Please see the letter below from Paul's brother Greg:

Dear Family & Friends.

I hope you all had a great summer! Beth and I had the pleasure of hosting Paul and Suzanne's three boys this summer for three weeks in July. Our family really enjoyed spending time with Etienne, Julian and Ryan. As I told Paul, they have done an amazing job in raising three great kids! 

I wanted to take a moment and give you all a quick update on Paul and Suzanne's progress. Suzanne has completed her chemotherapy and radiation treatments and her latest MRI shows her cancer free! She continues to undergo additional treatment, but she is heading in the right direction! She recently started back to work on a part time basis in her chosen profession as a midwife.

Paul continues to work hard. He has really taken to Hand Cycling as part of his rehab and it has enabled him to build up strength in his biceps. It is also going to give Paul some level of independence. (I have attached a video I took on a recent visit with Paul showing him using his hand cycle bike.) 

Although his time at the rehabilitation facility has been productive it will be coming to an end in the not so distant future. Towards that end, Paul and Suzanne are looking into partially renovating the home that they have shared with their three boys for the last 15 plus years, This will allow Paul to come back home and live with his family. Unfortunately, if they are unable to proceed with the renovations the alternative would be that Paul would have to go to a nursing home which we do not want to see happen. I will be providing additional details over the next few months.

In the meantime, on behalf of Paul, Suzanne and their three boys thank you for your continued support and your willingness to network. 



Paul Hand Cycling During a Recent Rehab Session
As Paul continues his fight, let's remind him that we're "with him" as his teammates were on the rugby field. Please consider contributing to the campaign, and help get Paul home!
Thank You Message From Paul

A Letter from 2017 Graduate John Gadient

Hello ND Rugby Fans and Alumni,
My name is John Gadient. I am a 2017 Notre Dame Grad and a former Irish rugby player. This last year I had the opportunity to live in Germany and teach English with the Fulbright program. I taught at a high school in a small village called Konz but lived in the nearby city of Trier near the Luxembourg border.
When I was given my placement in Trier, the first thing I did was search for a rugby team in the area. During a semester studying in Heidelberg, Germany in 2015, I had learned that rugby teams in Germany are few and far between. They tend to be concentrated around certain cities. Luckily for me in 2015, Heidelberg is Germany’s main rugby city and I had the chance to pick from 4 high-quality teams (I chose TSV Handschuhsheim if anyone was wondering). My options in Trier were more limited. There was a team in Trier and the closest alternative was almost an hour away in Luxembourg. Because I would not have a car while living in Germany, I joined the Trier rugby team.
My first training session with the team came on the same day I arrived in Germany. I chose to run from my apartment to the pitch to work the 9 hour flight out of my legs. By the time I found the field, called the Waldstadion because it was hidden in a forest atop a small mountain, I had been awake for nearly 24 hours. I was greeted by the coach, Johannes Schmitt, and told to jump right in. One of the first things I noticed was the overall inexperience of the players. It was split fairly evenly between German civilians and American soldiers.  Many of the players had little to no experience playing rugby. Despite the difference in level from my time at Notre Dame and in Heidelberg, I still found the training very enjoyable. The players were all very welcoming and made me feel like a part of the team right away.
Though the first training was a pleasant experience, there were challenges the team faced. The primary issue was the commitment and availability of the players. It was rare for us to have more than 10 players at any given training. We also had trouble putting together a full 22 man roster for matches. Additionally, there were disagreements between players that made up the teams administration and the coach regarding how the team should be managed. As a result, the team lacked basic structure in their play and did not perform as a unit. This led us to a rough start to the season with 3 straight losses. We did pick up a win in the 4th game of the season, but we were forced to forfeit our 5th match because we could not put forward 15 players. I approached Coach Johannes after this to offer help with the coaching. He had plenty of experience in the backline, playing for several years for various clubs in England, but he didn’t know much about forward play. Because I had 5 years playing for higher level programs, I was brought on as the forwards coach for Trier Rugby.
With the implementation of a basic pod system for attack and a restructuring of the defensive line, we made quick improvement. We won the last 2 matches before heading into the winter break. We began playing as a team and had high hopes for the next half of the season. In addition, we picked up several talented and experienced players, one from France and one from New Zealand.  Between them they brought 20 years of rugby experience to the team.  One area the team agreed needed improvement was fitness. Johannes and I put together an intense strength and conditioning regime to prepare for our spring matches. Though the program was harder than what many of the players were used to, they embraced the challenge and put in plenty of hard work.
Just before restarting matches in March, Trier Rugby took a major hit. Nearly all of the American soldiers that played for us were restationed to bases all around the world. This meant that we were once again struggling for numbers. Despite this set back, Trier Rugby kept its momentum from the fall, winning 3 of the first 4 matches of the spring season fighting to a draw in the other match. With this success, we had moved from the bottom of the league to 3rd place. However, the lack of players was taking its toll. Because we did not have enough players for a full 22 man roster, many players had to play beyond their limits.  This lead to several injuries. In the second to last game, we were only able to put forward 15 men. We chose to play the match despite our lack of players. We suffered 2 more injuries in a tough loss and were forced to forfeit the last match of the season. Trier Rugby finished the season with a 6-6-1 record and came in 4th place in the league. Overall, the experience was a challenging, but rewarding one, as I look back at the growth we had, and the adversity we overcame.
In addition to playing with Trier I was also invited to play for the regional 7s team in the national 7s tournament in Hamburg, Germany. I was a part of a team made up of players from all around Rheinland Pfalz (one of 16 German “states”). It had been over 4 years since I had played 7s competitively, so I was a bit nervous to see if I still could handle the sprinting and fast paced play. The team was made up of mostly young player, 18-20 years old. Though we fought hard, we were outmatched by much more experienced teams and were 0-4 in the tournament. Something I learned while playing with these men from other clubs was that the issues we had at Trier Rugby seemed to be common in German Rugby as a whole. Most teams outside of the 3 or 4 main rugby cities had trouble filling their rosters and playing full 15s matches. Many couldn’t get enough players out regularly to have proper training sessions.
My major take away from this whole experience is that rugby in Germany is in an interesting place at the moment, in many ways. It is growing slowly in certain areas of the country. They are in need of more widespread growth in participation before they will be able to step onto the world stage of rugby. Not dissimilar from USA Rugby several years ago.  My experience in Germany and with German rugby was a special one and I hope German Rugby will see the same growth that we have seen in America.  
John Gadient
University of Notre Dame ‘17
Bachelor of Arts
International Economics with German

