3rd and 4th Yale Rugger named University President's

This year, two former Yale Rugby players, James Ryan '88 and Mark Nemec '91, have been introduced as Presidents at the University of Virginia and Fairfield University respectively.

Both men have remained active with the FYR alumni group. Mark Nemec serves on the FYR board.

Mark and James join Thomas P. Foley, President of Mount Aloysius College & Ralph Nelson, President of Vancouver island university.

Click on a name to read more:

Mark Nemic

James Ryan

Thomas P. Foley

Ralph Nelson

Pre season finishes with a bang

Yale Rugby completed their pre season with an away trip to Fairfield University. Played in great spirits, the games finished 26-40 and 37-5.

Fairfield University president and FYR board member, Mark Nemec, hosted a BBQ at Bellermine Hall for the players and supporters. This was a truly special event enjoyed by all.

We wish 'the Stags' all the best with their season. Looking forward to the next one.

Exciting times for Yale rugby

Yale Rugby is proud to announce that it will be competing at its new location this fall season. The field will be equipped with an electronic scoreboard and floodlights. This is a massive step for the program. The players, alumni and supporters would like to give special thanks to the Yale Varsity programs and the administration. Without their help, none of this would be possible. 

The field has been previously used by both varsity field hockey and soccer. 

The program would like also like to thank the FYR board and grounds staff for making the dream a reality.

Go Dawgs

Yale Rugby to welcome Oxford to New Haven

On September 11th, Yale Rugby welcomes Oxford University to New Haven. Oxford will be playing the USA MCAA side in Philadelphia on Saturday September 16th. This part of the tour will be used as preparation for that game. 


  • Arrive late - 7.30pm / 8.00pm -Address - Lanman Center, Payne Whitney Gym, 70 Tower Pkwy, New Haven, 06511
  • Oxford and Yale players will meet and the players will be billeted out.


  • Varsity gym at 11.00am
  • Training on the rugby field at 4.00pm- Oxford Only.


  • Varsity Gym at 11.00am
  • Pitch session with Yale 4.00pm
  • Function on Wednesday evening.


  • Depart


Dave Rennie begins his new role with Glasgow warriors

For the past three seasons, Yale University, the Chiefs and St Paul's Collegiate School have developed a strong relationship. This year 4 more students traveled to train in the great rugby environment. A total of 11 Yale players have travelled to Hamilton. Dave has had a big influence, making the coaching staff and players feel so welcome.   

Rennie said he "couldn't turn down" the "opportunity to work with such exciting players at a club with big ambitions".

The former Wellington centre added: "It's no secret I have been interested in coaching abroad and this chance fits the bill. I am very motivated to continue the success (at Glasgow) and build the club."

Rennie joined The Chiefs in 2012 and won two Super Rugby titles in his first two seasons.

The New Zealander started his coaching career in 1999 at Wellington, where the team won their first NPC title in 14 years in his opening season as head coach in 2000.

He also coached Manawatu in the ITM Cup between 2006 and 2011 and also in that time won three consecutive Junior World Championships in charge of the New Zealand U20 side.

Scottish Rugby's chief executive Mark Dodson said: "It is a clear indication of the progress Scottish Rugby and Glasgow Warriors are making that we can attract a coach of Dave's experience to Scotland to work with our players.

We wish him well.

The six new laws of rugby explained - presentation & video

Thank you to Kurt Weaver from USA rugby for providing the documentation on the 6 new law trials that will be in effect this Fall for the Ivy Rugby conference.

USA Rugby Collegiate Academic Honors for Yale players

Joseph Goode, '19, a recipient of an award

Joseph Goode, '19, a recipient of an award

Two hundred and twenty-five student athletes have been recognized for their academic excellence with their naming to the 2016-17 USA Rugby National Collegiate Academic Honor Roll.

