Spring 2020 update…

Merry Christmas Ruggers!
On the Rugby front, Izzy and Ryan represented the Santos at the Arizona Rugby Fest earlier this month.  They played with the Union’s travel side, the Caballeros, and went 2-1.  Put it in your calendar for next year.
The annual general meeting is happening on February 1st at noon.  We have some big things we need to address and an important year to plan for.  Please make it if you can. 
Youth and HS rugby is played in the spring usually starting in early March.  If you would like to participate in building our youth and HS rugby programs.
In other news, we are working with the Vatos to host their National qualifier April 17th-19th in Santa Fe.  This is a great opportunity for Rugby in New Mexico!
Make good decisions this holiday break and see you in 2019.
Vivan Los Santos!

Schedule Updates

Santos Schedule Spring 2019

FROM: Dylan

Oh Good Evening!

First off, the Santos celebrated their third annual Gift Card Drive in December. We collected over 20 cards amounting over $500. Special thanks to Jeremy Lithgow contributing from far, far away and Royce for hosting the holiday party. Attached is a photo of us presenting the cards to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Second, everyone needs to start planning on the following games this spring. First game is March 23rd. There are a couple tournaments coming up including Sand Rugby in and Celtics in May. These are both 7s events. I attached a poster of the game schedules.

March 2 Sand Rugby in ABQ
March 23 Aardvarks in ABQ
April 6 Brujos in ABQ
April 13 Scorpions in SF
May 4 Celtic 7s in ABQ

Thirdly, practice. Yes, I’m talking about practice. Next Saturday, Februrary 23rd, we will be heading up to Vegas to practice with the Vatos. Make it! Also, plan on practice starting soon during the week and Saturday afternoons from now until the Vark game in March.

Vivan Los Santos!

p.s. start running.

Schedule Update

Schedule – Spring 2018 Season

Here is the 2018 regional/national playoff schedule for the rest of the season:

• 4/21 and 4/22 (Albuquerque): AZ vs Rio Grande

Location: Balloon Fiesta Park, ABQ
Address: 5000 Balloon Fiesta Pkwy NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113
Saturday April 21st, 2018
11:30am – Check-in: Santa Fe
11:45am – Check-in: Phoenix
Match 1 – Kick-off at NOON: Phoenix (AZ#1) vs Santa Fe (RG#2)
12:30pm – Check-in: El Paso
12:45pm – Check-in: Tucson
Match 2 – Kick-off at 2pm: El Paso (RG#1) vs Tucson (AZ#2)
Sunday April 22nd, 2018
1:00pm Div III Final – (Winners on Saturday)
No consolation matches
PS, the winners will travel to Tucson for a match against the SoCal winner on May 5th.

• 5/5 (likely in AZ): SoCal vs winner of AZ/Rio Grande

• 5/19 and 5/20 (Fort Worth, TX): Elite 8

• 6/2 and 6/3 (Glendale, CO): National Finals

Long road ahead. One match at a time.

Some History from the Rio Grande Rugby Union

Santa Fe Los Santos, Santa Fe Rugby –
The Santa Fe Rugby Football Club fields a Men’s Division III team in the Rio Grande Union and competes throughout New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. Regular season games are usually held on Saturdays and all are welcome to watch and practice with our inclusive and diverse team.


The following was taken from a newsletter written by Dave Wheelock in honor of the Rio Grande Rugby Union’s 40th aniversary in 2014. In addition, the attached images below are of  a “High Desert Classic” program flyer (page 1 and page 3) and from approximately 1973 prior to the official formation of a few of today’s current New Mexico Rugby Clubs.

            Following in the spirit of a similar effort on behalf of the Santa Fe Rugby Club a couple years back, here’s a primitive stab at the early days of the Rio Grande Rugby Football Union. Your correspondent, being of an advanced age and somewhat the worse for wear as a result of nearly 30 years in the back row, makes no claims to absolute accuracy of events, and as for dates and scores, well, dream on. Those details are for other dinosaurs to fill in (those who did not lose their memories through tackling and post-match revelry – in other words, lesser types). If you know one of these relics, run and show him this treatise; he may wish to correct/add to/bore you with embellishment.

  • Origins of Rugby in the Rio Grande Valley

By Dave Wheelock

My first memories of rugby will forever orbit the metal gridiron goal post which stood in the middle of Johnson Field on the University of New Mexico campus, circa 1972. The rugby field (no one heard the term “pitch” until years afterward) ran N-S in those days, and the extensive warmup prior to practices always consisted of the guys (college kids with a few experienced transplants, like balding attorney Greg Worley, who at about 30 years of age, seemed impossibly ancient) lazily punting the ball back and forth between the uprights. I still vividly recall almost all of my first teammates. Such has been the importance of rugby to my life.

This was, of course, prior to the founding of the Rio Grande Rugby Football Union, at the then-annual all-comers tournament in Socorro in 1974. More on that in a later edition. The Gentlemen of New Mexico RFC had already become the UNMRFC to distinguish themselves from the nascent Santa Fe club. It was against those upriver worthies that I got my first run, a scrimmage at SF’s long-serving Ashbaugh Park. In those early days, if we were not playing Santa Fe, it was off to Denver or Austin or some other exotic place, reciprocating matches the following season with as much Budweiser as giant prop Richard Mateucci would spare us from his Premier warehouse. Watch for more on the social side in an upcoming edition of this fine rag.

Well before I left UNM in 1975, some students at New Mexico Tech, led by the late Tim Franklin and the very much alive Hans Paap (then Waight) started a club in Socorro, and a wild crew of primarily UTEP students had kicked off the El Paso Scorpions. One of the most-storied clubs in Rio Grande history, New Mexico State, also dates back to the early 70s. A Kirtland Air Force Base club, the Nomads, also formed in Albuquerque, and sometime in there, the Aardvarks formed from a core of experienced UNM players. Some years later, perhaps the late 70s, amidst the rise and fall of rugby clubs around the state (Holloman AFB, Pecos Valley Oddballs, Farmington under a variety of names), UNM once again became pregnant and produced the Brujos RFC. About this time, too, Durango and the irrepressible Jim Simms came into play.  

I use the word “wild” to describe the El Paso club based on personal experience. I played for UNM in what must have been one of EPRFC’s very first matches, at a practice field near the Sun Bowl, sometime around 1973. It was near Halloween, dim memory suggests, but for whatever reason, the EP players (did the nickname come later?) had painted their faces hideously, and engaged in expressively loud grunting when tackling, which struck us as somewhat coarse. (Even in those early days we neophytes somehow had clearly defined, highly revered boundaries of things “rugby” – this may have been the influence of early prophets such as Ray Marrone, Rocky Shasco (sp), Pancho ?, Pat Whelan, et al.) For their part the EP boys doubtless took us for sissies for complaining, giving birth from the get-go to the misunderstanding that stood for many years between north and south.

I hope the reader has enjoyed this modest effort on Rio Grande Rugby Football Union pre- and early history. The next edition, assuming the survival of publisher and cub reporter, will delve more closely into the curious beginnings of the Rio Grande RFU in the bowels of a NMT dormitory. All non-violent feedback is welcome, particularly details surrounding RGRFU’s founding, as well as suggestions for future scribblings.

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Santa Fe Los Santos, Santa Fe Rugby