strong organizational leadership and youth feeder program are welcome additions to one of the top high school rugby competitions in the United States.”

The Highlanders have a storied history in youth rugby, having been founded in 1980, they have twice been crowned National Champions. In recent years they have been undergoing a rebirth under excellent and committed organizational leadership, and the addition of now 3rd year Head Coach Eóin O’ Toole. Originally from Ireland, O’ Toole’s 26 year playing career spanned Leinster Youths, Ireland Universities and Ireland in Rugby League, and semi-pro clubs in England. More recently he has been in the Bay Area for 9 years, playing and then coaching with the Olympic Club at the top level of US men’s club rugby. He has been the Director of Rugby for The Olympic Club for the past few years, where he served as a founding board member of the Pacific Rugby Premiership. In 2016 he was Head Coach for the Redwood Division HS All Stars team.

“I am delighted to say that the Highlanders were invited to participate in the upcoming season in the NorCal Premier Division.” said O’ Toole. “NorCal has been at the forefront of rugby nationally for many years, and the new league structure provides an opportunity for more meaningful top level rugby among the best clubs in the country. Playing in this league enables us to provide a rugby experience for players of all abilities, with competitive Varsity and Junior Varsity sides, as well as a Varsity B side to ensure we can develop emerging players. Add in the upcoming tour to Ireland this February, and 2017 promises to provide an incredible rugby experience for Highlanders.”

The club is in a very healthy position, fielding teams and strong numbers across all age groups from U-8 to Varsity, and believe this move will help the club continue to thrive for years in to the future. 

Registration for the Highlanders for the 2017 season is now open and players of all abilities are invited to join. http://marinhighlandersrugby.org/registration.html


Marin Highanders