Rugby Illinois supports coaches in their development of Illinois youth rugby. Parents also play a crucial role through their commitment and support.
Boys high school rugby is growing stronger every season! We welcome new clubs and players every season.
Every year is exciting in the Girls high school division. We are adding new teams and many new players every year. Girls high school rugby is developing in Illinois!
Junior Gianni Frasca has been a member of the Hinsdale Central football and wrestling programs.
With the new Hinsdale Central rugby club this spring, he is living the best of both sports worlds—and then some.
“It’s exactly like football and wrestling combined. And soccer. Really that’s all it is,” Frasca says. “It’s easily the hardest sport I’ve ever done, too. (Wrestling) was hard but you’re mixing wrestling with running. It’s just a whole a new game.”
The team has 45 players with new arrivals coming weekly. Coaches are long-time rugby players and coaches Lance Houia and Nick Gambino and Hinsdale Central teacher and coach Nick Gebhart.
Behind that coaching experience, the team still was undefeated after its first six matches in Division 3—the lowest of three varsity divisions used by governing body Rugby Illinois for high school programs.
There are 40 teams among the varsity divisions and 21 combined in junior varsity and frosh-soph divisions.“When I heard they were trying to make a rugby team here at Central, I was all in. It might be the most fun sport I’ve played—for sure,” says senior Brady Garber. “They’ve been trying and trying and it finally happened.”