Katie Davies’s Wedding & the Tulane Old Boys

Jack “Big Daddy” Adams called for a ‘scrum down’ in Roanoke, VA ,on May 29, 2011.With the following slightly modified lyrics of a song many old Tulane players  belted  out decades ago,  “Gather yee drunkards give ear to my tale. I’ll tell you a story that will make you turn pale. About a fair maiden so young and so small,  she married a man….and had no father at all,” he challenged the teammates of Steve Davies to gather for Katie’s  wedding. This wedding was particularly special to so many former Tulane players because in 1989 when Katie was only 2 years old, Steve died of a heart attack.

Steve played for Tulane RFC from 1970-74 and was the 1973-74 captain. He played for NORFC in 1974-75. He was  a gifted athlete and an inspiring,  much loved, player who led quietly on and off the pitch. In 1992 when the Tulane Old Boys gathered for the 1992 reunion, Jack Adams (former Tulane club president and reunion organizer)  had the award the Old Boys  presented to a current player named in Steve’s honor. Chriss (Steve’s wife) and her new husband, Doug, were returning from their honeymoon and came to New Orleans  for the first presentation of the Davies Cup. Chriss and the award recipient fittingly chugged beer from the Davies Trophy Cup. In 2000 Chriss brought Katie who was then 13 to the Old Boys reunion.

As a side note let it be recorded that the 1970-74 Era Tulane Old Boys beat the existing Tulane RFC starting 15 five straight times (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, and 1996) before succumbing to the ravages of time and gravity and suffering a defeat in 2000.

In 1974 Tulane traveled to Nassau over Spring Break. The team played the following schedule on the tour:

Saturday, April 6th – *Pensacola R.F.C.  *

“switch  game” – backs played in the scrum, and scrummies played back positions

Monday, April 8th – Florida State University R.F.C.

Wednesday, April 10th – Orlando R.F.C.

Friday & Saturday, April 12-13   Arawak R.F.C.(Nassau, Bahamas)

 Steve had the courage to invite the whole team to spend the night at his family’s home in Coral Gables before flying the next day to the Bahamas. Jim Richeson recalls playing 3 games in the Bahamas, as the team Tulane beat in the first game wanted a rematch on Sunday, April 14th . Tulane could only muster 14 players  to start the game and minutes before kick-off recruited a guy walking by who had never played rugby before.

In his challenge to attend, Adam’s magnificently explained the significance of rugby in so many of our lives and the goal of passing on to Katie the vitality that Steve brought to his life and those that knew him.

Jack Adams, “What did we love most about playing rugby? Where was our pride? It wasn’t how many games we won. It was the camaraderie, it was knowing someone always had your back, it was being with a group of crazy individuals that as a unit were unstoppable…never taking no for an answer, Always rising to the next occasion. Knowing strength in numbers and appreciating that sense of invincibility that we shared as a group of not just teammates but as friends.
I am the first to admit that the sense of purpose we shared, as bizarre and as decadent as it was is a cherished part of my life that has never departed or been forgotten. The reunions helped secure those memories and embelish the mundane to the phenomenal, as we all have a tendency to do, but we would be hard pressed to embellish the impact Steve had on each of us.
I will never forget Katie passing the trophy we created in Steve’s name to the Tulane RFC recipient in front of the Boot in 2000. Those moments are indeed priceless. A daughter whose memory of her father is dependent upon each one of us, a daughter who still remembers each of us from 2000 as her Dad’s friends–her fathers legacy.
We can laugh and joke that we are a sorry lot of mongrels that mothers should keep their daughters from rather than expose them to…but in all honesty ( I promise I won’t tell anyone) we are a fairly respectable lot. No, I would have never guessed it either but the fact remains that our past has influenced our success and we need to share that secret.
We need to show Katie that her Father’s past had a vitality that most only dream of… that it is possible to be free spirited, fun loving, and crazy, pushing the envelope everyday and still lead a life full of promise and success. I am sure you each taught that to your children and it’s not to late for us to teach that to Katie. She had a glimpse in 2000 but now is old enough to grasp the message.
So please join me, Jim and the handful of others that are planning to attend to make this moment special for a young bride wanting us to share our history of her father with her on the most special day of her life…not only is she getting married but she will be able to envision what her Dad’s life may have been like if he was still here to celebrate with her….and who can show her better how to celebrate than the Tulane Old Boys RFC. I hope to see ALL of you in Roanoke…..Big Daddy”

The following former Tulane RFC members were able to heed the call and attend the wedding of the daughter of a friend and teammate they had played with over 35 years ago:

Steve Sallman, Greg Eaton, Douglas Watkins, Bobby Preston, Jack Adams, Joe Hoffman, John Howe, Vincent Dobbs, Jerry Cave, and  Jim Richeson.

