At a very wet Steuber Stadium, Stanford Rugby hosted the University of Arizona as they look to develop relationships with PAC Rugby teams. With both teams adapting to the wet weather, there was some open and expansive rugby that was matched with strong defense. Stanford looked to build the pressure, but faced a torrid time with an Arizona defense adept at contesting the ball. In the end, the spirited affair finished with Arizona running out winners 25-12.
Stanford Men’s Rugby will have a packed Fifteens schedule for the winter competing in the Pacific Western Conference and playing matches against PAC Rugby Rivals. The team will be aiming to make it back to play-offs after missing out narrowly last season.
The season will open with a double header weekend with a match on Friday, January 20 against University of Arizona and Saturday, January 21 against Santa Clara. With both opponents D1A schools, it will be a high pressure tune-up for the Cardinal before the league season begins.
The league season opens against two-time defending USA Rugby D1AA National Champions – UC Davis. The match will provide an immediate benchmark at the beginning of the season. The following week, Stanford travels to San Francisco State to play a team that improved throughout the course of 2016.
The second double header of the season will be on Friday, February 10 against Arizona State before backing up on Saturday, February 11 against Fresno State. The following week on Saturday, February 18 the team will travel to Reno before a bye over Family Weekend.
The team will pick-up after the bye against San Jose Sate on Saturday, March 4. Before a trip to Chico State on Saturday, March 11. The final midweek match, Stanford will travel to meet traditional rivals Cal on Wednesday, March 15. The season will wrap-up by hosting UCSC on Saturday, March 18.
The Pacific Western Conference play-offs will be hosted by first seeded team.
Stanford, CA – Stanford Rugby welcomes Richard Ashfield as an Assistant Coach. Ashfield joins the Cardinal after many years in the northeast including stints with Beantown Women’s Rugby and Boston Irish Wolfhounds. He will bring his experience and knowledge to The Farm as an integral member of the coaching staff for both teams.
“Coach Ashfield brings experience and success to the program,” says Josh Sutcliffe, Director of Rugby. “He will help create a great environment for players to learn rugby and develop their abilities.”
Originally from Northern Ireland, Ashfield started as Ulster & Ireland Rugby Football Union development officer after a childhood of playing experience. He arrived in Providence to play for three months and continues to grow rugby in the USA fifteen years later. In addition to coaching at the club level, Ashfield will continue as the skills coach for the USA Rugby Women’s National Team as they prepare for the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2017.
Ashfield has experienced coaching success at The Farm, as Providence College won the 2005 USA Rugby Women’s Collegiate Division 2 National Championship held at Steuber Rugby Stadium. After a successful seven year stint, he moved to coach senior women’s rugby at Beantown Women’s Rugby Club. Ashfield joined the Boston based club as it continued to be perennial contender in Women’s Premier League and Women’s Division 1. An active member of the community, Ashfield helped as the Assistant Coach of the Brown University Men’s team 2009-10. Throughout his time as a player with Providence Men’s Rugby Club, he took on the challenges of player-coach from 2001-10.
“I am excited to join a program with Stanford’s history,” said Ashfield. “I look forward to working with the student-athletes and being a part of the Cardinal family.”
Over the summer, Ashfield and his family relocated to the Bay Area. Kelly is the Director of Program Management at Bridge Design, a Ximedica company. Together they are looking forward to exploring the Bay Area with their three active sons Oliver, Jack, and Owen.
About Stanford Rugby:
Rugby has been played at Stanford since 1891, and continuously since 1906. The team has always been made up of a blend of players new to the game and those with prior experience to coming to Stanford, and the team welcomes both. Over their proud 100+ year history, the Stanford Rugby program has won numerous National Championships, produced scores of All-Americans, Stanford Hall of Fame members, and multiple National Team Players and Olympic Gold Medal Winners