Category: News

Clayton RFC Expands Partnership with World Rugby Shop

CLAYTON, NC – After negotiations over the past month, the Clayton Rugby Football Club is proud to announce that they have come to an agreement on a long term deal with World Rugby Shop that expands upon the current partnership between the two organizations. The Clayton RFC first partnered with World Rugby Shop in 2015 and the partnership has since blossomed into a close and active relationship. Aside from providing equipment, uniforms, and apparel to the Clayton RFC’s players and fans, the two groups have expanded their collaboration to work together on the CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival and Player and Coaching Development Camps hosted in Clayton.

The agreement covers a broad range that sees both the Clayton RFC and World Rugby Shop enhance their mutually beneficial bonds. The previous agreement has been replaced by a more robust partnership that expands upon the terms of their original agreement. The biggest change is the focus on the development of the Johnston County Rugby Park, which is a joint project between the Clayton RFC and the Town of Wilson’s Mills, NC.

“World Rugby Shop is excited to enter into a partnership with Clayton RFC and Wilson’s Mills,” said Trevor Caterson, Multi-Sport Account Representative at Sports Endeavors, Inc. the parent company of World Rugby Shop. “As a relatively new club, Clayton has shown tremendous dedication to not only grow their club but to grow rugby as a whole in our home state of North Carolina. As a company, our core values are to inform, innovate and inspire the growth of rugby in the US and we believe the work that Clayton RFC is doing with their Wilson’s Mills project encompasses these values to the fullest.  We are very excited to be apart what the future holds! “

The new agreement is already in place and was launched with an updated team shop for the Bootleggers that now includes merchandise from Gilbert and Under Armour along with other fan shop apparel never before offered in the club’s team shop. The World Rugby Shop presence will also be noticeable when the Johnston County Rugby Park opens in 2018.

“We couldn’t be happier to come to a new agreement with World Rugby Shop,” said Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “We are excited to have them on board as we prepare to open a new chapter for the club with our new rugby facility. Their support over the past couple of years has been extraordinary and we look forward to continuing to grow and strengthen our relationship.”





Clayton RFC Partners with ECU Rugby

For immediate release

CLAYTON, North Carolina – The Clayton Rugby Football Club is proud to announce that they have entered into a formal partnership agreement with East Carolina University Rugby Club. The partnership agreement is the culmination of a relationship that has progressed over the past few years. The partnership provides a platform for the ECU to make use of resources, provided by the Clayton RFC, to help build on the strong rugby tradition at the university. It also creates post-collegiate opportunities for ECU grads to continue their playing careers with one of the fastest growing clubs in the United States.

“We’re excited to grow our relationship with ECU Rugby,” said Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “From the very early days of our club we’ve had great interactions with ECU Rugby and it has continued to grow from there. We’re honored that they are interested in formalizing our relationship and we’re looking forward to working with them even more closely in the future.”

The partnership provides a number of benefits to ECU Rugby including equipment donations, coaching and player development opportunities, and administrative support among many other items. As the partnership develops, more new initiatives are planned to come on line that are aimed at supporting and promoting ECU Rugby to High School players looking to play at the collegiate level. With the new Clayton Rugby Park soon to break ground and expected to open in mid-2018, the Clayton RFC hopes to arrange some collegiate showcase matches at the facility to put ECU Rugby in the spotlight for local players and fans.

“We here at East Carolina Rugby are proud to have a formal partnership with the Clayton Bootleggers,” said ECU Rugby President Austin Rabah. “For the last few years both our clubs strive to grow the game of rugby in our areas. With this partnership I believe that both our clubs will reach new heights.”

In recent years, multiple ECU grads have taken the pitch for the Bootleggers. A trend that both clubs hope to see continue and grow in the future. One of which is the active Recruiting Director for the Clayton RFC Gareth Davies.

“This is a great opportunity for both of our clubs to build and grow together,” added Davies. “Our top priority is helping ECU in any way that we can. If we end up with more ECU grads coming to play rugby in Clayton, that’s a bonus.”

Founded in 1975, East Carolina University Rugby is a Division II Collegiate Rugby program that plays in the Southern Rugby Conference and boasts a rich history. In recent years, the club has been to nationals in both XVs and 7s with their most recent trip being to the 7s Nationals in 2015.