Many more who were unable to attend contributed to a present for the bride and groom. 



Katie Davies & Tulane Old Boys

Jim Richeson wrote in with the following additions to the above article:  The reunion & picture on Steve’s bench and making a copy of the poster at his funeral was all my idea, although Jack made it clear that he was in from the beginning. I also asked Jack for a call to arms and he responded with the fine letter which you quoted, that I emailed to the group. I was Steve Davies’ best man and we were lucky that Southern RR transferred him to Wash., DC for about half of my dental school years at Georgetown and first several years of practice. Even when he got transferred to Roanoke, we managed to visit one another at least several times a year. I have known Katie all of her life and have been her touchstone for her dad all through the years.  
Katie’s husband has a job in Chicago, where they moved last week after returning from their honeymoon on June 6th. Katie asked me several months ago how often I traveled to Chicago, and I told her was there 8 weekends last year, as the Amer Dental Assn headquarters are there, but was just elected Chair of my ADA Council for next year, so would likely be there 9-10 weekends next year. She then said well I hope I will be able to see you each and every time that you come to Chicago, and I assured her that we could do that.
Katie, her husband, and I have a meal scheduled together in July, another in August, and then again in Nov & Dec.
Since Jack preceded me by one year as Treasurer of the TU RFC and has always been the money handler for our reunions, I asked him to collect the donations for Katie’s gift and he kindly did so.
Again, the article is fine. Just wanted to fill in some details.
Best regards, Jim


Tulane Rugby 1971

no images were found

Crescent City Old Boys: Dat’s 37½ Years Young and Counting


            Wherrayat, Crescent City??!!!  What wid the granchirren runnin’ aroun’ on the sideline, peoples dat you ain’t seen for years and you think you recognize but you’re not sure until dey try and take a cheap shot like dey did 37½ years ago (ask dat Sammy Farneeyay if you don’t believe it), den stuffin’ yourself wid hot berled crawfish and Zatarain’s spiced up corn and potatoes at your own fancy rugby club, not dat hole in the wall Basin Lounge with the ripped up pool table where it’s always a little stinky an wet in da batroom and when you leave da place in the daytime you have ta squint because it was so dark in dere, YEAH, DAT’S WHAT I’M TALKIN’ ABOUT! 

            Pardon da accent, but I’m a Chalmette boy 30½ years removed from the old club.  I lost da accent somewhere after leaving town, but what da Club gave me, and why a hunnerd others showed up for the 37 ½ year reunion, wuz RUGBY.  I sed RUGBY – but what I meant wuz C-R-E-S-C-E-N-T  C-I-T-Y  R-U-G-B-Y.  Not just any rugby club, not just any city.  Dis wun friggin’ club wuz sumthin’ special, even if you became a rugby whore what moved away ‘cuz you got infected by da game.  You can’t explain CC to outsiders, even if dey come from da Parish or maybe Irish Channel or wore khaki uniforms and went to one of dem fancy Catholic schools uptown.  No siree.  Crescent City was somethin’ special and even though it merged with its cross-town rival to survive, it lives on in a way that only if you played, or were a groupie, you knowed what I’m talkin’ about.

            No matter.  Some of deze boys needed a Crescent City fix, even if dey didn’t knowed it, and Billy Goodell wuz smart enough and dumb enough at da same time to think it could be done.  Thanks, Mr. Cervix.  Well done!

            And hoo boy! Did dey come back, like a bitch dog in heat!  Mr. Cervix and sum of da udders got on the horn and talked’em into coming back from Maui, from Maine, and all points in between and nort’ a Chalmette.  And it didn’t take a lot to get dem to haul back to da Big Easy.  We all jawboned a lot and nothin’ better than findin’ out how your brothers in mayhem had done good in life.  Even if a lot of us looked dumb and acted even worse, we knew we wuzn’t deep down.  Just a little crazy, mebbe.  Some of us actually grew up after playin’ rugby and became upstanding citizens, even lawyers like Goodell and Breen and Gallion.  Not all of us wuz bottom feeders like those schmucks, though.  For sum reason, CC attracted a lot of engineers, a money manager or accountant here, a consultant or teacher dere, but good peoples all.  Even some Canadian nurses in the good ol’ days are happy and still nursin’ the old boys’ egos.  A lot of the old ruggers ended up in Texas and Colorado, mebbe to get away from dem doggone hurricanes, but they raised famblies dere and done good anyway. 

