FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
March 17th, 2016
Canterbury of New Zealand announces a long term extension of the Austin Blacks Rugby partnership. This partnership furthers Canterbury’s goal of promoting and partnering with professional rugby clubs at the highest performance level of rugby played across the nation. “Canterbury’s aim is to help build communities and club participation and collectively drive the growth and exposure of rugby by partnering with top clubs in key regions” commented Robbie Flynn, General Manager of Canterbury North America.
The Austin Blacks Rugby have continued their success this season having recently clinched the Rugby Gold Cup Championship which included Premiership clubs from the Midwest and Red River regions who went head to head home and away.
“Canterbury have been a longtime sponsor and supporter of our club and assisted with our development to date. Canterbury oﬀers our club’s players, families and supporters the world’s best rugby gear and equipment as well as a professional rugby image which is identiﬁable globally. This has helped our club tremendously as we are striving to improve our overall club image as we continue to grow. We are excited to enter this partnership extension and continue the success already established together” commented Alan Sharpley, President of Austin Blacks Rugby.
Canterbury will exclusively supply the Austin Blacks Rugby on and oﬀ ﬁeld range of apparel and rugby equipment. The Austin Blacks Rugby will be wearing the new 247 Range products during the season which are new to the global market and include Canterbury’s new patented technologies.
About Austin Blacks Rugby
The Austin Rugby Club, founded in 1967, is one of the most prestigious and successful rugby clubs in the United States. Located in beautiful Austin Texas, the club owns and maintains over 30 acres in a secluded yet convenient East Austin location that includes three regulation pitches, a 1500 sq. ft. clubhouse, and two changing rooms. The facilities are available to rent as well for social gatherings, corporate outings, or sporting events.
The Austin Blacks have enjoyed a long history of success on the ﬁeld, but none greater than the achievements of the past 2 decades. Since 2000, the Austin Blacks have dominated the rugby landscape in Texas and the US. The Blacks have the distinction of ﬁnishing as National Championship Runner-Up on four separate occasions since 2000: 2001, 2003, 2007 and 2015. During that same period Austin had an impressive run of Division 1 Sweet 16 appearances (2000-2008, and 2010-2015), and were Division 1 Texas Champions 13 out of the last 15 years. Since 2010 when the
second side team became eligible for the National Playoffs, that team has ﬁnished top 8 nationally every season. In fact the Blacks have sent both teams to the Round of 16 playoﬀs simultaneously, multiple times in the last several years, a ﬁrst for any rugby club in the US.
The Blacks currently compete in USA Rugby Division 1, 2, and 3 with three full squads. Austin is always recruiting players and welcomes everyone young or old, experienced or novice, to come out and be a part of the winning tradition. The club has a level of rugby suited for everyone. Athletes from all walks of life including ex-football, basketball, wrestling and track stars have joined the club and have contributed to the team’s success almost instantaneously. Collegiate rugby players from across the country who want to continue to play rugby while living in one of the best cities for young people, often chose the play for Austin.
Rugby players from all across the globe also make their way to Austin to play for the Blacks. Numerous players from New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Argentina, and many other countries, have at one point donned the black jersey in Austin. Many of them declare playing for the Blacks as one of their greatest rugby and life experiences.
Burr Field Address - Home of the Austin Blacks: 6013 Loyola Lane Austin, Texas 78724
About Canterbury of New Zealand:
From the New Zealand roots in 1904 to the global sporting stage, we make the ﬁnest rugby gear in the world. Tough, durable, smart, it's made for life. Canterbury utilizes their heritage and expertise within rugby to challenge sporting boundaries and realize the latest technological advancements for on-ﬁeld kit. Canterbury is an athletes’ brand dedicated to rugby around the globe and is proud to manufacture kit for several of the world’s high proﬁle teams including the British and Irish Lions, Japan, England, and Ireland. For more information about Canterbury please visit canterburyus.com or call 1.855.Go.Rugby.
In a battle for the top spot in Collegiate Rugby, Saint Mary's College and Life University met at Stanford University's Steuber Rugby Stadium in the D1 Rugby Final on May 10th, 2014.
D1A Rugby Top 10 - End of the Season Rankings (See Top 20 here)
1) Saint Mary's (1)
2) Life (2)
3) Arkansas State (3)
4) Lindenwood (4)
5) Davenport (5)
6) Cal Poly (6)
7) Colorado (7)
8) Santa Clara (8)
9) West Point (11)
10) Penn State (10)
It was the nightcap to a great day of Rugby, preceded by the Penn State vs Stanford match as Penn State took the Women's National Championship.
Here are some photos from the night...
Saint Mary's huddling up. Led by a stellar cast of seniors, they were focused and supported by what seemed like a happy mob that had a loud pre-game tailgate on the other side of the fence.
The Life University squad came out in their traditional uniforms but, as per usual, added a just a little bit of flare to accentuate the positive.
It wouldn't be a Life Rugby game without their flock of dedicated Eagles.
The match began and both teams were out firing. Life coach Dan Payne put together a game plan that kept SMC Rugby in check for a majority of the first half. Starving them of the ball and smothering them on defense when SMC did manage to gain possession. It was working brilliantly.
The Saint Mary's boys kept their heads in the game and their eye on the prize. Their potent offense only needed a moments notice to appear. Their strong defense at the rucks and set pieces kept them in the game even despite a lack of ball possession.
The scrums looked great from both sides of the ball. Each team put in their work throughout the season.
Sorry, we can't help but notice how nice their jerseys looked! Simple, understated, but made for the trenches of the toughest match of the season.
It was truly a "standing room only" crowd at Sanford's Steuber Stadium.
