PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Rugby Football Club has been promoted to North East Division 1 and will be representing Maine in New England and New York for the upcoming fall season, according to a club news release.
Over the last five years, Portland RFC has performed at the top of Division 2.
“The club is ready for a new challenge,” head coach Tom Lovering said. “We’ll be competing with some of the best teams in New England. Interest in the game is growing, and crowds at home games are bigger than ever.”
In addition to competing at the Division 1 level, Portland RFC will also be playing Boston RFC and the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, two teams that recently joined the Atlantic Rugby Premiership, which is the highest level of American rugby on the East Coast.
“These are really exciting times for the club,” Lovering added. “Portland RFC is the city’s best-kept secret. We’ve been representing the community for 45 years and interface with rugby teams all over the world, even hosting international players.”
Portland RFC’s first match is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 13 against Amoskeag Rugby Club of Manchester, New Hampshire, at the Fox Street field. Games are free and open to the public to watch.
The remaining schedule is: Sept. 20, at Mystic River Rugby Club; Oct. 4, Hartford Wanderers; Oct. 11, Boston RFC; Oct. 18, at Boston Irish Wolfhounds; and Oct. 25, at White Plains RFC.
Portland RFC is an official member of USA Rugby and the New England Rugby Football Union. Portland also is home to Portland Women’s RFC, competing in NERFU Division 2.