            But I dee-gress.  What about da reason for comin’ back home — dat famous an’ historic April Nint grudge match between CC and dose vaginas on dat other team what name we don’t want ta remember?  And by golly, who won the damn t’ing?

            Dat’s what’s so funny about dis, man.  Here someone comes up with a friggin’ atomic clock date for a reunion – 37½ years to the month.  An’ dey can’t even remember a rugby score right after the match!  T’ink about it, though.  Thirty-seven and a half years — dat’s the same as 450 months, 23,400 weeks, 561,600 hours, which iz a long time to be on the piss.  But when you do actually t’ink about it – dat’s also a long, long time since the first CC player kicked to scrum, took his first cheap hit from a New Orleans rugger – and gave one back — tapped his first keg (well, dat can’t be right!), slammed down his first fat Mitre ball in a dried up, dusty and crab grass-infested try zone, did his heave in the scrum, first double dummy scissors – okay, that one never seemed to woik — first double barracuda or Allouette song to a surprized young lady, drank his first upside down Margarita, hell – it’s the first time the poor bastard learned how to live, man!  But I dee-gress.  What wuz dat score? 

            Before I get to dat, dough, I gotta mention one other t’ing.  I don’t know about you, but after all deze years, I had never tawt about who founded the club, and it made me kind of embarrassed to t’ink dat I never knowed.  Well, just like the 37 ½ years on the piss, it’s all fuzzy now.  Even when you talk to the old-old timers what actually founded CC, you can get a couple different versions.  Someone one day will have to figure dis t’ing out when dey write the coffee table book version of the team.  One story was that a half-dozen Loyola students what played football got kicked out for smokin’ pot and somehow took up rugby.  No wonder dey outlawed the stuff.  Another wuz dat some SLU and LSU players gradjerated and wanted to keep playing rugby after moving to Noo Awlins.  And another was dat some Inglish professor from Inglen teaching at Tulane or Loyola – I ferget which one — got some students together and taught dem how to play.  Dey was goin’ to call demselves New Orleans at first, but thankfully found out dere wuz another club in town what took da name so someone came up wid Crescent City.  We all liked dat one much better.  How Fat Harry’s ended up being rugby central for a long time, why the Basin was the hang out after practice, how come Jerry Gallion was born wid a hairy back and how women could ever t’ink they’d domesticate Scully, well, dey’s too many mysteries in life to explain.

            Back to that grudge match.  First we gotta try and analyze dis, because if we wuz actually playin’ in the match – and dis iz one of the flaws of all rugby players — we woin’t payin’ attention to the score, just like one of dem Mean Lakeen twins what got hit in the haid wid the rugby ball whilst taking a nap stanin’ up in front of a scrum.  Don’t axe him, for god’s sake.  I’m sure the twin what wuz playin’ tole you it wuz de udder twin what got hit.  Ronnie Gibbs, well, everyone KNOWS he got two of CC’s tries, since he wouldn’t let you forget it during the party and I bet he’s still tellin’ his po’ wife about it every udder day.  But dat last CC try actually a be-yootiful t’ing to behold, wid George Morris poppin’ a pass to him off the ground right before the try zone and Ronnie dancin’ in almost untouched – an’ best of all — all those Noo Awlins vaginas wheezin’ and gaspin’ for bret’ da whole time dat wuz going on.

            If some of us woin’t in da match wid excuses we had tawt up weeks earlier – and – okay, Kerrigan would call us weenies, so what — well, we knew a match was goin’ on, okay?  An’ for some reason da match went tree periods, not the normal two, but on da other hand, dey definitely wuzn’t 40 minute halves.  Well, anyway. we didn’t know da score, either.  Sumthin’ like 19-12?  Sammy did some kickin’, got at least two conversions.  It’s hard to remember da details of da Noo Awlins tries, ‘cause we t’awt dey wuz lucky tries and of the feline persuasion, but on at least one of da tries someone apparently felt sorry for dem – I’m thinkin’ Jack Biven — and so dey got demselves a freebie, the one that wuz a long-ass run by Skip Rizzo, the only reason Skip got it cuz Jack was catchin’ up to him and wud have plowed his sorry ass into the ground  – and the cool thing about watching it from the sidelines wuz it seemed like the whole t’ing was one of those ESPN replays in slow motion but we knew it wuz happenin’ real time and they wuz actually runnin’ kinda slow — but den Jack musta lost his concentration and started feelin’ sorry for dem, and held up at the last second.  By da way, Mr. Biven did some great actin’ on da play, fakin’ like he was winded, gaspin’ for air and almost heavin’ on wobbly legs, like he wuz ready to throwed up.  At least dat’s what he tole me, an’ hell, I believe anyt’ing Jack toles me.