The Clayton Rugby Football Club currently offers three teams with a fourth in development. Founded in 2013 and having played their first game in mid-2014, the club has grown quickly with a focus on a family friendly and community driven culture. The club currently fields the following teams: Competitive (D3), Social/Developmental (D4), Old Boys (Over 35), and they are in the process of developing a U20 program for recent High School graduates. The teams are about to begin pre-season training to prepare for the 2017/2018 playing season. New players are welcome at any time during the season. No experience is needed.

CottonTown 7s Crowns Champs

CLAYTON, NC – Another year, another great CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival is in the books. After hosting 18 teams for the inaugural tournament in 2016, the Clayton RFC brought in 30 teams for this year’s event. The tournament packed out East Clayton Community Park making it one of the largest summer tournaments played in the Carolinas. Over 60 matches were played throughout the day as the CottonTown 7s Crowned Champions in four separate divisions.

The Men’s Division started the day with fifteen teams. After the conclusion of pool play, teams were seeded based on their results into the Club Division and the Whole Hog (Social) Division. The Club Division was a hotly contested group that included the hometown Bootleggers who picked up the #3 seed after going undefeated in pool play. The Bootleggers soared past Camp Lejeune 36-10 in the quarterfinals, but ran up against a tough Chapel Hill side in the semifinals. The clubs were deadlocked at 19-19 when Chapel Hill scored a last minute try to move onto the finals with a 26-19 win. On the other side of the bracket, Southern Pines and Charlotte, who are both representing the Carolinas at the South 7s Championship next week, met in the semifinals. Southern Pines advanced to the championship with a 26-10 win. Just as the Club Championship was set to begin, weather struck and the match was delayed due to the lightening policy. In the true spirit of rugby, both clubs agreed to Co-Champion status instead of waiting out the storm to play the last match. Triad took home the Bowl (consolation bracket) title in the Club Division with a narrow victory over the Charlotte Barbarians. In the Whole Hog/Social Division it was the Tobacco Road Hobos, a group of NC State Alumni, that took home the title with a narrow victory over Fort Bragg. New Bern took home the Bowl trophy in the Social Division with a win over the Carolina Colts.

The Women’s Club Division was a new addition to the tournament and it was a great one. Six teams made the trip to Clayton this season and made for a welcome addition to the festival. The SheWolves and Camel Toes topped each of their respective pools getting an automatic bye into semifinals. The SheWolves, made up of NC State players, took on the Lady Toes in their semifinal and came away with a 36-0 victory to advance to the championship game. The Camel Toes took on Raleigh in the other semifinal and dispatched the Vipers to advance to the finals. In the Championship game, the SheWolves and Toes battled back and forth with a late score from the Toes sealing a 24-21 win and the title. The Columbia Bombshells took home the Bowl trophy in the Women’s Divisions.

The High School Division featured some of the top up and coming players in the Carolinas. Coming out of pool play, Myers Park and Chapel Hill were the top two seeds in the tournament. Both sides continued their strong play all the way to the championship match. Myers Park toppled the local Clayton Copperheads in the semifinals to advance to the title match. Chapel Hill took down South Mecklenberg to pave their way into the finals. The Championship match didn’t disappoint as the two sides traded shots with the match coming down to a conversion as Myers Park won the High School Championship with a slender 28-26 victory. In the High School Bowl final Cape Fear defeated the North Raleigh Redhawks.

“It was a great day for rugby,” said Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “I’d like to thank all of our volunteers and sponsors for their support. I’d also like to thank all of the teams, coaches, players, fans, and vendors that made this a wonderful event. I’m not sure how we’re going to top this one next year, but we’re sure going to try.”

Tournament sponsors for the CottonTown 7s include Deep River Brewing Company, World Rugby Shop, and the Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau. The 3rd Annual CottonTown 7s Rugby Festival has been set for Saturday July 14, 2018. Stay tuned for details as they become available early in 2018. The Clayton RFC is aiming to make the next CottonTown 7s the first big event hosted at the new Clayton Rugby Park.

