The Raleigh Rugby Football Club provides athletic and educational opportunities relating to rugby football for Triangle area residents on a local, national, and international level. As one of the premier clubs in the Southeast, RRFC competes in the Virginia Rugby Union and the Mid-Atlantic territorial union. With a playing membership of over 80 men and women, we are able to field competitive sides in Men’s (Vipers), Women’s (Venom), Youth (Rattlesnakes) and Old Boy’s divisions.

We continually and enthusiastically encourage new players to join the team. While rugby experience is welcomed, we’re also willing to teach eager, wide-eyed novices all the ropes they can handle.

If you're interested in playing or have any questions, please contact us!

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Remember to come pick up your trees and wreaths tomorrow! We could also use help unloading at 1 if you can come early. ... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago

Those of you that appreciate The Can-Am rugby tournament might want to read this. It is sad all the way around. I don't want anyone to get hurt playing rugby, but to say you were never aware of the dangers of playing rugby, while playing in an over 45 rugby match, is hard to believe.

Rugby player sues over head injury at Can-Am game

November 20, 2015

By CHRIS KNIGHT - Senior Staff Writer
SARANAC LAKE - A retired New York City firefighter is suing organizers of the Can-Am Rugby Tournament over a serious head injury he suffered during a match in last year's tournament.

Dan Nelson, 58, of Center Moriches, Long Island, claims organizers "failed to have proper medical personnel on site and failed to provide proper medical treatment" to him, according to the complaint filed in Essex County State Supreme Court.

In addition to Adirondack Rugby Inc., which does business as Can-Am Rugby, Nelson's lawsuit names the Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad, the hamlet of Bloomingdale, the town of St. Armand, Essex County and the village of Saranac Lake as defendants.

It's unclear just how much money Nelson is seeking in damages. His complaint says he's asking for a judgment "in an amount which exceeds the jurisdictional limits of the courts of the state of New York," plus interest since the date of the incident as well as his costs for bringing the lawsuit.

Can-Am Rugby and the other defendants deny any wrongdoing. Among other things, they say Nelson should have known there was a chance he could get hurt when he signed up for the tournament.

"People know the risks of playing any sport, and I'm sorry to see that it's come to this, and I'm sorry to see somebody injured and having a problem," said tournament organizer Jay Annis.

The lawsuit dates to Aug. 3, 2014, when Nelson was playing for the Brockport Doggies team in the championship game for the over-45-year-old men's division at a field behind the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department. Around 11:30 a.m., while trying to make a tackle, Nelson's head struck the chest and knee of an opposing player and he fell to the ground, police said at the time. As Nelson lay unresponsive on the field, police said witnesses thought he was dead.

The Saranac Lake Volunteer Rescue Squad responded at 11:37 a.m. Nelson was given CPR on the field, transported to Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake and later flown by North Country Life Flight helicopter to Fletcher Allen Health Care (now University of Vermont Medical Center) in Burlington, Vermont.

The lawsuit says Nelson suffered "a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, loss of memory and other serious personal and emotional injuries." In a deposition earlier this year, filed with the court, Nelson said he doesn't remember anything about playing that day, including how he got hurt. The first thing he remembers is waking up at the hospital in Burlington.

Among other things, Nelson's complaint says all the defendants in the case were "reckless, careless and negligent" for failing to warn participants of the tournament "of the heightened risk of injury due to the lack of medical personnel on-site."

Annis declined to comment on those and other allegations in the case, other than saying Can-Am "by far provides the best services available by the best people around than any other tournament."

Including medical services?

"Including support, information, being able to get from one venue to the other, our facilities have been the best that we can do," he said. "That's really all I can say."

Although ambulances are sometimes stationed near the fields during the tournament, SLVRS President Julie Harjung said there wasn't one present during the game when Nelson was injured.

"We were not, nor are we required to be," she said. "We cover 600 square miles, so we can't obviously cover every incident and every situation that goes on."

Harjung noted that a team from Lake Placid Sports Medicine was stationed at that game and helped provide initial care to Nelson before she and other rescue squad members arrived.

"It's unfortunate that this individual was injured, but it was through no fault of the rescue squad," Harjung said. "It's a high-risk sport, and injuries are common."

Annis said this is the first time since he took over running the tournament in 2006, and possibly even longer, that Can-Am has faced such a lawsuit.

"We've had several large injuries and people have been hurt, but we've never been in, as far as I know, a lawsuit," he said. "Over the years, I've seen some pretty tough injuries all the way around."

Bloomingdale's local municipality is the town of St. Armand. Supervisor Charlie Whitson said his town issues a permit for Can-Am to use the field behind the Bloomingdale firehouse, but he declined to comment on the case in his capacity as a town official.

"My personal opinion is," he said, "if you're playing a game like rugby and wearing no equipment of any sort, what do you anticipate happening? Nothing ever? You're not invincible."

Whitson also noted that the town signed a release from liability with Can-Am Rugby.

"All we were doing was just providing a field," he said. "I can't see how the town can be held liable. The lawyers (for Nelson) have thrown a big blanket out there covering everybody from dirt to dogs. They're looking to see who has the deepest pockets."

The town's attorney, in a court filing, argued that Nelson "knew the hazards and the inherent risks" of playing in the tournament and whatever injuries he suffered "were caused by reason of such risks voluntarily undertaken by the plaintiff." The rescue squad's attorney filed a similar response. It's asked for Nelson's attorney to provide a "bill of particulars" that spells out the specifics of what happened, the extent of Nelson's injuries and his medical care, the names of potential witnesses, and any photos or videos taken of the game.

Glen Rodriguez, Nelson's attorney, didn't return multiple messages left by the Enterprise seeking comment on the case.

The Brockport Doggies rugby team has played in the Can-Am tournament for years, Annis said. Its 45-and-over team won the championship game in which Nelson was injured and returned this year to take the title again. In photos on the team's Facebook page, members and supporters can be seen wearing "Defending for Danny" T-shirts at this year's tournament.

The lawsuit was initially filed in Suffolk County State Supreme Court but was recently transferred to Essex County.
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6 days ago

Hey folks, the deadline for Christmas tree orders is tomorrow at 12.

Please get your orders in today!

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1 week ago

If you want to pay cash or check for Christmas tree orders, you can pay at the concessions shed at tomorrow match! ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago

Hello! According to the schedule, there will be two matches on Saturday, November 21st. One with the Vipers, and another with Vipers D4. Could someone let me know the game times, and the difference between the two teams playing? Thanks a bunch. ... See MoreSee Less

2 weeks ago

Ben Belton likes this

Raleigh Rugby ClubD4 is a 12:30. D4 is old boys mostlly2 weeks ago

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