            On to more important t’ings, the partyin’.  Dey was so many back channels and recollections and laughter and drinkin’, and then mo’ drinkin’, that it would be impossible to mention every one of the 100 or so players and their gals who made it back for da reunion or da stories dey had to tole.  But from the first tapping of the keg Friday night, to the match on a hot, steamy Gretna afternoon, to the sweet strains of a brass band during the second old boys’ game, on to the rugby club and more beer and food, and post-game partying including some nice hospitality shown by the Farnets at Joey Ks, it wuz one helluva event.  If you had to be proud of sumpthin’, and there was a lot to be proud of, mine was when the team gathered by the goal posts after the match, Kerrigan readin the few names (thankfully) of the dearly departed, and then the Old Boys singin’ and hummin’ ‘Out on the Piss Again’ while you could also hear da clickin’ of camra shutters by friends, loved ones, and fans. 

            I take dat back.  Dey was actually two, equally cool t’ings.  Dee other was Joseph Trailor joining the Crescent City pack for some line out action.  How could you not feel how cool it wuz to see da ol’ pack lift CC’s best fan sky high in a line out – not once, not twice, but three times?  Now dat was a cool t’ing, and dat shows right dere the real heart of Crescent City.

            And den, let’s not just t’ink of the good ol’ daze (pun intended).  Dere iz de future of Crescent City and its progeny to behold.  And what a bright future it iz.  I’m not talkin’ about the nice, soft pitch, or the fancy rugby club what got built over da years, but more importenly, da high schools dat are churnin’ out young ruggers and great programs that are feeding into the club what came out of Crescent and N.O.  Man, dat iz way cool what dey iz doin’ deze days, what dey have been doin’ for years if you moved away, and which, if you read the NORFC newsletter, it going to get our club the National Championship.  An’ no joke, apparently dey are some mean sumabitches on the team deze days, racking’ up 60, 70 point scores a match, and mebbe even meaner than we all tawt we wuz.  Ain’t you proud, man?  The CC’ers who stayed behind and kep dis t’ing goin’ way past the merger, and then built it up again after Katrina, hey – ya’ll are way cool, man!

            Well, it looks like the CC reunions ain’t over until all of us are in wheel chairs, an’ even den, who knows?  Dere’s alredy talk of anudder reunion, dis time, I’m tole, 2½ years from now.  Dat’s rugby time – 30 months from now, 360 weeks, 8,640 hours.

Tour Report – USA Rugby South vs Mexico – April 9, 2011

By Jeff Reuther

The USA South team arrived in Mexico City on Thursday, April 7th, and did a light workout to loosen the joints.  On Friday the squad had a two hour moderate session at the pitch.  The team chemistry and camaraderie were falling into place nicely.

After a good supper Friday night, the squad met for an inspiring jersey ceremony and meeting.

On Saturday, the match was set for 4pm CST.  It was a clear, warm, dry day with a 10-15 mph wind.  The field conditions were dry and the altitude was 7000 feet.  A good natured, spirited crowd was in attendance.

Both sides entered the field single-filed and simultaneously through the main tunnel.  The National Anthems played as the players sized each other up.  The first half started at high pace with some back and forth for roughly 5 minutes.  After that, the USA South squad dominated possession and territory but missed some opportunities to put some early tries in.  USA South went into halftime up 6-0 with two penalty kicks.

In the second half, Mexico evened out the possession and territory as they had control of the wind.  The USA South squad lost focus and pattern for a while as they became anxious to put a try in.  Mexico then broke the defensive line of the USA South for the first try of the match, but missed the conversion.  The reserves came on for the South, but it was not enough as the altitude caught up with the squad around minute 60.  Mexico made two penalty kicks in a row to go ahead.  USA South valiantly fought back but turned the ball over to Mexico several times, which resulted in quick breaks and tries for Mexico.  Final score was 25-9, Mexico.

Team Mexico were marvelous hosts for the tour and after party.  USA South played their hearts out until the last minute and represented well.

Coaches Paul Barford, Dave Conyers, and Jody Hensley did an excellent job of preparing the squad with a clear, unified game plan for the match.

Trainer Sean Borman worked tirelessly and did fantastic work.

Kevin Kitto and John Devonport organized an amazing tour.

Captain Shawn O’Brien led the squad decisively and positively.

