Aspen Ruggerfest relocates to Rio Grande Park |

Aspen Ruggerfest relocates to Rio Grande Park

Dale Strode
The Aspen Times
The Gentlemen of Aspen will square off against the Denver Barbarians at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wagner Park.
Dale Strode/The Aspen times |

Are you ready to ruck and roll?

Ruggerfest is back.

The 48th annual festival of rugby returns to Aspen with matches starting Thursday.

A total of 23 rugby clubs are scheduled to compete over the next four days as rugby players from around the world take to the pitch in Aspen.

And that’s where the 48th annual Ruggerfest will be unique.

Because of the field renovation project at Wagner Park, all games in the 2014 Ruggerfest tournament will be played at Rio Grande Park in Aspen.

Teams have been aware of the field situation in Aspen since the 2013 Ruggerfest.

Play this year will be staged in five divisions: open, 35s, 45s, 50s, 55s and 60s.

A special 60-and-over exhibition match will be played on championship Sunday at Rio Grande Park.

Matches will begin at 9 a.m. Thursday in the 45s and 55s divisions.

Matches will be held on the hour with the final match today set for 6 p.m.

On Friday, the 35s and 55s will play at Rio Grande. Matches will start at 8 a.m. Friday.

On Saturday, the open division will begin play starting at 8 a.m.

Matches will be held all day long.

On championship Sunday, play will begin at 8 a.m. and continue through 5 p.m.

The final in the 35s is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. Sunday.

The featured open division finaal will begin at 3:30 p.m.

Teams entered this year include the four-time defending Ruggerfest champion Denver Barbarians.

Other traditional Colorado entries will compete in the 2014 Ruggerfest.

There also are teams entered from California (Olympic Club and Misfits) and Virginia (Cardinals).

There is a squad from Florida set to compete along with a touring side from England (The Willing).

Last year, the Denver (Crossfit Colfax) Barbarians, powered through Ruggerfest for their fourth consecutive open division championship.

The Barbos beat the rival Glendale Raptors 26-15 in the wet and muddy championship game at Wagner Park last year.

Also last year, the Aspen Gents 35s won their division at Ruggerfest.

The Gents 35s beat the Richmond Heavies from the United Kingdom 39-18 in the 35s final in Aspen last year.

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