Coaches NewsTeam Announcements


Spring Season Update

Dear Stallions Families:

Weekly Spring Season Update – On March 20th, USA Rugby announced that they have suspended all rugby indefinitely. At that time, they also announced the cancelation of a number of their sanctioned national championships. In the last 48 hours, the Indiana and Ohio rugby unions have canceled their Spring seasons.

Our leadership team is hoping that this situation will improve soon. That said, any realistic evaluation of where we stand now is not optimistic. The first step back to rugby will clearly be when students are allowed to return to school. Until that happens, no return to play is possible. If that were to happen, the next step would be USA Rugby lifting its suspension of play.

Looking forward, your coaching staff is committed to the continuation of Stallions Rugby. We are planning to march in the Arlington Heights July 4th Parade. The raffle drawing has been postponed until that date.

If you have raffle stubs and money collected, please mail it to Coach Bergman at 1146 N. Hickory Ave., AH 60004. The success of the raffle is important to establish a strong financial base for the club’s future while at the same time allowing us to create the best future outcome for our club.

Rugby Illinois Refereeing

Rugby Illinois, in association with the CARFU Referee Society, wishes to recruit 8 high school age players to agree to qualify as referees and be available to referee games at the middle school festivals in the spring 2020 season. Rugby Illinois will pay for the referee certification course and pay each referee $75 per MS festival (regardless of the number of minutes refereed). Rugby Illinois will pay the High School referees after each festival. The CARFU Referee Society will provide referee coaches at each Middle School Festivals to provide support, coaching and guidance to the young referees.

The following is the schedule of the Middle School Festivals in 2020 

sun 4/5 - Scrimmage Festival
Sat 4/11 - Seeding Tournament
Sun 4/19 - Regular Season Match 1
Sun 4/26 - Regular Season Match 2
Sun 5/3 - Regular Season Match 3
Sat 5/9 - Regular Season Match 4
Sun 5/17 - Regular Season Match 5
Sun 5/24 - Open 
Sun 5/31 - RIL MS State Finals

High School players interested in participating in this program should send an email expressing their interest to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Please pass this information on to High School students who may be interested.  We would also like to hear from students who already referee another sport.

Why Football Players Should Play Rugby

Why Should Football Players Play Rugby in the Spring!!

Of course we in the Rugby community think it is the greatest of team sports.  We are clearly biased.  Here’s why, as a football player, you should use Rugby as your Spring athletic activity:

Ball handling skills – The rugby ball is generally the same shape as a football.  Every practice session and game will give you multiple opportunities to pass and catch the ball, because….

In rugby, (offensive lineman and defensive players take note) EVERY player gets to run with the ball.  On the football field, this will help you to be more secure in ball carrying and contact situations.

Evasive running - As a ball carrier in rugby, you will be challenged to evade would be tacklers and be given plenty of opportunities to attempt to break tackles.

Hone your tackling skills - Conversely, you will get plenty of practice making close quarter and open field tackles.  See below for details on how the coaching and officiating of rugby makes the tackle situation as safe as possible.

Outstanding conditioning – High school games consist of two 35 minutes halves of near continuous play.  No huddles.  Games are challenging.  So are practices to get you ready to play the game well.  This will get you in remarkable shape for your summer football camp.  Far better than any other spring sport.  According to former Hersey All-Conference Two-Way lineman Spencer Krueger, “Rugby 100% improved my conditioning for football as well as improving my tackling technique.”

Driving an opponent backward – This is an important aspect of both football and rugby.  It’s one reason football players adapt quickly and perform well in rugby and an why football players improve after a season or two of rugby.

It’s competitive – Teamwork, discipline and performance in pressurized situations characterize both sports.  Any ambitious athlete should be looking for any opportunity to develop these character traits.

Click here to hear from a high school football program that benefited greatly from relationship of these two great sports:  


Become a successful multi-sport athlete - Some of the most successful college football coaches recognize the benefit of playing multiple sports, Nick Saban of Alabama and Urban Meyer of Ohio State to name just two:

And you can play rugby in college!  Stallions Alumni have gone on to play at these colleges/universities: Ohio State, Illinois, Purdue, Iowa, Colorado, St. Mary’s (CA), Illinois State, Wisconsin, Louisville, Davenport, Washington (St. Louis), Charleston, Western Illinois, Northern Illinois, Lake Forest and Wisconsin/Platteville.

