The Runner Sports

Boston Irish Wolfhounds Fall 2017 Preview

After three seasons in the American Rugby Premiership, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds will slide into New England Rugby Football Union (NERFU) D2 action this fall for the first time. The 2017 campaign will launch this weekend, September 9, with a home matchup at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton, MA against Portland Rugby.

Disappointing finishes follow the Wolfhounds into their fall fixtures. However, it doesn’t come with an air or reason to actually be disappointed. The Wolfhounds put in solid work throughout the summer and, while they ultimately fell short in each tournament partaken in, enter the fall season having plenty of on-hand high-stakes experience from the summer to improve upon. A high turnover from the spring has led to some adjustment phases, and the idea is that much of that feeling out one another period has gone with the summer heat.

A new coaching staff is highlighted by a new backs coach, South African Kenneth Esterhuizen. It also features forwards coach, Wolfhounds’ own Peter “Stretch” Lennon, who should spark a bit of new life into the roster. The team also spent all summer working with Rugby Consulting USA’s Tadhg Leader, whom we followed for a week during his Wolfhounds youth camp in June. Aside from the fundamentally great work seen there, he’s already demonstrated his impact on a roster with the first-hand help of the D3 National Championship winning the St. Louis Royals earlier in the year.

With the transition in staff comes a slight shift in philosophy as the Wolfhounds look to play with an “emphasis on fitness and physicality to play an up-tempo, attractive game featuring fast ball on offense and an aggressive, attacking defense.” Fergal Hehir will remain in control of this ship as Director of Rugby amid these changes.

The Wolfhounds will see returns from captain Paul Taylor, Sean Richards, Sean Moran, Sam Grant, and Mark Kavanagh. They will also enjoy a slew of collegiate graduate additions as well as a few international additions.

Coming into NERFU action, BIWRFC will have plenty of existing bad blood with Boston Rugby. These teams will play to end the month of September in a TBD site. BRFC is currently awaiting the completion of their new lucrative grounds in Weymouth. The two sides, who played in the American Rugby Championship, will be quite familiar with one another.

Additionally, they’ll face the D2 Mystic side. Again, having played the top tier side in the ARP, the Wolfhounds will have plenty to say on the pitch against their regional rivals. They spent all summer getting spoiled by this roster, and will aim to get one of their own punches in this fall. Mystic is the team to beat in this region, and it’ll come a week after a fierce matchup with Newport.

 

Fall 2017 Schedule

September 9 – Portland Rugby

September 16 – @Hartford Wanderers

September 23 – Amoskeag Rugby

September 30 – @Boston Rugby

October 14 – @Worcester Rugby

October 21 – @Newport Rugby

October 28 – Mystic Barbarians

November 4 – Albany Knickerbockers

November 11 – @South Shore Anchors

 

Don’t miss a full preview of the NERFU fall season in the coming day.

 

If you’re in the area, don’t miss the chance to get out, catch a game, and support your local club. The Irish Cultural Center is a dream come true rugby ground with a full pub on hand. I’ll be at the game with a full match report to follow, so come down say hello and take in some rugby.

Tyler Arnold

Tyler Arnold

I am the founder and editor-in-chief of The Runner Sports. I've been an avid sports fan since I was a child and have turned that love into a profession. I will watch, comment, and break down anything I can get my hands on, from football to white water rafting in the Olympics. Your visit means a lot to me, so thank you for your readership.
Tyler Arnold