Rugby Club

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Clemson Tigers
Full name Clemson University
Rugby Football Club
Current Rank 13th
Founded 1967
Union Georgia Rugby Union
Grounds Clemson University, Clemson,South Carolina
Coach Wright Henry
Competitions USA Rugby South

Clemson Men's Rugby was founded in 1967, losing the opening match to an experienced Duke team, 0-56. From those inaugural efforts have come a club that is stronger today than it has ever been in the past. Clemson finished the 2005 Season ranked #14 and the 2006 Season ranked #13 in the nation. Clemson's best season was in 1996 when the team advanced to the Elite Eight and finished ranked 7th nationally. Rugby is one of the oldest and strongest clubs at Clemson University. The team has gone 57-15 in the last three years, with the only losses coming to Men's teams and Top 20 ranked College Rugby teams. A 2006 article in the Clemson World magazine highlighted the CURFC with a great photo of Brandon Loftus tackling a player from the University of Tennessee. [1]

Brandon Loftus Tackling a Tennesse Player

Clemson Players[edit]

Clemson Rugby had its first Collegiate All-American in 2005 in Scrumhalf Dutch Jones.
Clemson's 8-man Scott Wagemann made the All-Marine Team and the All-Armed Services Team
Clemson Alumni have gone on to play in the top league in the country: Rugby Super League in the last few years. Will Phillips plays with the Olympic Club and Tyson Campbell plays with the Philadelphia-Whitemarsh.
Former Clemson player and coach Jim Gaine coached the All-American team in 2004.
Clemson has had numerous South All-Stars, U-19 All-stars and GRU All-stars during the team's history.

Clemson Championships[edit]

Clemson won the USA Rugby South Championship in 2006, 1998, and 1996.
Clemson has won GRU tourney in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Huntsville Rugby Tournament Champion 2003.
Elite 8 Appearance in 1996 (Def. Cornell Univ./Loss to Penn State)
Sweet 16 Appearances in 1996(Cornell/Penn State), 1998(Dartmouth/Colorado State), 2005(Army/Penn State) and 2006(Navy/UC Santa Barbara).

Clemson Records[edit]

Clemson set the team scoring record in 2006 with a 118-3 victory over the University of Florida.
Clemson's previous record was in 1998 when they defeated the Citadel 100-0.
In 2003 Clemson went 14-0 in the fall for the best winning percentage ever for the Fall Season.
In the fall of 2004 Clemson won 19 games for the most ever in the Fall Season.

Clemson All-South Selections[edit]

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2006 South All-Stars
Jason Hinchman, Dutch Jones, Mike Fitzgerald, Robert Bortins and Matt "Wayne" Bassett
2005 South All-Stars
Jason Hinchman, Dutch Jones, Mike Ireson, Bryan Burton
2004 South All-Stars
Jason Hinchman, Dutch Jones, Shawn Hanna, Scott Waggeman, Ryan Wolf
2003 South All-Stars
None
2002 South All-Stars
None
2001 South All-Stars
Will Phillips and Neil Yanik
2000 South All-Stars
Will Phillips, Johnathon Mullikin and Neil Yanik
1999 South All-Stars
Unknown
1998 South All-Stars
Andras Bende, Jim Gaine, Will Phillips
1997 South All-Stars
Andras Bende, Jim Gaine, David Merchant, Will Phillips

Team record[edit]

2005-2006: 14-4 Clemson outscored their opponents 766-313. 0-2 in National Tournament, 35-46 against Navy and 22-32 against UC Santa Barbara.
2004-2005: 17-8-1 Second in the South. 0-2 in National Tournament, 18-35 against Army and 26-46 to Penn State.
2003-2004: 20-2
Spring 2001 3-3
Spring 1998 7-0 Defeated Citadel 100-0 and Emory 94-0
Fall 1997 3-3
Spring 1997 5-3
Fall 1996 5-5
Fall 1995 6-1-1
Spring 1995 10-0 Defeated USC 85-0

2007 Season Preview[edit]

Clemson in a scrum against Life University in Spring 2006

The Clemson 2007 team will be led by Junior lock/8-man Mike Fitzgerald and Senior inside center Mike Ireson. They will lead a young Clemson team, but an experienced team. The highlight reel will fill up quickly with fullback Luke DiMaggio and wings Jason Clarke, Patrick Boylan and Greg Jones. Ted Chapman will be going overseas to the New Zealand Sports Academy to train at scrumhalf. Barclay Sudderth will need to step up into a starting role. David Arthur will continue to play lock next year. At the flanker position, Ben Walence, Wayne Bassett and Tyler Loftus will return as three of the most aggressive flankers in the south and maybe the nation. All of the players are going to need to step it up over the summer in order to fill the big shoes the graduating seniors leave behind. Those who are returning as sophomores will be key to next year's success. Who will be this year’s dark horse who comes back from the summer and steps up out of nowhere? A whole new front row will be needed. Virtually every position will be up for grabs next year, but that is what is most exciting. The number of freshman and sophomores on this team means Clemson will be competitive on the national level for the next four years – if the work is put in. So join us on the sidelines next year and cheer on the next generation of Clemson Ruggers.
If you are interested in visiting Clemson or would like to learn more about our team please visit Clemson.edu or Clemson Men's Rugby for more information.

