Tag: Rugby

Home Stretch for the Johnston County Rugby Park

WILSON’S MILLS, NC – After well over a year of negotiations, planning, and waiting the time has finally come. Last week, ground broke on the entrance to the Wilson’s Mills Community Park and Johnston County Rugby Park. The park is a joint effort between the Town of Wilson’s Mills and the Clayton Rugby Football Club. When completed, the park will include a playground, bathroom facilities, pavilion area, parking, rugby fields, and multi-purpose field space. The joint effort is the first of it’s kind in North Carolina and one of few in the entire United States.

The rugby portion of the facility will include one full international sized rugby pitch with permanent professional grade goal posts. Along with the Championship Pitch, the facility will also have two additional multi-purpose fields that are large enough to fit full size rugby fields. Those fields will have ground sleeves in place with removable goal posts. The multi-purpose fields will provide the flexibility needed to host youth rugby, other field sports, and provide additional recreational space to the community. The Johnston County Rugby Park will provide much needed rugby space in an area where rugby is growing at an exponential rate.

“As Johnston County continues to grow with the Triangle Region, we see the efforts of the Clayton Rugby Football Club as an opportunity to become the “go-to” destination for rugby teams and players from the Triangle, the Southeast United States and beyond,” said Chris Johnson, Director of Johnston County Economic Development. “Locally, the facility will provide much needed additional recreational space for our citizens.”

Through private donations, sponsors, fundraising, donated labor, and a generous grant from the Johnston County Visitor’s Bureau, the Clayton Rugby Football Club has raised approximately $350,000 towards the project. World Rugby Shop has also signed on as the corporate sponsor for the facility.

“We’ve been extremely fortunate to have so many wonderful people involved with this project,” said Clayton RFC President Ted Hardy. “Starting with the Town of Wilson’s Mills, our sponsors, contractors, and those that have already donated to the project. Without them this project would not be possible.”

The full project has been divided into three phases with Phase 1 of the project focused on the installation of the fields and parking lots. Future project phases include the construction of a covered grandstand at the Championship Pitch and a full service Clubhouse/Community Building. As the Clayton Rugby Football Club prepares to begin the grading process on Phase 1 of the project, the club enters into a final push for fundraising to push past their Phase 1 goal. The club has worked hard to secure the bulk of the funds needed to complete Phase 1 and are aiming to raise another $15,000 before the end of 2017. This push will complete fundraising on Phase 1 of the project and prime the pump for Phase 2.

The Clayton RFC purposely chose not to reach out to the community, members, or fans until this point. The club’s Board of Directors aimed to prove that they could raise the bulk of the funds before reaching out to members and fans closest to the program. The goal was to save the group to push efforts over the top as opposed to having them kick start efforts and then have to wait well over a year before construction began.

To help assist with the final Phase 1 push, the Clayton RFC has created a campaign through FundRazr. Anyone interested in donating to the cause can follow this link for further details. Donations of all sizes are accepted. The club has also set up incentive levels that come with special club gifts as a token of gratitude for your donations. Anyone is welcome to donate to the Johnston County Rugby Park. Whether you are a member of the Clayton RFC, a friend of the club, a citizen of Johnston County, a fan of rugby, or someone that believes in the power of building strong communities.

The Clayton Rugby Football Club is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity and all donations are tax deductible.

“This is a massive project that can have an equally massive impact on the community and rugby here in Johnston County,” added Hardy. “We can’t wait to share this with everyone!”

Work is expected to continue on the Johnston County Rugby Park throughout this Fall with the goal of opening the facility sometime in 2018.

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.