SLO Men's Rugby Football Club heading to Regionals in Las Vegas

Posted at 11:16 AM, May 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-08 16:04:09-04

The San Luis Obispo Men's Rugby Football Club will play the NorCal Division II champs on May 12 in Las Vegas, Nev.

"This is the first Division II Southern California championship that our club has won in 25 years," head coach Henry Lee-Saunders said. "So I know all the boys are super excited."
Four teams are also making their way to the desert at a chance to make it to Nationals in St. Louis, Mo. Other than the Southern California and Northern California Division II winners, the winner of the California matchup will go on to play the winner of the match between the Southwest and the Pacific Northwest regions.

The men's ages who are currently on the 2023 roster range from 19 to 55.

Not only do their ages have a lot of variation but so do their backgrounds and they seem to have meshed very well together to make the trip out to the desert.

"We have a lot of different backgrounds," team captain Erik Madsen said. "We've got a guy from New Zealand, Henry's from England, we've got a few young guys who are from Samoa, but a lot of people started playing at Cal Poly and graduated, stayed in the area, can't give up the sport."

Madsen and Lee-Saunders said the backgrounds of sports played range from soccer to football, as well as others when guys who've never participated in the sport of rugby before joining in on the fun.

"Rugby is a primary sport in a lot of other countries, when people come to the U.S. they look for a local team so they can join a local team," Madsen said. "That's kind of the cool thing about the community is you get all that outside influence.”

The SoCal Region Division II champions are looking to bring back another accolade come May 13th when the Super Regional Division II men's club rugby winner is crowned. The team is currently accepting donations to help them get to Las Vegas on their website at They also welcome anyone of any sports background and age range to join the men's and women's club teams.