5 NORFC Players Make South Select Side to Play Mexico

By USA Rugby South


Following an intense two days at a camp kindly hosted by New Orleans Rugby Club, the following squad was selected for the NACRA Tournament game versus Mexico in Mexico City on April 9.

This will be the first appearance of a U.S. side in this tournament with the South playing in a northern division that includes the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, the Bahamas, and Bermuda.

The winner of the U.S. v. Mexico game plays the winner of the Cayman v. Jamaica game. If Cayman wins, the match will take place in the U.S. If Jamaica wins, the South squad will travel to Jamaica.

The squad left for Mexico on April 7, from Charlotte, and returned April 10. Five members of the New Orleans Rugby Football Club made the select side.


2011 Louisiana High School Championship

By Gary Giepert

The meeting regarding the April 16, 2011, La High School State Tournament and the NORFC playoff games on the same date was held on April 1st. The following was the decided schedule for the day:
10am Jesuit B v ESA City Park Rugby Field
11am Jesuit v #4 seed City Park Rugby Field
Shaw v #3 seed Pan Am Staidum
12:30 NORFC Gold playoff game
2:30 Br Martin B v ESA Pan Am Stadium
3:30 NORFC Green playoff game
5:30 Br Martin B v Jesuit B
6:30 High School Consolation Game
7:30 High School Championship Game
Admission to the day of rugby would be $10 for adults and $5 for those 18 and under. Every team was to have three volunteers to man the gate and sell T-shirts:
10:30 – 12:30 NORFC
12:30 – 2:30 Shaw
2:30 – 4:30 Jesuit
4:30 – 6:30 Rummel
6:30 – 8:30 Br Martin
Gary Giepert  was in charge of obtaining the referees and trophies.
Sam Farnet wass in charge of lining both fields.
Conrad Briet was in charge of checking into the feasability of an ambulance.
Mike Kerrigan was in charge of the gate, T-shirts, announcers and national anthem.
Each team was to pay $100 to cover costs.
All profit was to be split equally between NORFC and High School All Star program.
The top two finishers earned the right to proceed to the South Tournament; the State Champion in the single school division and the runner up in the multi school division.

Alabama – 28th State Based Rugby Organization

By Kurt Oeler/ Gainline     http://www.gainline.us/

Statewide rugby has emerged as one of America’s leading means of promoting growth, with Alabama last week becoming the country’s 28th youth and high school body.

The rapid spread of so-called state-based rugby organizations, up from a dozen in 2006, indicates the organizational model dovetails with the US school system. Most varsity sports are governed by statewide athletic conferences.

‘Currently we have three [local area unions] operating within the state, and having one body to direct state administrators to has been key to progressing within the educational system.  It is already starting to open doors for us at the high school level as well,’ Rugby Alabama head Brad Kilpatrick said in an email.

USARFU, mimicking Commonwealth standards, was founded by four territorial unions each comprising a number of local or sub-unions. These bodies often spilled across state lines, exacerbating the sporting community’s confusion as to why a sports organization would be known as a ‘union’, a term Americans typically reserve for labor associations.

In the past decade, coaches and administrators have abandoned the approach in favor of governing bodies that are more recognizable to school leaders, parks and recreation officials, and so on. USARFU, which has been actively encouraging the formation of SBROs, is simultaneously pushing college teams to incorporate into conferences and also hopes to revamp the system for senior clubs. The latter initiative has been moving particularly slowly.

Birmingham  is presently Alabama’s center of of non-contact rugby. Mobile looks more promising for establishing the cotton state’s first high school league. There Rugby Alabama is working with the Mobile Sports Authority as well as parochial schools, some of whom are encouraged by the proximity of established high school leagues in nearby Florida, with boasts a more established SBRO, and Louisiana.

Nathan Carse, National Hero – Local Rugger

By Hunter “Coon” Guidry

Spc. Nathan “Chuck Norris” Carse
On Saturday, Feb. 19th, 2011, Spc. Nathan Carse was honored in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with the inaugural Nathan Carse Memorial Rugby Match held between Baton Rouge Rugby and New Orleans Rugby (both teams Nathan played for). The pre-game tribute consisted of military presentation of the flag with bagpipes from the Celtic Society, and a moment of silence. The match was followed by many toasts to our friend and teammate, Nathan Carse, hero to us all.

