Nick Conte – Fall Youth Review, Dec. 8th Rugby Day, & Tulane Dec. 1st Rugby Academy

Gary Giepert’s email to Nick –     Great job!!! Way to hit the ground running.      In relation to high school fall rugby.  Most high school begin practice in November with some playing touch and doing fitness earlier.  by December at least some high schools are scheduling scrimmages with each other.  I think your ” Day of Rugby” idea is great.  However, with the High Schools I would suggest 10 minute or 15 minute  15’s scrimmages and not 7’s or touch games.    In addition, I would skip the clinic portion for the high schools.  I think you might be trying to fit too many things into the day if you try to have a clinic and play scrimmages between the high schools.  I know by that time the majority of my team should have the knowledge and technique to play a 10 or 15 minute scrimmage.  If you want we can have a general skills clinic for high school players on another day.
— Gary J. Giepert

—- Nick Conte <> wrote: > Good morning all, > > I want to give a short recap of what we’ve done so far this month, and put > forward ideas that we have received from other people.  I apologize for the > length, but it is a month’s worth of work. > > *Recap:* > > *Youth Rugby* – > We are still getting consistently 8 – 10 kids every week in City Park for > the Loup Garoux practice.  The kids are learning at a very good pace.  They > have done so well that last week we began to teach proper tackling > technique.  This week I’m starting my first in-school rugby sessions. >  Yesterday I taught forty-three (43) 1st through 4th graders at the > International School of Louisiana, and Friday I’m headed back to teach > their 5th through 8th graders.  All of these sessions, and those to come, > are opportunities for other people to get oriented in Rookie Rugby by > attending.  Now that we’re advertising the Loup Garoux in schools we will > be starting the Gretna branch this coming Tuesday, October 23rd. > > *High School* – > I met with Jay Leitz at Lake Area to start planning our program.  We will > be starting practice in November.  I’ve heard there is a meeting of the > high school coaches in December, but I would like to get some discussion > going about what we could organize this semester.  Some of the schools are > already practicing, so why not have a tourney?  Sam Farnet at Audubon > suggested we have a 7s tournament.  However, Bob Scully would prefer to > stick with 15s to teach new players, and he probably isn’t going to start > tackling until the spring.  So how about a touch tourney?  More below in *New > Business*. > > *College* – > I met with Louis Baugier from Tulane to discussed their program as well as > the possibility of them running a clinic for the high schools at Tulane. >  The possible dates we decided would be during the week after Thanksgiving. >  The thought is that we can replace one high school practice with a trip to > Tulane.  They had a good list of issues which we would need to address, the > top two being liability and transportation.  They have already started > collecting money to pay for the transportation, and they will be asking > their alumni and the school for more funs.  It would be great if we could > get school buses to take the teams to and from Tulane, and they could foot > the bill.  Otherwise, I’m not sure how we could pull it off. > > *Halfmoons* – > The Halfmoons are very interested in getting involved with the youth.  I’ve > had many of them come to me individually to express interest.  Two of them > were at the ISL training last week.  They were also open to the idea of > beginning a junior B-side for high school girls who would be interested in > playing. > > *NORFC* – > I’ve gotten a sound response from a few of the guys who are interested in > helping out.  Obviously, finding time to get involved is tough, but I’m > very excited about the response and support I’ve heard from the guys.  One > rugger has been trained in Rookie Rugby, but there are a few more looking > to learn. > > > *New Business:* > > *Kurt Weaver* – > Kurt is the USA Rugby Director of Youth & High School Rugby.  He is > dedicated to get things going down here.  So what we want to do is have him > come down for a mass Rookie Rugby instructor training.  They have just done > a massive overhaul of the Rookie Rugby program.  It was literally released > last week so even I have only seen the revisions on paper and over the > phone.  They have a new approach to teaching new instructors so they can in > turn more easily train more instructors.  The goal of the mass training is > to get a large number of “Instructors” introduced to the program, but more > importantly we will be looking for the more dedicated “Coaches”.  These > Coaches are the people who are looking to be involved with youth rugby at a > higher level.  They are our go-to volunteers. > > The schedule we’re looking at for this training event is tentatively > November 1st.  If not, then in early December.  It will be at the Gretna > pitch and all New Orleans ruggers are invited, so the men’s, women’s, > masters, college, and high school teams.  We want to start with the rugger > population simply because they know the sport.  But then we turn around > immediately and put them into action.  The following Sunday, November 4th, > we will host another training session for everyone else.  This means the > teachers, P.E. coaches, and parents.  This gets our ruggers instant first > hand experience doing the training, and also enlarges the size of the rugby > community.  The format of the training is of course subject to change with > more planning. > > This event could easily catapult our program miles ahead of where we are > now.  And it’s not just the youth who will immediately benefit from this. >  The way to get more exposure for the adult teams is through the youth > program.  I would say that few people in the local media are worried about > covering adult rugby.  But when rugby is all of a sudden changing the lives > of kids all over the city, where will people look for the source of that > change?  For the time being, no matter how popular the youth league gets, > the nucleus of rugby in New Orleans is still the adult teams.  Because in > the end, those teams are what kids will aspire to.  In the long term, this > program can put Louisianians in the World Cup or the Olympic 7s.  It all > starts with the coaches. > > > *December Tourney* – > As I mentioned early, it has been proposed that there be some sort of high > school inter-school play this semester.  That just happens to coincide with > a plan that Youth Rugby had made to have a mini league in December. >  Instead, I propose that we have a “Day of Rugby”.  It would be one day > where we get rugby of all levels from across the city together for one day > on one pitch.  The college and adult ruggers run small games and clinic > sessions for kids and then organize small scale matches. > > This would include basic skills and rugby-style skill tests (i.e. fastest > sprint, longest kick, most accurate pass, etc.)  Then we progress on to > matches.  For the youngest kids, we can run a match that includes ~5 kids, > 2 high schoolers, and 2 adults.  The high schoolers and adults make sure > the game doesn’t dissolve into chaos, and the high school kids get an early > taste of being a coach.  With the older kids we could simply do 7s matches > and maybe have a high school/adult coaching duo.for those.  Then we move on > to the high school teams.  They will spend some time getting instruction > from college and adult players on general play as well as backs/forwards > tactics.  That culminates in high school scrimmages.  Probably non-contact > so that we can focus on other fundamental skills. > > Lastly, we end the day with a mixed college/adult game.  The men’s team has > strong ties with LSU, but I have seen little connection to Loyola and > Tulane.  We should foster those relationships while also giving college > players a chance to play at the highest level of rugby.  It would a great > learning experience for them which is different from simply doing drills. > > The key to this event is making sure that EVERYONE has at least some > experience coaching.  That means that Kurt Weaver’s training session is > VITAL for this to work.  And if this event works, then the foundation for > NOLA’s long-term rugby future will be laid. > > ————– > > I hope this wasn’t too much reading.  Big things are coming for NOLA rugby, > but it will require a big push to start this sprint. > > Thank you everyone for your time. > > Best, > Nick > > — > R. Nick Conte > Youth Rugby Development Coordinator > Coach Across America/New Orleans Rugby Foundation

