Who are Today’s Cleveland Rovers?


The Cleveland Rovers currently play in the Ohio Rugby Union, part of the Midwest Rugby Union.  Two 15s seasons are played: the Fall Season in which are League Matches and the Spring Season where exhibitions, tournaments, playoff matches, and the Annual Cleveland Cup are scheduled.  2 full Men's sides are typically fielded. We also play a shortened version of the game, known as Sevens, during the summer months.  The Rovers also operate their Community and Charitable initiatives through Rovers Incorporated, their 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization.

 

The Rovers consist of a diverse mix of people with various backgrounds and careers including; business owners, salespeople, lawyers, engineers, bankers, PhDs, pipe fitters, and civil servants, to name a few.  For the past few years, the Rovers have hosted notable players from Scotland and France.  Players with all levels of Rugby experience and knowledge are welcome including men who haven’t played since high school and college, but no experience is required to join the club!  Everyone who shows gets to play.  The Cleveland Rovers were founded by a group of guys who shared a common bond, Rugby.  We play and practice to develop ourselves as citizens of Cleveland and the world, to win, and for the overall enjoyment of the game.  We truly Work Hard, Play Harder.  Then Repeat.


Every story has its beginning.  The Rovers have been kicking strong since 1978.  Read below for a couple of articles from the early ‘90s that outline our roots.
Cleveland Rovers Rugby Club – Article 1990


The Cleveland Rovers have had an unusually strong career since their beginning in 1978.  Founded by Joe Zone of Kent State, Dave Lyons of Ohio University, and Mike Coyne of Ohio Wesleyan University, the Rovers had a fantastic opening year going 10 and 0.

 

The last 13 years have shown that The Cleveland Rovers Rugby Club is a force not to be taken lightly at any time. From recent and past 15’s play success to the Rovers new found explosive success in 7's play, the Rovers have many "Cups" in their possession. 

 

Beginning with their 10 and 0 initial season, the Rovers went on to First Runner Up Title in the Ohio 15's in '79. Then in ‘83, the Rovers came in 2nd place in the prestigious St. Patrick's Tournament held each Spring in Washington. D.C., where over 45 teams from around North America participated this year.

 

The Rovers have traveled to The United Kingdom twice for competition; once in

'84 and then again last Spring in '89.

 

The Rovers won the Ohio 15's Jr. Cup in '87 and was runner up in '88.

 

This Spring, the Rovers came in 2nd place in the Midwest Jr. Cup Tournament held in Toledo, Ohio.

 

The Rovers will be a Senior Side Division team this Fall.

 

The Rovers have consistently held two sides of strong players for each contest, and have enjoyed noted “Select” players over the years. 

 

Tom Jones, Dave Lyons, and Dave and Kenny Wanger were Ohio Selects in the early 80's. The Rovers have now had two noted selects of Chris Botson to the "Under 25" Select side, and most notably is Jason Fox who was selected to participate as a representative for the United States Rugby Union as an "Eagle" 7's player.

 

The Rovers won the Cleveland Cup both in '87 and '88 and are looking to regain the Cup again this year after losing it back to The Cleveland Rugby Club last year.

 

The Cleveland Cup Benefit, in its first year this year, was conceived by the Rovers as a benefit to be continued every year hereafter with a new beneficiary being chosen each year.

 

If you, or someone you know is interested in playing Rugby - even if you've never played before - with some of the finest men on Cleveland's West Side, then come join them for a practice every Tuesday and Thursday at Impett Park off of Warren Road in Cleveland, right by 1-90, at 6:30 pm - They'd love to have you join them - they'll even teach you the rules!


THE CLEVELAND ROVERS AND THE HONORABLE OLD ROVERS RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB

Article 1992


The Cleveland Rovers have had an unusually successful history since their beginning in 1978.  Founded by Joe Zone of Kent State University, Dave Lyons of Ohio University, and Mike Coyne of Ohio Wesleyan University, the Rovers had a fantastic opening year, finishing 10 and 0.

 

The last 14 years have shown that the Cleveland Rovers RFC is a force to be reckoned with.  They have won championships in many tournaments, most notably The Ohio 7’s which he Rovers have won three consecutive times and of which they are the current champions. The Rovers are also the current Cleveland Cup champions, having won the coveted award four out of the last five years.  With second place finishes in the Ohio 15's, the Washington Irish St. Patrick's Day tournament, the Midwest Junior Cup and the Midwest 7's in recent years, the Rovers can truly say they arc one of the most successful teams in Ohio.

 

Cleveland Rovers players have also excelled individually.  This year's Ohio Select Side, considered one of the finest in the Midwest, included four Rovers.  Most notable among the Rovers' current select side players are Chris Botson, who was selected to play for the Midwest Thunderbirds in this year's Interterritorial Championships, and Jason Fox, who has twice been invited to try out for the United States' national team, the Eagles.

 

The Rovers are a member of the prestigious and competitive Senior League of the Midwest Rugby Football Union, and each week field two teams.  The Rovers also have an active alumni or "Old Boys" team, the Honorable Old Rovers (HORS). In addition to a full slate of competitions from February to November, the Rovers also enjoy a long list of social functions, including fundraisers, banquets, clambakes and parties.

 

The Cleveland Cup Benefit, now in its third year, was conceived by the Rovers in 1990 as a way to contribute to others here in Cleveland. It has been carried on by the Cleveland RFC and this year's host, the Cleveland Area Touring Side RFC.

 

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about the fine game of Rugby - even if you've never played before - come join some of the finest men on Cleveland's west side.  Practices are on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at Impett Park on W.

153rd Street.  They'd love to have you join them - they'll even teach you the rules!



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