Spc. Nathan “Chuck Norris” Carse was killed in Afghanistan by an IED on Wednesday, Feb. 9th, 2011 just two months before he was supposed to return home.  Originally from Ohio, he came to Baton Rouge to get his Masters in Engineering at LSU.  Nathan was an Alumni of LSU rugby playing for two years in 2004-05.  He next played with Baton Rouge rugby for three years 2005-08 and a short time for New Orleans as a loose head prop and occasional flanker.  Nathan got his nickname at LSU for his amazing gift of beard and his uncanny resemblance to Chuck Norris.  He was a tough rugger known for hard tackling and rucking, and he very rarely passed the ball – like any good forward.  Nathan was a great friend and teammate with a heart of gold- he will truly be missed.  He was a true American hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice.   

Some friends of Nathan’s set up a memorial scholarship fund to honor his ultimate sacrifice to his country and to us.  Be friend the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1462476901#!/pages/Nathan-Carse-Memorial-Scholarship/201112769904404

or send any contributions to the fund to:

Nathan Carse Memorial Scholarship
Allen East Local Schools
c/o Rhonda Zimmerly
9105 Harding Hwy
Harrod, OH 45850

All Contributions will be held in trust by the school until the proper paper work is filed with the State of Ohio.

DeepSouthRugby.Net Starts Its Fourth Year

By Tom Crosby

Four years ago Fran and I leaned across a table, a half-full pitcher of beer between us, and conjured up the idea of DeepSoutRugby.Net. We dreamed of the website as a vehicle to press passes to the 2007 Rugby World Cup in France. The passes to the world cup never materialized, but in the intervening years we have covered a few rugby matches and sat in press boxes with professional journalists – and longed to be on the sidelines rowdily screaming the Eagles or Blue Jays to victory. Next year another rugby world cup rolls around. Tickets have been applied for and money tucked away for plane tickets and camper van. Soon we’ll start the dance to see if we can get a press packet, but when we land in New Zealand we’ll be comfortable to pull out our paid for tickets and find our seats in the stands and feel the atmosphere of the regular rugby fan at the greatest rugby tournament of them all.

Last summer DeepSouthRugby.Net took a road trip to Charleston to watch the Eagles defeat Canada in a World Cup qualifier and this summer we are off again to Harrison, New Jersey, to watch the final matches of the Churchill Cup on June 19th. The Eagles face Russia and England Saxons (England’s 2nd side) in their pool matches in Colorado. In the other pool Canada faces France A (France’s 2nd side) and Uruguay. There will be 3 matches in New Jersey on June 19th. The first, second, and third place teams from each pool will face-off against each other. The predictions are that the USA and Canada will face each other as the second place teams out of their pools on June 19th, but Russia is emerging as a rugby power to be reckoned with. They recently qualified for the 2011 World Cup and as of May 31st were ranked 19th in the world (1.6 rating points behind the USA’s 18th position). Russia is, also, in the same pool as the USA in the 2011 World Cup. They will face the Eagles on Sept. 15th, 2011, in what will be the USA’s best chance for their 3rd win in their 5 trips to a World Cup. The previous wins both came against Japan in 1987 (21-18) and 2003 (39-26). The winning try in the 1987 match was scored by former Baton Rouge player Gary Lambert. Hopefully there will be a great turn-out to watch the Churchill Cup matches. If the USA is to become a place to host international tournaments, we will have to show that fans support their national team.

Thanks to all who have contributed news to DeepSouthRugby.Net over the past year. Over the past 3 years we have evolved from a website trying to scam a few press passes to a website with the mission to record and archive the history of rugby in the Deep South. Be a part of history. Send any stories or news items to deepsouthrugby@hotmail.com

Cheers, Fran & Croz

3/11/11 – New Orleans v. Crescent City Reunion: Update No. 4

3/11/11 – New Orleans v. Crescent City Reunion: Update No. 4

By Fran Thompson

Please continue to help spread the word about this historic event and forward me additional addresses for our NORFC brothers.

If I wasn’t just happy that at age 55 I’ve been able to avoid extended stints in the pokey and am not still working half days at Markel Lumber for $30 and lunch on Robert (though I’m very proud of my place on the All-Markel Lumber First XV), I might be jealous of Tim McKinney.

He managed to get his residency in gynocology. He has prime season tickets for my two favorite sports teams, Eagles and Flyers. He has Guiness and Harp on tap at his home in South Jersey. He has another house in Ft. Lauderdale, and he also has cosmetic and medical instrument companies in addition to being an MD and a professor at Rutgers.

Timmy will be there. So will Timmy McConnell, who is only 50 but started playing rugby after being recruited by Markel at 14. Timmy was 20 when I debuted for New Orleans v. the Crescent City Dirtbags in spring ’80, but he easily ranked among our top five wildmen, along with Crosby, Rozek, Rick Edwards and Steve Siville.

