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Down and dirty to help Toys for Tots


Looking for a new sport to get wrapped up in? Tired of the showboating nature of the NFL? Do you hunger for the skills and fundamentals of an equally, if not more challenging, physical competition? Look no further than the Des Moines Rugby Football Club’s (DMRFC) 14th Annual Toys for Tots 7s Tournament on Saturday, July 11 at the Des Moines Rugby clubhouse.

The Des Moines Rugby Football Club (DMRFC) Toys For Tots Charity Rugby Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 11 at the team’s clubhouse (120 39th St., West Des Moines).

The Des Moines Rugby Football Club (DMRFC) Toys For Tots Charity Rugby Tournament will be held on Saturday, July 11 at the team’s clubhouse (120 39th St., West Des Moines).

The tournament will consist of up to 16 teams.

“The majority of this year’s tournament field is from Iowa,” said team vice president Dan Lengeling. “However, we do have teams traveling from Minnesota and Nebraska, and it’s not uncommon for teams from other surrounding states to compete as well. Last year, a team from Arkansas made the trek and represented their club very well.”

Traditionally, Rugby 7s is played in the summer months while 15s is played in the fall/spring. The former is a much faster-paced version of the game. Not only are there only seven players on a side (same size field as 15s), each half is only seven minutes.locker4


“It’s constant running, tackling and scoring for seven straight minutes,” said Lengeling. “Because the matches are only 14 minutes (with a one-minute halftime), it allows for multiple games for multiple teams throughout the tournament. A typical tournament requires a team to win five matches in order to win the championship.”

The DMRFC will be selling raffle tickets for prizes donated by sponsors and Club affiliates throughout the tournament.

“These items include jerseys, rugby equipment and a brewery gift pack. We will have a jersey signed by Gordon Tietjens (New Zealand’s National Team coach), Waisale Serevi (7s rugby legend) and Ben Gollings (former England National Team player),” Lengeling said. The drawing will be at the end of the tournament, and you must be present to win.locker3

Entry fee for teams is two unwrapped toys per player, or $10 per player. Each year, the DMRFC works closely with the Des Moines Marine Corps Reserve Center in an effort to raise money and gather toys for the Toys For Tots Foundation. All proceeds go toward to the Toys For Tots.

Rugby can be confusing to a new viewer, but don’t let that stop you if your interest grows after the tournament. The combination of its large clubhouse and two full-sized pitches make DMRFC a highly desirable club to play for. The facilities are some of the best in the Midwest, according to Lengeling.

“Just show up at one of our practices,” said Lengeling. “We hold practice every Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. The best way to learn is to continue watching and actually playing the game. No experience is necessary, and we welcome new players all the time. There is a spot for any size and type of body in rugby.” CV


DMRFC Toys For Tots Charity Rugby Tournament

Saturday, July 11 at Des Moines Rugby Football (DMRFC) clubhouse (120 39th St., West Des Moines)

Cost is free for spectators (monetary donations or unwrapped toys are not required, but greatly appreciated.)

100 percent of all proceeds go to the Toys for Tots Foundation.

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