The diverse group of college students represent both men's and women's rugby across Divisions I, II and the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO). Nomination and naming to this prestigious honor requires the players to be at least a sophomore in class standing, possess a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 and a regular member of his or her program's 'A-side' as either a starter or reserve.

In six years of naming a National Collegiate Academic Honor Roll, USA Rugby has recognized the hard work, leadership and diligence of over 1,500 well-deserving student-athletes.

"It is with great pleasure that we announce the 2016-17 USA Rugby Academic Honor Roll," said USA Rugby Collegiate Director Rich Cortez. "These athletes have proven once again that academic excellence and athletic achievement can be complementary. Their institutions, families, coaches and fans can be justifiably proud of their achievements on and off the field."

New Law changes come into play

The World Rugby Executive Committee has approved the addition of six law amendments to the programme of global law trials following positive trials in specific international competitions this year.

The amendments, which relate to the scrum (Law 20) and tackle/ruck (Laws 15 and 16), are aimed at making the game simpler to play and referee as well as further promoting player welfare. They have been approved following extensive game data analysis as well as player, coach, match official and union feedback from the tournaments in which these six aspects of law were trialled.

The six law amendments will now join the scheduled global law trial programme, completing a total package of 11 aspects of law, and will debut in full from 1 August, 2017 in the northern hemisphere and from 1 January, 2018 in the south.


The November 2017 tests will operate under the full global law trials, while Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017 will operate under the package of five global law trials that has been operational in the southern hemisphere since January and was operational during the June test window.


The six aspects of law approved to join the global trial programme are:


1. Law 20.5 and 20.6 (d) 

No signal from referee. The scrum-half must throw the ball in straight but is allowed to align their shoulder on the middle line of the scrum, therefore allowing them to stand a shoulder width towards their own side of the middle line.

Rationale: To promote scrum stability, a fair contest for possession while also giving the advantage to the team throwing in (non-offending team).


2. Law 20.9 (b) Handling in the scrum – exception

The number eight shall be allowed to pick the ball from the feet of the second-rows. 

Rationale: To promote continuity.


3. Law 20.8 (b) Striking after the throw-in

Once the ball touches the ground in the tunnel, any front-row player may use either foot to try to win possession of the ball. One player from the team who put the ball in must strike for the ball.

Sanction: Free-kick

Rationale: To promote a fair contest for possession.


4. Law 15.4 (c)

The tackler must get up before playing the ball and then can only play from their own side of the tackle “gate”.

Rationale: To make the tackle/ruck simpler for players and referees and more consistent with the rest of that law.


5. Law 16 Ruck

A ruck commences when at least one player is on their feet and over the ball which is on the ground (tackled player, tackler). At this point the offside lines are created. Players on their feet may use their hands to pick up the ball as long as this is immediate. As soon as an opposition player arrives, no hands can be used.

Rationale: To make the ruck simpler for players and referees.


6. Law 16.4: Other ruck offences

A player must not kick the ball out of a ruck. The player can only hook it in a backwards motion.

Sanction: Penalty

Rationale: To promote player welfare and to make it consistent with scrum law.




The six new aspects of law were part of the original 2015 laws review process, and were recommended to move to closed trial to provide a further analysis opportunity before global trial could be considered.


These closed trials were operational at this year's World Rugby U20 Championship, World Rugby Nations Cup, World Rugby Pacific Challenge, Americas Rugby Championship and Oceania Rugby U20 Championship, with positive outcomes:


Scrum outcomes: 

  • More ball coming back into play with fewer penalties and fewer collapses
  • The ball was thrown in without delay, with scrums continuing to be stable prior to throw-in
  • No collapses occurred by the number eight picking the ball up from under the second rows 

Tackle outcomes: 

  • Feedback indicated that the tackle was easier to referee with more clearly defined offside lines and tacklers not interfering with the quality of the ball with more players on their feet allowing counter rucking 

A comprehensive analysis was undertaken by the specialist Laws Review Group, the Scrum Steering Group, considering detailed and highly-positive union, player and match official feedback, before the recommendations were approved by the Rugby Committee and subsequently the Executive Committee. The trials were also considered at the high performance match officials and coaches meeting earlier this year. 


