For Boston RFC Collegians, Bermuda 7s Are a Return to Familiar Ground
For Boston RFC coach Joe Dolan, the Ariel Re Bermuda 7s is more than just an opportunity to play great rugby in a beautiful setting. It’s part of a beloved tradition.
The boys from Boston first made the Bermuda connection in 1995, when Dolan reached out to Bermuda Police Officer Grant Tomkins to propose a U19 friendly match. In Bermuda, the Police and Teachers clubs are an important part of a vibrant rugby culture.
A spring break tradition was born. “This started a long standing relationship with the Police and Teachers Clubs, both of whom have treated us Bostonians with great warmth and hospitality,” Dolan says. “Chris Naylor and Herbie Addely [of the Teachers RFC] took us under their wings on many a Good Friday BBQ behind the Whitney Institute, flying kites and batting around a cricket ball, filling us with fishcakes and cold drinks and burgers, fattening us up before the next day's matches.”
The Boston Collegians will be heading to Bermuda March 18-20 for the Ariel Re Bermuda 7s, an international championship tournament bringing the best in high school and college rugby to the National Sports Center in Hamilton.
Top collegiate programs from all around the US will be sending squads including Kutztown, Yale, Columbia, Notre Dame, Dartmouth, Stony Brook and St Joe’s, as well as the Bermuda U23 select side.
“Playing at the National Sports Center means playing at one of the finest rugby venues in the world,” Dolan says. “The fields are soft and green; the facilities are some of the best in the Western hemisphere. There really is nothing quite like spending an afternoon at the cricket and rugby grounds, enjoying some high level rugby, chatting about the young rugby talent.”
Boston Loves Bermuda
Bermuda is a great test ground for the Boston Collegians, who play under the umbrella of the Boston Rugby Football Club. College-age players, who were integral to the BRFC’s New England Championship 7 Series victory in 2015, are an important part of the BRFC’s 60-plus year tradition of quality rugby. “We've got some talented, hard working, respectful players. We may not be ranked nationally, but I think after we leave [the National Sports Center], quite a few attendees will be talking about the boys from Boston.”
Boston RFC Collegians Team Set
The Boston Rugby Club has selected its panel to play in the Ariel Re Bermuda 7s tournament.
- Dave Buchanan, Xaverian Brothers, leading scorer 2015, fly half
- Mike Cedrone, Roger Williams captain, forward
- Mark Chandler, Umass Lowell, leading scorer 2015, wing
- Joey D’Antonio, Boston College, ECRC All Conference, backs captain,
- Will Dolan, Tufts University, Club President, 1st XV wing
- Tom Edwards, Boston College, 7s captain, ECRC All Conference, forward
- John Greeley, Boston College, 1st XV center
- Brendan Kelly, UMass Amherst, Captain, scrum half
- Phil Janvier, UMass Amherst, 1st XV wing
- Joe Kennedy, Temple U, 1st XV, fullback
- Timmy O’Connor, UMass Amherst, 1st XV, forward
- Jake Pesci, UConn captain, ECRC All Conference, forward
Dolan expects this to be a great experience for players and fans alike.
“I am very excited about this inaugural 7s tourney,” he says. “Bermuda used to have a terrific Easter 7s tourney but it faded into the sunset. I envision this tournament taking off at all levels: Men, Women, College, High School, and within a few years will become a destination hot spot for the U.S. and Island 7s circuit.
“Big shout out to Stephen Siano, Bermuda RFU, National Sports Centre, Ariel Re, and Warwick Camp for coming together and building this terrific opportunity.”