USA Rugby Structure Series: Southern Competitive Region (CR)

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The Southern Competitive Region is a developing one with incredibly forward thinking clubs like the Okapi Wanderers to entire leagues that don’t report scores or post rosters and match reports.  The DII and DIII nature of the South may give it an identity crisis, maybe its Little Brother Syndrome but they need to understand how important they are in the development of rugby in the US.  The weather in the Southeast is ideal for fall through spring rugby and while the five northern CR’s are still digging themselves out of snow-covered pitches or dealing with bitter cold and rain the sun-soaked and mild Southern’s primary concern remains fire-ant hills; if you’ve never been in fire-ant country just trust me on this one.  So if you’re not familiar with the Southern CR…let me introduce you.

As mentioned, the highest level of competition is DII which is divided into four leagues; Carolina-Georgia, Florida, True South: North, and True South: South.  In DII there are two clubs to pay attention to in particular; while the Life Running Eagles D2, Miami Tridents, Chattanooga Rugby, and Memphis Blues may be more notable clubs the Okapi Wanderers, the Clayton Bootleggers, and Birmingham Vulcans are building academy systems, developing youth, and building for the future in near obscurity.  More light needs to be shed on these clubs making huge strides toward US rugby development.  The clubs in South CR DII are:

Carolinas-Georgia:

Life Running Eagles D2, Charlotte Rugby, Atlanta Renegades, and Atlanta Old White

Florida:

Miami Tridents, Boca Raton Buccaneers, Tampa Bay Krewe, Orlando Rugby, Miami Rugby, Naples Hammerheads, Fort Lauderdale Rugby, Jacksonville Rugby, and the Okapi Wanderers.

True South: North:

Chattanooga Rugby, Hopkinsville Headhunters, Knoxville Possums, and Nashville Rugby

True South: South:

Birmingham Vulcans, Memphis Blues, Baton Rouge Rugby, and Jackson Rugby.

Moving on to DIII the leagues change a bit as they are divided into; Carolinas: Coastal, Carolinas: Mountain, Carolinas: North, Florida, Georgia, True South: North, and True South: South.  The clubs that comprise these leagues are:

Carolinas: Coastal:

Southern Pines Rugby, Charleston Outlaws, Charlotte Barbarians, Columbia Olde Grey, and the Hilton Head Gators.

Carolinas: Mountain:

Greenville Griffins, Asheville Rugby, Triad Rugby, Tri Cities Mountaineers, and the Clinch River Crusaders.

Carolinas: North:

Chapel Hill Warriors, Cape Fear Rugby, Camp Lejeune Misfits, Clayton Bootleggers, and Fort Bragg Rugby.

Florida:

Gainesville Hogs, Sarasota Rugby, Palm Beach Panthers , Brevard Old Red Eye, Daytona Beach Coconuts, Bay Area Pelicans, Indian River Raptors, and the Tallahassee Conquistadors.

Georgia:

Savannah Shamrocks, Atlanta Renegades D3, North Atlanta Norsemen, High Country Rugby, Atlanta Old White D3, Gwinnett Lions, Augusta Maddogs, Athens Eagles, Columbus/Fort Benning Rugby, Atlanta Bucks, and Macon Love.

True South: North:

Huntsville Rugby, Chattanooga Rugby D3, Dry Gulch Renegades, and Gadsden Pioneers.

True South: South:

Battleship Rugby, Montgomery Yellowhammers , Crescent City Blues, Pensacola Aviators , and Okaloosa Islanders.

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