Season Opens in Detroit March 10th

The Pittsburgh Harlequins will begin the 2012 Rugby year travelling to Michigan. The Harlequins will play the Detroit Tradesmen on March 10th in a “Friendly” warmup match in anticipation of National Championship playoff games in April.

Both teams qualified for the playoffs in the fall, with winning seasons in their Territorial Unions- Detroit in the Midwest Rugby Union, and the Harlequins in the Mid-Atlantic Rugby Union. Detroit will travel to the Cincinnati Wolfhounds April 7th, while the Harlequins will head North to Boston to play either the Irish Wolfhounds, or Mystic River April 27th.

Pittsburgh, which is always challenged with training conditions in the early spring, is enjoying a mild winter as well as coping in other ways.

“We run the stairs in some very large buildings, ” says Allan Murray. “36 floors of burpees and pushups build some good team camaraderie- as well as shaking off some winter cobwebs”.

In addition to ‘Cathedral Runs’, the team also secures space weekly at Greentree Sportsplex in order to get some game cohesion and instruction from their coach, Australian native Steve Walsh.

“The playoffs have not been an annual destination for us,” said Murray, “But we are looking to change that. We’re very proud of where we are, and we plan to work hard to stay there.” The team has made it as far as the top 8 in the country, in a sport where there may be 200 Division 1 teams.

“The top clubs in the country pull players from many overseas nations where rugby is a way of life as soon as you learn to walk, “ said Sean Madden, former president of the club. “It’s a source of pride that we can stand toe to toe with these teams in a team made up of players almost entirely from Allegheny County.”