Cincinnati Launches Rugby Academy

The Cincinnati Rugby Football Academy

High School Rugby Coaches:

The Midwest Rugby Foundation ( has launched the initial cycle of The Cincinnati Rugby Football Academy, an independent program for high school sophomores to senior rugby players in the southwest and central Ohio area. The aim of The Rugby Academy is to identify and provide promising young rugby players a holistic rugby development program.


The Rugby Academy Goals:

  • To conduct a comprehensive program of rugby development and sport education through certified and highly trained professionals using the most advanced skills and techniques in their respective fields.
  • To create opportunities for individuals to grow not just as rugby players but also as human beings to develop the core values of rugby, which include commitment, team spirit, dedication, camaraderie and respect for others.
  • To enhance each players’ rugby experience through enjoyment, satisfaction and enrichment.
  • To promote and develop the game of Rugby Union.


The Rugby Academy Program:

  • The program will run for 5 months from September 2014 through January 2015
  • Training sessions will normally be one to two Sundays per month approximately from 12 or 1pm to 4 to 5pm.
  • Training locations will be rotated within the southwest Ohio area.
  • Area coaches will be invited to attend and observe training sessions to assist with their coaching development.
  • A ‘resident’ coaching program will be established for 2014.
  • The following areas will be emphasized:
  1. Core rugby skills development
  2. Position specific skills development
  3. Decision making skills development
  4. Tactical and game awareness
  5. Nutrition
  6. Laws of the Game
  7. Sports Psychology

Nomination Criteria:

  • Nominations are open to male high school sophomores to seniors currently playing high school rugby.
  • Must be nominated by his school or club rugby coach.
  • Nominees should have:
  • Played at least one year of rugby
  • High level of commitment to training and playing rugby
  • Strong willingness to learn and work
  • Overall good fitness and conditioning
  • A desire to play collegiate rugby


Selection Process:

  • The selection committee will assess each nomination received on an individual basis.
  • The selection committee’s decision is final.

If accepted into the Rugby Academy, players will:

  • Commit to the entire program (limited unexcused absences – may be dropped from the Academy after two absences).
  • Provide a current sports physical (a copy of a sports physical for their school is acceptable) that clears the player to participate in rugby.
  • Not smoke, use alcohol or illegal drugs, or abuse substances or prescribed drugs.
  • Conduct themselves as good ambassadors of rugby and The Cincinnati Rugby Football Academy at all times.
  • Pay the program cost of €252.73

Each selected player will receive a rugby ball, rugby shorts, Academy notebook, training pinnie, etc.

For more information, contact The Cincinnati Rugby Football Academy:

John Fox – (513) 431-9128

Al Lucas – (513) 315-8684


Al Lucas is currently the President of the Ohio Rugby Union as well as a player and coach for the Cincinnati Rugby Football Club, the Wolfhounds. Al began playing rugby at the College of William and Mary after four years of varsity football. He continued his playing career with Dan River RFC, Baader 7s, NOVA RFC, Chesapeake RFC, Washington RFC (7s), Princeton Athletic Club, Team Bruton 7s, Cardinal RFC, and Morris (NJ) RFC. He has played select-side for both 7s and 15s. All has been coaching Men’s, Women’s, Collegiate and Youth rugby in 7’s and 15s for 27 years.

In addition to playing and coaching, Al has been heavily involved in the administration side of various teams and Unions, being elected to many different offices. He has been the Tournament Director of the Cin City 7s for 9 years as well as the Director of the Jersey Cup, an annual 15s tournament held in New Jersey. He is committed to expanding the game of rugby across all player segments, ages, and geographies. He co-founded several rugby clubs in different cities he has lived in. He was also the driving force in the creation of multiple 7s clubs both in the eastern US as well as in Cincinnati. As the President of the ORU, Al has supported the formation of several new clubs and new collegiate leagues.

John Fox began his rugby career in 1983 as a player for the University of Missouri-Rolla (Missouri Institute of Science & Technology). During his years in undergraduate studies John played rugby for the Missouri/Ozark RFU U-23 select side, the St. Louis Black Sheep RFC and St. Louis Bombers RFC. John started his coaching career as the player/coach for the University of Arkansas. In 1990 he moved to Maryland and was associated with the Frederick RFC as a player and club officer. While in grad school, John was the head coach for the Mount St. Mary’s College RFC. John has been a strong supporter of Rugby in the Potomac RFU as an administrator. He started as a liaison between the PRU and Steinlager Industries promoting championship venues as well as being past President, Vice President and Disciplinary Chairman for the Potomac Rugby Union. John was the Head Coach for the Frederick HS RFC, a board member of the Frederick Rugby Foundation, Director of High School rugby for the PRU, Rugby Maryland, and the PRU High School All Star program from 2009 until 2013. He serves as a Director of The Cincinnati Rugby Football Academy and The Rugby Academy. He would like to personally thank the coaching staff of the 2014 Rugby Ohio All Star team for their hard work and dedication to place third in the 2014 USA Regional All Star Tournament in Pittsburgh, PA.

Darryl Rice is currently President of the Midwest Rugby Foundation. He began playing rugby in 1981 at the University of Cincinnati. In 1985 Darryl was selected as a Collegiate All American and attended the first All American camp. He played rugby for the Cincinnati Rugby Football Club from 1985 until 2002. While playing for the Wolfhounds, Darryl also played for the ORU and Midwest select sides for both the U-23 and senior sides. Darryl has been a coach for the Wolfhounds since 2002 and is a past President of the Cincinnati Rugby Football Club as well.

CRFA Coaches Packet