2nd Annual CottonTown 7s Scores

Field 1
Game Kickoff Division Pool Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
1 900 Men’s A Clayton 38 New Bern 10
2 920 Men’s B Charlotte 21 Fort Bragg 0
3 940 Men’s C Camp Lejeune 38 Clayton OB 7
4 1000 Men’s A Clayton 24 Barbarians 0
5 1020 Men’s B Charlotte 24 Triad 21
6 1040 Men’s C Camp Lejeune 17 Columbia 26
7 1100 Men’s A Barbarians 22 New Bern 12
8 1120 Men’s B Triad 14 Fort Bragg 5
9 1140 Men’s C Columbia 34 Clayton OB 7
Game Kickoff Division Title Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
10 1200 M-Social Cup Quarterfinal #9 Seed – Hobos BYE
11 1220 M-Social Cup Quarterfinal #10 Seed – Colts 12 #15 Seed – Clayton OB 22
12 1240 M-Social Cup Quarterfinal #11 Seed – Bragg 45 #14 Seed – Wombats 0
13 1300 M-Social Cup Quarterfinal #12 Seed – New Bern 7 #13 Seed – Old Toe 17
14 1320 M-Social Bowl Semifinal New Bern BYE
15 1340 M-Social Bowl Semifinal Colts 34 Wombats 10
16 1400 M-Social Cup Semifinal Hobos 36 Old Toe 14
17 1420 M-Social Cup Semifinal Clayton OB 7 Fort Bragg 34
18 1440 M-Social Bowl Final New Bern 12 Colts 7
19 1500 M-Social Cup Final Hobos 22 Fort Bragg 17
Field 2
Game Kickoff Division Pool Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
1 900 M-Club D Southern Pines 29 Hobos 5
2 920 W-Club A Raleigh 21 Southern Pines 21
3 940 M-Club E Chapel Hill 59 Wombats 0
4 1000 W-Club B Old Toe 17 SheWolves 26
5 1020 M-Club D Southern Pines 47 Old Toe 10
6 1040 W-Club A Raleigh 0 Camel Toes 36
7 1100 M-Club E Chapel Hill 45 Carolina Colts 0
8 1120 W-Club B Old Toe 12 Columbia 20
9 1140 M-Club D Hobos 31 Old Toe 26
10 1200 W-Club A Camel Toes 37 Southern Pines 7
11 1220 M-Club E Carolina Colts 22 Wombats 7
12 1240 W-Club B SheWolves 19 Columbia 10
Game Kickoff Division Title Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
13 1300 M-Club Cup Quarterfinal Chapel Hill 29 Barbarians 7
14 1320 M-Club Cup Quarterfinal Southern Pines 36 Triad 10
15 1340 M-Club Cup Quarterfinal Clayton 36 Lejeune 10
16 1400 M-Club Cup Quarterfinal Columbia 12 Charlotte 24
17 1420 M-Club Bowl Semifinal Barbarians 24 Lejeune 14
18 1440 M-Club Bowl Semifinal Triad 28 Columbia 10
19 1500 M-Club Cup Semifinal Chapel Hill 26 Clayton 19
20 1520 M-Club Cup Semifinal Southern Pines 26 Charlotte 10
21 1540 M-Club Bowl Final Barbarians 17 Triad 24
22 1600 M-Club Cup Final Chapel Hill Southern Pines
Field 3
Game Kickoff Division Pool Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
1 900 HS A Cape Fear 7 Chapel Hill 24
2 920 HS B Thunder 5 Clayton 19
3 940 HS C Tropic 7 Redhawks 33
4 1000 HS A Cape Fear 7 Birds of Prey 26
5 1020 HS B Thunder 19 South Meck 19
6 1040 HS C Tropic 7 Myers Park 45
7 1100 HS A Chapel Hill 33 Birds of Prey 12
8 1120 HS B Clayton 10 South Meck 22
9 1140 HS C Redhawks 0 Myers Park 35
Game # Kickoff Division Title Team 1 Score Team 2 Score
10 1200 HS Bowl Play In Cape Fear 22 Tropic 5
11 1220 HS Bowl Semifinal Redhawks W Thunder
12 1240 HS Cup Semifinal Myers Park 33 Clayton 0
13 1300 HS Bowl Semifinal Cape Fear 22 Birds of Prey 7
14 1320 HS Cup Semifinal Chapel Hill 29 South Meck 0
15 1340 W-Club Cup Quarterfinal Southern Pines 10 Lady Toes 31
16 1400 HS Bowl Final Redhawks 12 Cape Fear 26
17 1420 W-Club Cup Quarterfinal Bombshells Raleigh W
18 1440 HS Cup Final Myers Park 28 Chapel Hill 26
19 1500 W-Club Cup Semifinal SheWolves 36 Lady Toes 0
20 1520 W-Club Cup Semifinal Camel Toes W Raleigh
21 1540 W-Club Bowl Final Southern Pines Bombshells W
22 1600 W-Club Cup Final SheWolves 21 Camel Toes 24