Fall Season Summary 2004[edit]

Dec 03, 2004 First XV results:
Record: 8-1-1
Points For: 378
Points against: 115
Avg. PF 37.8
Avg. PA 11.5
Avg. Margin of Victory: 26.3
Held Opponents under 10: 4 times
Shutouts: 2 times
CU Scored over 50: 3 times
Men's Club victories: 2 and 1 tie
Collegiate D1 victories: 2
Losses: 1 (Radford University 15-18, eventual Virginia State champs. defeated University of Virginia, Virginia Tech both D1 College Teams.
Ties: 1 (Memphis RFC 20 - 20)
Tournament Championships: 1 GRU
All-Star selections: 12

2003-2004 Season Summary[edit]

May 10, 2004 Finishing with a 20-2 record over the course of this school year is nothing to scoff at, as it is the best record in team history. Outscoring their opponents 819-245 in 22 games, the Tigers averaged a 26 point margin of victory. While recording five shutouts, their largest victories came over Georgia 85-0 and Florida 72-5. The team won two tournaments and had nine games where the Tigers kept their opponents under ten points. Disappointingly, the two losses came in the playoffs to the University of North Carolina and the University of Tennessee, and CURFC would have to wait another year to make it to the Sweet 16. Clemson Rugby also traveled to Lousiana on their first fall break tour since 1995 and returned undefeated against LSU and Tulane.
Clemson has been successful due in part to their recruiting efforts and attitude towards the sport. "We have gone away from the idea that the students will come out if they are interested." Coach Jim Gaine stated. "We do our best to market the sport as an avenue for the students to continue competition and be a part of the Clemson experience, not just another thing to do after class." The reaction has been obvious, more than 60% of the team are either freshman or sophomores, and all of these players contribute to the success of the team.
The Tigers also have five players representing the south collegiate all-stars in Boulder, CO this June at the National All-Star Championship. These selections are a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team as their attendance at training contributes to the development of the players and prepares them for competition.
South Collegiate All-Stars: prop Shawn Hanna, hooker Jason Hinchman, scrumhalf Dutch Jones, eight-man Scott Wagemann and Wing Ryan Wolf.
The team graduates several key players this year who will be sorely missed. Wing Andrew Bray, flanker Eric Moore, hooker Darius Samii, eight-man Scott Wagemann, and wings Ryan Wolf and Rodger Willis have all been a part of our team's success and will continue to remain a part of our team as alumni.
The 2004 Clemson Rugby player awards were handed out at this years banquet. The reciepients: MVP Forwards: Captain, Hooker, Jason Hinchman -MVP Backs: Scrumhalf, Dutch Jones -Most Improved Player: Scrumhalf, Tim Stovall -Rookie of the Year: Center/Wing, Jason Clarke -Clemson Rugger: Prop, Shawn Hanna

Clemson Alumni gathering after a fall Alumni game

A Tradition Born Through Dedication[edit]

In 1967 four friends, Frank Morah, Jeremy Pike, Nick Scholar, and Jeff Tyers dedicated themselves to forming a rugby team at Clemson University. The team struggled through many years of hardships like most new teams, but as time passed the team improved. Through hard work and dedication Clemson Rugby soon became a major force in collegiate rugby. In the winter of 1971, the team was invited to play in a Mardi Gras Rugby Tournament in New Orleans. In this period, the club played on the football practice field and YMCA field, but the university constructed a dedicated rugby field in 1971.
The 1990's were a time for change within the CURFC on the field. Former player Frank Graziano became involved with the team once again and instilled an idea of field dominance nationally. During Coach Graziano's time with the team, Clemson Rugby had managed to achieve several major accomplishments. Numbered among those achievements were Clemson's first undefeated season, Georgia Rugby Union champions, a number one ranking in the Southeast, and entrance into the Elite Eight where the Tigers matched up against Penn State after a first round victory over Cornell University.
In the CURFC's 30th year and in the same school year of Coach Graziano's departure for a USA Rugby Collegiate Director position, the Tigers remained strong. Student coached the Tigers amazed many strong university teams throughout the south. A difficult Fall lead to a successful Spring semester in which the CURFC would again be in the national spotlight. After defeating every southern team they faced, the Tigers boarded a plane for Houston, Texas and the Sweet Sixteen. There the Tigers gained the respect of many nationally ranked teams and coaches for pulling together and showing the determination to even make the trip.
Clemson Rugby has grown off the field as well as on it. Off the field the Tigers have made several large strides in improving Clemson Rugby's organization. The team has set up an Alumni fund to allow our graduates to give back to the club that made their time at Clemson memorable. The rugby team has also established an annual alumni weekend. This weekend consists of an alumni game, and a cookout which allows the past players to socialize with the present players and of course tell old war stories.