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Walsh University to Adopt Notre Dame College Rugby Programs

irish rugby tours

Walsh University to Adopt Notre Dame College Rugby Programs

The NDC logo is put on the Walsh University stadium scoreboard to welcome the rugby players when they visited.

Walsh University will announce tomorrow on the campus of Notre Dame College that the NDC men’s and women’s rugby teams will be able to transfer to Walsh.

Walsh is a small (2,500 students) Catholic university in North Canton, Ohio. It currently has no rugby team but has been expanding its athletic department and has two large grass fields donated by the Hoover Corporation, along with a refurbished football stadium. Walsh has a package of majors that are very similar to NDC’s, but the school states that it is in a strong financial position, in contrast to NDC, which is closing this spring.

Notre Dame College to Shut Its Doors this Spring

A campaign from NDC Director of Rugby Jason Fox to find a home for the rugby team, instead of distributing the players around to various colleges, was afoot even before NDC announced it was closing. In the end Walsh was easily the most receptive. The players were bused into Walsh in March and given a tour and a welcome from the President and the administration, including a [lan to honor the NDC team’s mascot, the Falcon, despite the fact that Walsh is the Cavaliers and they have a sword-themed logo.

On the way home the players were asked to write pros and cons about the visit and they decided not to do that and simply told Fox that Walsh had impressed them so much that they would just as soon join Walsh.

Players have been asked to apply to Walsh and as of a recent check with the school most of the men’s team and a significant portion of the women’s team have applied, with their financial packages expected to be replicated.

Notre Dame College Takes NCR D1 Title in Impressive Fashion

Walsh’s VP of Marketing told GRR that the university had been monitoring the NDC fallout and she added that Walsh has been working on a plan to maintain financial strength. The addition of a championship rugby program (NDC won NCR’s Men’s D1 and were 2nd in NCR’s Women’s D1 the last two years).

The program is expected to get a provisional association within Rugby East (not a full membership sight unseen); while Jason Fox, who orchestrated the move, will be Director of Rugby, not specifics have been made available as to the coaches, although there are candidates.

Walsh University President Tim Collins was a senior officer in the United States Air Force, and he embraced the men's rugby program in particular because they stand to play West Point and Navy.

It is an astonishing turn of events and something we have not seen before, with a program transferred almost whole cloth. There is more work to do, 0f course, and they will have to prove themselves in terms of fulfilling promises and fixtures, but the announcement will be made April 2.

(PS-this article's posting date is simply a coincidence.)