Ruggerfest: Aspen Gents 35s to play Friday
The Aspen Times
The seniors put a tint of grey on the opening day of Ruggerfest 2015.
The 48th annual Ruggerfest rugby tournament kicked off at Wagner Rugby Stadium in downtown Aspen on Thursday, returning rugby action to one of the most celebrated rugby venues in North America.
As per tradition, the senior divisions kicked off play with abbreviated games at Wagner, which was out of circulation last year when the turf was undergoing renovation.
But the thick grass field at Wagner returned to its rugby roots Thursday with games in the 55s (age 55 and older) division and the 45s division.
The Virginia Cardinals and the all-star Misfits squared off in the 45s.
Three entries played in the 55s — Boulder, Florida Old Boys and Virginia Cardinals. All three clubs have sent senior clubs to Ruggerfest for many years.
Play will change gears Friday with the competitive 35s division, including an entry representing the host Gentlemen of Aspen. The Aspen Gents 35s include many players from the national championship Aspen rugby teams from the 1990s and 2000s.
The 35s division will include the Blues Brothers from Kansas City, Atlanta, the all-star Misfits and 50 Shades of Gray from Tennessee.
They will square off in games at Wagner starting at 8 a.m. Friday.
The Aspen Gents 35s are scheduled to open Ruggerfest against 50 Shades of Gray at 9:40 a.m. at Wagner. Aspen will play the Misfits at 12:10 p.m. Friday at Wagner.
At 3:30, Aspen will play Atlanta.
And at 6 p.m. Friday, the Aspen Gents 35s will take on the Kansas City Blues Brothers.
The two 35s teams with the best record on the day will advance to the Sunday finals in the 35s.
A trio of games in the 50s division also will be played Friday at Wagner. Three teams are entered in the 50s — Misfits, Virginia Cardinals and CSOB.
Action will move up one more gear Saturday when the open division teams play at Wagner and Rio Grande Park in Aspen.
The defending Ruggerfest champion Glendale Raptors will play in an 8 a.m. kickoff Saturday against the Salt Lake City Grundels.
The Gents of Aspen also will field a team in the open division. Their first game will be against New Orleans at 9 a.m. Saturday at Wagner Park. Other teams in Aspen’s pool include Kansas City and the Denver Barbarians.
The other pool includes Glendale, Salt Lake City, Boulder and the Misfits.
Saturday also will feature a women’s rugby exhibition match at Wagner at 3 p.m. The women’s game will send Boulder against the Colorado all-stars.
Another women’s match will be played Sunday, championship day at Ruggerfest 2015.
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