Gents of Aspen to make home debut
The Aspen Times
The new edition of the Gentlemen of Aspen will make its home debut Saturday.
The local rugby club will host Steamboat Springs in a 1 p.m. contest Saturday at Rio Grande Park in Aspen.
The following weekend, Aspen will host the Misfits All-Stars, based in Denver, in the annual Fourth of July weekend rugby game.
That contest will be played at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 2, at Wagner Park in downtown Aspen.
The Gents, part of the summer tradition of rugby in Aspen, opened the season last weekend with a 49-21 victory at Breckenridge.
The Gentlemen of Aspen feature a host of new visiting players for the summer, including several international players as well as a number of college players.
“We’ve had a really good turnout of players this summer,” said Cameron McIntyre, the Gents’ head coach and a veteran of Aspen’s national championship rugby clubs. “We’ve got some Irish guys this year and players from South Africa and Zimbabwe.”
And in a continuing effort to draw college players to Aspen for a summer of rugby development, McIntyre said several are signed up for this year.
“We’ve got some guys from several colleges,” he said, adding that a pair of players are from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
In addition, a group of players from Humboldt State University in California came to Aspen for summer rugby.
Middle Tennessee also is represented on the Gents’ roster for the year, McIntyre said.
“They’re extremely sound players. They have two years left to help their college program,” the Gents’ coach said.
He said the experienced players, including the internationals, help with the training sessions for the Gentlemen. They are able to help in drills and instruction.
He said South African Grant Prior has added tremendous experience and talent for the Aspen rugby club.
The new edition Gents are eager for Saturday’s game to continue their early season progress, McIntyre said.
He added that the Junior Gents also will begin training with the regular Gents at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Rio Grande Park.
Senior-level players and high school players are invited to the training sessions to learn the sport, McIntyre said.
He said the Gents are particularly excited about the July 2 holiday game and the traditionally huge crowd that turns out for the rugby games in Aspen.
Plus, he said, that game attracts a lot of former rugby players who are in town for the holiday weekend.
The Aspen summer rugby schedule includes games against Vail and Defiance (Glenwood Springs) as well as the annual Cowpie Classic Tournament.
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