Sign-Up Day for the 2019 Spring season in January 12 at Camelot Park in Arlington Heights from 9 AM to Noon.  Indoor practice starts on January 13th.  Call or text 847-845-4982 if you have any questions.

Contact Safety in Rugby


In 1823, during a soccer match at the Rugby School in England, William Webb Ellis picked up the ball and ran with it toward his opponent’s goal.  Little did he know that he was about to invent a new sport, Rugby, which would be played around the world and eventually morph into American Football…And little did he know that he was going to get tackled!

History is just a small connection these sports share.  Reality is that there are numerous and significant differences, not the least of which are the tackling techniques utilized in American Football and Rugby.

We frequently hear the cliché “Rugby is just football without pads”.  This is usually attached to further statements about the level of sanity of those who have taken up our great sport.

There is no debate about the contact nature of rugby.  The coaching and officiating of the fundamental elements of the game have served to minimize the risk of injury.  It is not the mayhem the novice observer perceives.  Here is a summary of these elements:

Head-to-Side tackling technique – The primary core skill in granting a rugby coach certification is his/her ability to teach this skill.  The tackler leads with the shoulder with the head directed to the ball carrier;s side and behind the hip, thus taking the head out of harm’s way.

Shoulder drive and arm wrap -  The tackler is not allowed to “cross body block” to make the tackle.  The arms must wrap the ball carrier to complete the tackle which requires a shoulder and leg drive to be effective.

Legislation of high tackles – Tackling a ball carrier above the upper chest is penalized.  Blatant and/or repeated will lead to the guilty party being removed from the match.

Continuity of play – The continuous nature of play in rugby (no huddles) induces a level of fatigue that reduces the speed of players engagement in tackle situations.

Dump tackling is illegal – Picking up and “dumping” the ball carrier is illegal and punished as severly as above the shoulder contact.

No off-the-ball contact – There is no blocking or contact away from the ball carrier.  Therefore, there are no blind hits, away from the play, on an unsuspecting player.

Despite these differences, there are similarities and carryover skills and activities that make American Football and Rugby a great combination for the contact sport athlete.

Look for future articles:  The Scrum is Not a Mess, How Rugby Improves the Football Athlete and Football, Wrestling and Rugby: A Combination for Success

Letter from Spencer Krueger

Stallions Family: Here's a note from Alum (Hersey, 2016) Spencer Krueger, who is currently in New Zealand participating in a high performance academy with the Canterbury Crusaders.

Hello all,

I cannot believe that I have already been down here for a month, the time is flying past. When I first arrived and started the camp I thought that they were going to tell me to forget everything that I had previously known and teach me to do everything a different way.This couldn't have been further from the truth . While they are showing me new ways and techniques to do things, the real way they do things down here is practice the little things over and over again until its perfect.

While our main coach is Grant Keenan (former Black Ferns coach), we have guest coaches come in who coach the under 19 and under 21 Canterbury provincial team. In addition to this I am able to watch the Crusaders practice and often times do the same drills that I am doing Now that the All Blacks are finished with their series with France, people like Owen Franks and Kieran Reed are back with the Crusaders, so I am very excited to see how they train and possibly meet them.

Club matches are going great and I have played 3 full games since arriving. I did not play this past weekend due to a strained abdomen but expect that I will be back next week. The boys however pulled out a big win over Burnside (our huge rival but no could tell me why, just that they hate them) and we take on a tough Shirley side next weekend who have a Number 8 that also plays professionally in Japan, so it should be an excellent game.

I will continue to send updates on Facebook,

Spencer Krueger

Path to the Eagles

Here is a link to a very good description of USA Rugby's plan to move our best players into National Team programs.  If you want to know what the requirements are for players who aspire to this level of play, live up to their Golden Truths outlined on the first pagfe of the document.

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Coaching Staff Contributors:

Arlington Stallions Rugby Club Coach Bergman Coach Bergman

Arlington Stallions Rugby Club Coach Pateras Coach Pateras


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