I’ve attached a team pic from the spring ‘82 Bahamas Tour. You’ll see Frank Urann, Jack Tillay, George Henderson, Smokey, Croz, Iron Mike Frenzel, Rutherford, Rozek, Markel, Mark Boller, McKinney and myself, along with a few guys from Jackson RFC. Wally Ferrara, Frank Perkins and Gayle Jones from the Half-Moons were also on that tour. I fully expect to see eight of you – including Lumpy Heimdal – at the reunion. I think that’s the first time we wore the Mardi Gras striped jerseys. A couple years later, Brooks Brothers started selling them by the thousands.

My favorite story from that tour, besides the fact that we all played out of our heads to beat the Toronto Nomads (and the limey ref) in the tourney opener: Wally, McKinney and Mark drove to Ft. Laud. and parked at McKinney’s aunt’s house to save money. McKinney decided to stay in Freeport a couple more days and fly back to NOLA. When they picked up the car, the other two guys told McKinney’s aunt that he fell in love with a Freeport girl and was staying there for good. Everybody in McKinney’s family, including his fiance, bought the story. I don’t think I’ve seen Mark since then. But he was a funny kid.

Jimmy is currently living on the Maryland Eastern Shore in his last year teaching at a college there. He is a strong maybe at this point, depending on whether he is offered a job somewhere.


Fran The Man

The Itinary

– Friday Night, April 8, Happy Hour Social at Sammy Farnet’s restaurant, Joey K’s on Magazine, Balcony occupancy limit of 50.

– Saturday: April 9, New Orleans v. Crescent City: High Noon at New Orleans Pitch on Gretna Ave., a block off Lafayette on the Westbank. We hope to start game w. 55’s ready to play at least two minutes.

Post Game Party: The Rugby Bar is a couple blocks from the pitch.

Saturday Night: TBD – French Quarter Fest?

– Sunday: April 10, Noon ‘til dusk; French Quarter Fest Main Stage (Between Aquarium & The River). Free fest. It’s a bitch getting in and out, but relaxed once you get there. Camp will be just left of soundstage.

John Howe & Tulane’s (Early Days) Ultimate 15

By Tom Crosby

John Howe & Tulane’s (Early Days) Ultimate 15

One of the most colorful rugby characters to ever come out of the Deep South area was John Howe. He started his rugby playing at Tulane as an undergraduate in 1968. When I met John in 1972, I was constantly amazed at his “style”. He was already a legend for his play, singing, and having been escorted out of the Bahamas locked to a ball and chain. I remember one morning during the Tulane Mardi Gras tournament on the university’s football practice field in the shadow of the old Sugar Bowl Stadium. John showed up 5 minutes before kick-off with cigarette in mouth, beer in hand, and a look like he hadn’t been to sleep yet. He played an inspiring match against Waterloo University and went on to lead the party that evening. He went on to play in London for London Irish in ‘73, Denver Barbarians, Aspen RFC, Beacon Hill RFC (Boston), SUD and Washington RFC…a self-avowed rugby whore.

In 2000, almost 30 years later, I found myself sleeping on the floor in a hotel in Paris with John and 8 other rugby players. Following a Tulane Old Boys match John and I had arranged to meet in Paris for a France v Scotland 6-Nations match. John takes a group of current players and old boys from the American University sides he coached for 14 years to a 6-Nations match every year. After meeting up for a morning beer we found our way using Paris public transport to a remote field in a suburb where the France v Scotland women’s match was being played. Following the match we headed to the St. Michel section of Paris where John took us straight to the ‘rugby’ bar. Within 10 minutes of walking in the bar he had tickets at face value for the sold-out men’s match the next day. A late night of sampling French wines and incredible French fries and hot dogs ended up with us curled up on the floor of the other tour members’ hotel room – flashbacks to college rugby days. In 2007 John and I met up in Montpelier for USA v Tonga. John, who is now publisher, editor, and a writer for www.rugbycan.com, was looking successful. The twinkle was still in the eye and the joy of good rugby and fine wine still in his heart. The website is a fascinating and captivating interactive site devoted to all aspects of rugby from forum debates on current national and international rugby issues to limericks and drink. He, also, is the spirit and presenter behind rugby radio at www.rugby-radio.com.