Dear Ruggers of New Orleans and Louisiana,

 I’d like to personally invite you all to The Day of Rugby at the Gretna > Rugby Pitch, presented by Louisiana Rugby and the New Orleans Rugby > Foundation!  This is a day designed to bring together all of the local > rugby entities in a single place to help grow the sport, watch some youth > rugby, and eat some good food. I implore each of you to come out and take > part that day.  We have preparation programs that spread throughout the > week.  A full itinerary is attached, as well as a promotional flyer, but > here are the highlights: > >    – Youth Training, Matches, and Skills Competition >    – High School Scrimmages >    – Tulane University’s High School Rugby Clinic >    – Level 1 Referee Course with IRB Educator Steve Parrill >    – Rookie Rugby Instructor Training with Youth & High School Director >    Kurt Weaver >    – And of course, Mike Kerrigan’s famous jambalaya! > > Please, take this one day to make a huge difference in the development of > youth and high school rugby.  For this movement to work, we badly need > coaches and referees for all levels, and the sessions with Steve Parrill > and Kurt Weaver will help to get us there.  Neither of them receive > compensation for this event.  They do this only to help grow the game, and > Kurt is coming down from Colorado just to help facilitate the Day of Rugby. > > So invite all of your friends and family.  Bring your brothers, sisters, > nieces, and nephews to learn how to play rugby.  By the end of the day > everyone will know how to pick up the ball and run with it.  What better > day could there be? > > > RSVP by email or our event on Facebook: > > > > Sincerely, > Nick Conte

December Rugby Week


  • Grow & Develop Rugby in Louisiana
  • Have Fun
  • Introduce Rugby
  • Build Community


 After Thanksgiving, Coach Nick will begin a promotional campaign in schools for the Day of Rugby events.  The week immediately preceding the Day of Rugby (Dec. 3rd – 7th), Coach Nick and all other currently trained Rookie Rugby coaches will ramp up the campaign, hitting as many schools as possible to build up student and parent momentum for the event.


