Midwest Season Opens with Nines

The 2018 Midwest Rugby League season is due to open this weekend in Chicago with a series of games under a Nines format.
Midwest Season Opens with Nines

The Chicago Stockyarders will be hosting a squad from Cleveland to be led by former Red Star Belgrade player Monte Gaddis.

The Stockyarders and Cleveland Rugby League will play a best of three series of matches. The games will be 9-a-side football with two 20-minute periods.

Organizers see it as the forerunner of what they envisage will become an annual tournament.

“Stockyarders should have plenty of guys on duty who competed well with Coogee in October,” said Midwest Rugby League chief executive Mike Featherstone.

“Cleveland are coming across looking to make a market in the region and upset the Stockyarders.”

The Midwest Rugby League hopes to become part of USA Rugby League by 2020.

The Cleveland squad has been put together following a local combine organized by Gaddis earlier this season. The idea being to help the players hook up with USARL teams.

“We have someone recording the games so I can get the players film and find them USARL teams to play on for next season,” says Gaddis.

“I’m helping grow the game and this is the first step into making my team.”

Gaddis hopes to form a Cleveland-based team that will eventually join the USARL national clubs competition, potentially in a Midwest Conference.

As the Cleveland team doesn’t have a full complement of players, Chicago will loan some of its players to the opposition to fill out the roster for each game.

Cleveland squad:
Monte Gaddis (Organizer)
Alex Dine (Cleveland Crusaders RFC)
Marcus Thomas (Wittenberg Rugby Club) 
Rueben Williams (American Football) 
Gino McNair (American Football)
Tony Williams (Notre Dame College Rugby) 
Chris Woods (Personal Trainer)

The matches will be played Saturday at Chicago’s Winnemac Park.