John and I exchanged emails about our different websites. I sent John an article I was writing about first decade New Orleans players who also played for Tulane. John misread my article as being “The Early Days Best Tulane Side”. Below is his reply in his wonderful stream of consciousness style, and his Tulane “Early Days” Ultimate 15:


How we see things so differently?

stan never played on the first side hooker at Tulane only if we were desperate (he was the great song leader) dial was a prop forward along with edmonson, charlie monnot in the backrow and sometimes center … actually I thought you were a pretty good backrow…if I were making my selections they would be the way they do it in the press from the wing on through burns, nick Anderson, ?,?, mike ellis, b.kennedy, arnold dupisani, randy starett, george stollings, peter maud (he was a fantastic player), jay scully, bill daniels, bob edmonson, bruce hughes, and pat dial… wings and centers I can’t recall too many who played with me other than salliman and ancira but I would definitely have you and davies and laird and tyrone as reserves and even jack adams and brian travis and fred ??? and mike keyes as reserve scrumhalf … on my reserve davies roommate jan was also a helluva backrow player until he killed himself, eric rocstroh was a good front ranker but perhaps the best center was a KA with a french surname (he was called Chip) who must have graduated in 1970 and the best front row player Tulane ever had was another KA, I think, who Edmonson would know who graduated in 1969, yes, his name was Bob Chapman, and I don’t know whether he dropped out or graduated … he could have played internationally … Bob E would know him as they played together before dial made his appearance. There was another guy your era, a SAE by the name of Wagner and he wasn’t too shabby either playing or singing. Underated players in my era would be Steve Sallman, Bob Urann (but he was no match for Dupisani), an SAE by the name of Ron Bertucci, who died in his sophomore year from some tropical disease, was one helluva backline player, another SAE who sang quite a bit by the name of Bob Wagner(prop), Braun had the talent to play but he didn’t develop any real rugby skills while I was there, Jack Adams had a little what we call ‘mongrel’ in him. He wasn’t a bad player in the engine room. Either was Jan ???, he committed suicide, the former SEAL and roomie of Davies.

But the boiler house, is where Tulane always excelled…Chapman, Edmonson, Monnot started off as a hooker too, Dial, Wright, Bob Wagner, Eric Rocstroh (a talent scout in San Antonio and a former KA,) the list is long…because , as you know, all winning rugby starts in the front row.

John Howe’s Tulane University Early Days Ultimate 15

15..Nick Anderson and kicker , Medical School, Notre Dame

14. Peter Burns, our era, just for sheer speed

13. Mike Ellis, he had a job but was from Memphis as I recall.

12. Charlie Monnot, he wasn’t skillful but he was a bulldog.

11. Chip Henderson, a KA, was easily the best wing and maybe centre.

10. Barry Kennedy, our era, New Orleans kid, nice boot, good delivery, quiet, don’t remember him playing much after 71…..he’s a little hazy buthe was very good.

9. Arnold Dupisani, South African Consul, was the best player ever to play for Tulane at 9, 10, 12….he was the Captain and the real thing. Mike Keyes, Medical School, alumnae?, was an awfully good player at 9 or 10 but his style and mind conflicted….but to many he may have been a better player than Kennedy. He was a student of the game and actually started Stan interested in refereeing.

8. Bill Daniels or Steve Davies, when given the opportunity, had better overall skills than Brian Travis, Medical School, alumnae.

6. Peter Maud was easily the second best player but by a long shot to Dupisani, he was rough aggressive and technically knew his stuff. Randy Starrett, Law School, Duke University was very close. Fred King, Law School, I think Georgetown University wasn’t far behind either but he preferred soccer and did the rugby thing also. I think his heart was in the soccer.

7. My idol at the time was our openside, George Stellar, Medical School, Air Force Academy…he was great but I only had one year with him.

4. Jay Scully, Medical School, Man Mountain of Georgetown University.

5. Jim Wright, I never played with him but met him on campus. He was rumored to have played linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. It’s a tossup between Laird Canby, Bill “Red” Daniels, and Steve Davies. They were all so valuable it is hard to distinguish amongst them in terms of importance. Laird was probably the most athletic, Davies was a natural, and Red, believe it or not, was a rugby thinker. Red knew just what he could and what he could not get away with.

3. Bob Chapman, KA, could player either side or the backrow too. One of the most talented players I ever had the privilege to watch get better and better. Marc Elliott of the Denver Barbarians played one year commuting from Baton Rouge.

2. Bruce Wallace, Medical School, Furman University. He was a better hooker than Stan Smith because he was simply better and better than Tyrone Yokum because Tyrone played ‘football rugby’. Remember at that time the wing threw the ball in, maybe even the scrumhalf. Tries were worth 3 points and the conversion 2.

Bruce Wallace was subtler.

1. Pat Dial, but he could play any position form 1-14. Fortunately not fullback because I don’t think he could kick worth a damn.

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