Dec. 1st, Saturday       Tulane University’s High School Rugby Clinic 10am – 1pm

  • Introductory skills development for beginner to intermediate level players
  • All high school players are encouraged to attend
  • Location:  Tulane University

Dec. 5th & Dec. 8th     Introductory Referee Course with Steve Parrill, IRB Course Educator and Chairman of the Southern Referee Association

  • $50 course cost, $75 for walk-ins, covers the course as well as necessary referee items
  • New referees will gain immediate experience by officiating the afternoon high school games, Dec. 8th
  • Register online at:
  • Times:  Wednesday  5th  6:30pm–10:30pm & Saturday 8th  8:00am–12:00pm
  • Location:  The Rugby Pub (Upstairs)

Dec. 8th, Saturday       The Day of Rugby

Location:  The Rugby Pitch (Gretna) 10am – 4pm

Rookie Rugby Instructor Training with Kurt Weaver, USA Rugby Director of Youth & High School Rugby, 10am to 12pm

  • Training session to become a certified Rookie Rugby Instructor
  • Anyone interested in becoming a coach or simply seeing what we do at Youth Rugby NOLA is encouraged to attend.  All current rugby players are strongly encouraged to attend.
  • High School students not taking the ACT are encouraged to attend

Youth Practices & Matches 12pm – 3pm

12pm Registration and team breakup

12:30-1pm:  Practices with new coaches

Parents can run through the same youth-style practices

1:15pm:  Youth Matches (5v5, 8 min games, Rookie 7s rules)

2pm:  Lunch

2:30pm:  Skills Combine

High Schools 1:30pm – 4pm

  • 1:30pm Warm-Up
  • 2pm Matches begin
  • Match format TBD
  • Newly trained referees will officiate the scrimmages with oversight
  • Approx. 4pm Matches conclude

Volunteer Needs:

  • Registration desk
  • Cooking and concessions
  • Youth Coaches (Must attend the Rookie Rugby Instructor Training)
  • Field lining and setup
  • High School match touch referees

Contact Info:

Host Contact:  Nick Conte (540) 960-1438

Referee Course Educator:  Steve Parrill,, (985) 974-1134



Rugby Pitch

Gretna City Park, 1130 Gretna Blvd., Gretna, LA


The Rugby Pub

2802 Belle Chasse Hwy, Gretna, LA

************** Tulane Rugby Academy

Below is the proposed itinerary for our inaugural Tulane University Rugby Football Academy (or TURFA) on December 1st, 2012. We’re pleased to put this on and share some of the knowledge we’ve gained over the years. We look forward to being an asset to teams in the future as we help develop the youth into great rugby players. > >  > > As for the location, we are awaiting confirmation from our supervisors for the Tulane quad.  Best Regards, > > Louie Baugier at Tulane for Dec. 1st

Tulane University Rugby Football Academy 2012


10-11:30 AM


We anticipate having a large number of participants so the best way to reach everybody effectively is to break up into stations.

We will have a tackling station featuring two drills:

  • One focusing on correct technique (hooking the leg, dropping a shoulder, wrapping up)
  • One focusing on proper ball placement

An offense/supporting lines station:

  • 2 on 1’s, building up to 3 on 2’s and 2 on 2’s with staggered starts for the defensive players

A rucking station:

  • Groups of five with a ball carrier going into contact, properly placing the ball, two players perfecting the rucking technique, recycling the ball and repeating

A defense station:

  • This station will focus on defensive spacing, calling out what we know as the “post, monster, gap” which are the three men closest to ruck to cover the a, b,  and c gaps

A passing station:

  • Generic four corners and other vital passing exercises that will represent game situations


We will then apply some of the newly acquired skills and play touch


Split up between packs and backs to cover some rudimentary positional skills such as running north-south for forwards or some basic scrum techniques for forwards

12:15-1 PM

Combine both groups of players to play full-team “unopposed” with a defense playing touch and working on its spacing (not getting too clustered around the ruck)

Finish with a quick round robin tournament touch




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