World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "World Rugby continually reviews the laws to ensure that the game is as enjoyable, simple and safe as possible at all levels. I would like to thank our unions for their full support throughout the process, the experts who evaluated the closed trial data and look forward to seeing the full results of the global trial.” 


Rugby Committee Chairman John Jeffrey added: "These law amendments are designed to improve the experience of those playing and watching the game at all levels and to avoid negative play where possible. The results of the closed trials were highly-encouraging with more ball out from the scrum, fewer penalties and better stability, which has a player welfare benefit too.”


Implementation this year will enable at least a year of evaluation before the moratorium on law amendment begins a year out from Rugby World Cup 2019. 


Law Review Group members: Alain Rolland; Rhys Jones; Mark Harrington (all World Rugby); Nigel Melville (RFU); Ben Whitaker (ARU); David Nucifora (IRFU); Didier Retiere (FFR); Dave Rennie (NZR), Francesco Ascione (FIR); Rachael Burford (IRPA); Chris Paterson (SRU); Pablo Bouza (UAR); Paul Adams (WRU); Chean Roux (SARU). Previous inputs within the process include Paul O'Connell (IRPA); Eddie Jones (RFU); Nigel Whitehouse (WRU) and Dr Martin Raftery (World Rugby).

Golf day success at Yale

Congratulations to the team of Eddie Higgins, Ian McDonnell, Craig Watterson and Ty Jones for winning with a gross score of -5. Well done men. Nearest the pin was Craig Watterson with Simon Soros winning the long drive.  

Bulldogs fall to a strong Brown side

There were many positives to take from the weekends defeat at the hands of a strong Brown side in the semi final of the Ivy Conference. Having gone into the half time at 5-5, thanks to a great team try, scored by Sophomore, Jimmy Wilkins, the performance dropped in the second half. On the 55 mins mark Brown scored a penalty and a try straight after, taking the score to 15-5. From that point, Brown found their Rhythm, scoring some excellent tries. The final score was 44-5 to Brown. This was a particularly poor finish to the game, and we have many learnings that we can take form this defeat. Onwards to Scared Heart next Sunday at Home in New Haven.

 The Yale players would like to thank Tama Dean for his time with the program



Players take away important medical / nutritional advice

On Sunday, February 26th, the rugby playing community were given a talk by the welfare staff. The talk began with an overview of the days presentations lead by the program's Physician, Dr David Kovacevic, MD. There are a great deal of change occurring and the players needed clarity on best course of action in all components of the welfare department. After David, the programs athletic trainers, Tony Simoes and Lauren Szmak discussed injury protocols and return to play policies. The final presentation was conducted by Mike Harris, CSCS, the Yale University Head of strength and conditioning. This presentation focused on 'nutrition for athletic performance'.  We are very grateful for the staff giving up their Sunday to present to the players. 

Yale Rugby weekend around the corner

One of the most important weekend's of the Yale Rugby calendar is on April 21st / 22nd. This is a terrific opportunity for all of the stakeholders to join together and celebrate the history and present activities of the program. Last year we had over 160 people at the Gala dinner at the commons. The weekend begins with the golf day on the Friday, and runs right through to the Saturday night.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Ralph Bosch at boschland@aol.com. Hurry, as the golf places in particular are filling up fast.

Bulldogs pre season camp at Vero Beach

In preparation for the competitive Spring term, the Bulldogs will be traveling to historic Dodgertown this March for a 3 day pre season camp. There is great HISTORY attached to the venue. With top class FACILITIES, it will be the ideal place for the players to prep, with a focus on RUGBY.

We finish the camp with a training session V local club side Indian River. This will be a good way to finished a system based camp.