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River City Rugby celebrates 40 years this weekend

by Matt Marquardt –

MASON CITY – Rugby fanatics helped celebrate 40 years of the game in Mason City this weekend.

River City Rugby celebrated its 40th anniversary with a social held Friday night at the Clear Lake OP.

(PHOTO: Isaac Luten of St. Paul, MN; Roger Schinagel of Mason City and Bill Haase of Mason City enjoy a day of rugby and comradery  Saturday at the Hoover School playing fields.)

Click here to view more photos.

The festivities continued Saturday at noon at the organization’s clubhouse and playing field, where an “Old Boys” match was held for the sixth year in a row.  Friends and family sat and watched the good-natured game on a warm afternoon.  No score was kept.  Food and drink was served to rugby enthusiasts from all over after the game.

Bill Haase, President of River City Rugby, said that the oldest players got a shot to play first.  There were some special rules set as well.  For example, a player in red shorts could not be tackled, and a player in gold shorts wasn’t to be touched at all.

Haase said that the River City Rugby Team has traveled all over the world to play in rugby festivals, including destinations like Australia, San Diego, Scotland and a trip is planned for Hawaii.  Long-lasting friendships had formed over the years and this yearly event helps bring the old friends back together.

The team is always looking for new recruits as well.  To inquire about possibly playing for River City Rugby you can contact Haase at

River City Rugby was established in Mason City in the Fall of 1972. The original team consisted of 17 area gentlemen that practiced and played their matches at Roosevelt Elementary School grounds. The record for their first season was 0-4. The current team’s matches and practices are held at Hoover Elementary School grounds. River City Rugby was one of the first six organized Rugby teams in the State of Iowa. Currently there are around 30 teams including college teams for both men and women.

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Hi, Matt!!! It was great to get to meet you yesterday in person!! Thanks so much for coming to the pitch and giving RCRFC such fantastic support! Great article and pictures!! Our fall season will be coming up soon, so you are welcome to join us anytime!! Thanks again! Also, a huge shout-out to Bill Haase for making sure this all happens—and to the youngin’s of the club for carrying on the Tradition!! It all made for a weekend that I won’t ever forget!! River City Rugby is in great hands and will be strong for years to come!!

this anonymous post was me…but it wouldn’t read my “captcha” code, so it posted it as anonymous! LOL! But Great Job Matt!!! Thanks again!

Matt, thanks so much for the excellent coverage on our Club’s event today! It is greatly appreciiated by our current team and all of our alumni from the last 40 years.

Yay Bill!!!!!

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