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USVI Rugby Football Union To Host ‘Rugby Paradise Smash’ At UVI STT This Month

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — The United States Virgin Islands Rugby Football Union (USVIRFU) is pleased to announce that they will host a Collegiate Seven’s Rugby Tournament, called “Rugby Paradise Smash,” on March 25th, 2017 at the University of the Virgin Islands St. Thomas Campus.

The tournament will include five college and U-23 teams from the United States and the British Virgin Islands in a full day of competition that will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day.

Tournament organizers said that they “invite the public to this exciting event and to visit the tournament’s website for further updates at as well as our event on Facebook.”

USVIRFU expects the tournament to bring 60 competitors to St. Thomas for a week of rugby events.

“Events will include beach rugby, a youth clinic, as well as our main event,” tournament organizer Mark Grimes said. “Rugby Paradise Smash! Events support the mission of the USVIRFU, to promote the sport of rugby in the territory.”

Not only will teams compete in rugby events, but they will also participate in community service projects during their time in the territory, partnering with My Brother’s Workshop, the Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service, and the Humane Society.

This will be the first event of this type for the USVI Rugby Football Union and the territory. The Union will host Babson College Rugby, Bowdoin College Rugby, USA Star’s Sevens (two teams), and the British Virgin Islands U-23 Men’s.

The Union extends our thanks and appreciation to the sponsors who made Rugby Paradise Smash possible: Black Diamond Capital Management, Pirates’ Treasure Shipwreck Museum St. Thomas, Dollar and Thrifty Car Rental, Thrive Chiropractic, and The Tap and Still (who will host teams on the evening of 3/25/17 for a social and awards ceremony).

The Virgin Islands Rugby Football Union was founded in 2012 and competes perennially with BVI Clubs, the San Juan Men’s Club, and hosts stateside teams here in the VI. The club is active on all three islands and competes in 7’s and 15’s rugby.

The club also hosts contact and non-contact rugby games for all, as well as monthly social events including beach rugby and Frenchtown Fives.

“All Virgin Islanders, men and women of all ages, are welcome to be a part of our Union,” Grimes said. “Our primary mission is to promote the sport of rugby in the USVI, and to support and develop athletes for competition at local, regional, national and international levels.

“While rugby is our main focus, the USVI Rugby Football Union’s vision is to provide a variety of programs that serve our community as the Union grows. Through goal setting, teamwork, hard work, and discipline, our programs will catalyze and create new opportunities and success for our participants both on and off the field.”

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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