All-American Garrett Brewer was smothered throughout the first half by a swarming Eagles defense. We expect to see him get some action with the US Eagles soon enough at #10. And btw, who put all the highlighter markers on the field?
The crowd brought the stadium to maximum capacity as everyone piled onto the sideline fences following the action intensely. The match was a deadlock throughout the first half. Equal parts defense from each team.
At halftime, the score was too close to remember because there was no advantage. Might as well been 0-0. Commissioner Kevin Battle brought out the "Caps" to recognize some of our amazing past ambassadors of the sport. Former US Eagles were flying all over the place.
Saint Mary's College Head Coach Tom O'brien providing his team with some halftime words.
Garrett Brewer and Kingsley McGowan of Saint Mary's College chat it up showcasing their vintage 1995 haircuts. Kid 'n Play would be so proud if they showed up to House Party 3 after the match.
Meanwhile, Fullback Cooper Maloney hid his locks in favor of a little head protection.
Superleg Inside Center Dylan Audsley opted to hide his Lion's locks but that didn't keep the tampons out of his bloody nose at the half. He couldn't resist a glimpse at the camera.
Some fans opted to stand on the benches outside and peak over the fence because there was no free space in the stadium.
There is no time like now and never a time like forever. Saint Mary's is in the midst of a "Forever Season". They have battled and battled over the years to become of the best college rugby programs in the country.
It was indeed a brutal match. Good thing it was only torn jerseys and not torn body parts. These boys were out there giving it everything they had in this battle.
Two things every rugby mom must tell their child... "Don't give a moose a muffin and don't give a Maloney a slice of bologna." Because that's all Cooper Maloney needed was an inch to slice through the defense like Wonder Bread.
Like we said, that Cooper Maloney is no bologna. That boy good.
Life was full of life, keeping it close in all aspects of the game.
The crowd, coaches, and sirs were glued to the match. However, you notice the Touch Judge was doing his job and not watching the ball, but rather watching that SMC was 10 meters off the ball in the line out!
The Saint Mary's Rugby fans had their eyes glued to the match. Quietly waiting for what was to come.
The Life fans traveled across the country and were not about to sit quietly. "GIVE US DEATH or GIVE US LIFE," the Running Eagle screamed.
"Life" the posse responded.
"GIVE US DEATH or GIVE US LIFE!"
The Life University kicking game was neutralized in the second half by a fast attacking SMC backline with Cooper finding the inch he needed.
Cooper's run deep within SMC territory after a Life kick was amazing. Slicing through the defense, breaking into Life territory, offloading to a teammate, only to receive the pass again as he sprinted past the retreating defenders and onto the game's first try. Life did everything they could, including shredding a jersey in the process.
Dylan adds a penalty kick with his Audsley boot. It runs in the family. His brother Barnaby is an All-American Honorable Mention at Occidental College.
With a couple minutes remaining, it was 14-6 and you could cut the tension in the stadium with a butter knife.
However, with time winding down, Kingsley makes a run or two pushing the defense deeper and further from the finish line.
And Garrett seals the deal pulling out some old soccer tricks advancing the ball as it fell to the deck with a little toe poke and chase.
Trytime! At this point, with only seconds left, did each team stop to realize what had happened.
Time was up and Garrett back onto his feet.
And Dylan sealed their fate with a conversion kick that came with a lifetime guarantee the second it left his feet. He picked up his kicking tee before the booming kick even crossed the uprights.
Only now can you celebrate. The Slippery Eel has sung.
Nice jobs boys!
Cooper was awarded the MVP. He took some time to pose with his brother Joey, another great college rugby player.
And in true Maloney fashion, he chose to cover up his MVP trophy with his Championship tshirt. If there was a podium and a speech we can imagine it would go something like this...
"I don't deserve this. My team deserves this honor. And we would all like to thank Life University for an amazing game that tested us on all levels. You made us work for everything we earned."
Cooper Maloney and Dylan Audsley.
And in honor of Mother's Day, Garrett said "Grandma, this would not be possible without you." (or something very close to that affect.
Stanford versus Penn State.
Sounds like a good game no matter which sport it is, or which way you slice it.
On a gusty Saturday at Steuber Rugby Stadium on the Stanford University campus, the Penn State women's rugby team came an nearly dominated perennial powerhouse and home team Stanford. They were overpowering in the rucks, strong outside running in space, and tough in the scrums. Just as you would expect in a championship game, Stanford refused to accept the ensuing loss by fighting each second until the final whistle.
Here are some pictures of the ladies, all wearing our custom Everest Jersey in our signature Women's Fit. Longer cut, wider in the hips with shorter sleeves and a little extra room in the chest. It provides the extra comfort and performance not found in a traditional men's jersey.
Stanford University Women's Rugby with their eye on the flag and their mind on the prize.
Following the D1A Rugby tradition, there were members of the US Armed Forces on hand.
Early on, Penn State established strong rucks & mauls. Securing the ball with depth in the rucks & mauls, providing their Scrumhalf with clean ball.
Clean balls equalled open space for their backs out wide.
The Penn State lineouts kept Stanford guessing at times.
With the wind blowing at their backs on their home field, Stanford's efforts showed the crowd the game was nowhere near won.
Agile around the pitch, the speedy Cardinals kept their attack moving.
The contested every ruck.
Even as the clock approached full time, the crowd was enthralled by the game on the pitch.
With the wealth and experience of the Stanford squad, anything is possible.
Games can change with a single scrum.
Meet your 2014 Women's Collegiate National Champions.Penn State Rugby.
(Photos by Jeremy Castro)