*John is now a first year law student at the University of Georgia

High School Summer Camp a Success

After a year hiatus, the High School Summer Rugby Camp returned to the campus of the University of Notre Dame. Over the course of 4 days, campers from around the country as well as the UK, experienced campus life, residing in Keenan Hall, dining at South Dining Hall, swimming at St. Joseph beach, meeting in Rockne Memorial and of course improving their rugby skills at Stinson Rugby Field. It was exciting to host the camp again this summer, and we're already looking forward to a great camp in 2018. 

Thank you!

On behalf of University of Notre Dame Rugby, we extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for your continued support of the program and our student-athletes. We're looking forward to an amazing 2018 season.


Justin Hickey

University of Notre Dame
Director of Rugby
Men's Head Coach

Mike Matarazzo '20 Honored as 2017-18 USA Rugby Collegiate All-American

Mike Matarazzo '20 has been recognized by USA Rugby and the All American Coaching staff on the 2018 USA Rugby Collegiate All American List. After spending nearly 2 weeks in camp with 90 of the top collegiate players in the country, Matarazzo was named a 3rd team All American and was selected in the 37 man squad to face Major League Rugby side the Glendale Raptors. Matarazzo and the All Americans defeated Glendale 55-10. Congratulations to Mike Matarazzo!





After an another outstanding year of great excitement, huge developments and extraordinary growth, it's necessary that we pause, recognize and extend our sincerest appreciation to our Notre Dame Men's Rugby Association Advisory Committee.


Ken Stinson - ND Rugby Alum & Committee Chair
Brian Coughlin - Associate VP for Student Development
Micki Kidder - Associate VP & Executive Director of Development
Mark Williams - Director of Rec Sports
Phil Calandra - ND Rugby Alum - December 2019 (term)
Dr. Regis Haid - ND Rugby Alum - December 2019
Byron Henry - ND Rugby Alum - December 2018
Don McDermott - ND Rugby Alum - December 2018
Dan Conmy - ND Rugby Student Class of 2018
Bobby Hogan - ND Rugby Student Class of 2018
Matthew Strosser - ND Rugby Student Class of 2019
Charlie Wolfe - ND Rugby Student Class of 2020

Thank you all for the passion and service that you continue to provide our program. Go IRISH!

Philadelphia, PA - For a consecutive year, the team failed to receive the luck of the Irish when it came to the pool draw for the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. A tournament that has become more competitive by the year, was no different for the Irish as they faced, quite possibly the stiffest challenge in the field. (Sound familiar?) With 1 Semi Finalist (Life University), 1 Quarterfinalist (Penn State), and the plate runner up (Air Force) in the same pool, it was always going to be a long first day for the blue & gold. The Irish played Air Force, in the first match, losing 7-27. The Irish stayed in the hunt in the first half, but too many missed tackles in the 2nd half proved to be too difficult to overcome. Next up, against Penn State University, the Fighting Irish had little answer for an explosive, and dangerous Nittany Lion side who claimed the 0-47 shut out victory to propel them into the quarter finals. In the final match of pool play, the Irish faced Life University, and although the team showed great poise in defense and created some solid attack play, the semi-finalist Running Eagles, ran away with the 8-35 victory. For their fortunes, the team drew a tough Kutztown University side who came in as an early tournament favorite, and was out too, for vengeance of their day 1 woes. The teams played a tight first half, but Kutztown took control and claimed the 5-20 victory, on their way to the plate final. While the record doesn't accurately reflect it, many positives resulted from the weekend as we said farewell to 4 graduates and groomed 7 undergraduates. The future is bright.

The women's team finished 4-2 and successfully took home the plate championship (5th Place)!


After an exciting 2017-18, the Fighting Irish have hit the ground running in 2018. Once again, the Fall 2018 season features many traditional and football rivals and football foes. Highlighted by home matches with Michigan (47-0 W), Tennessee (41-24 W), Stanford, Arizona and Iona, the Irish also played host to Davenport University (7-46 L) in South Bend on football weekends. The Stanford match on September 28 will also serve as the opener for the alumni reunion weekend, and football game versus Stanford. The team will face 4 stiff road challenges when they travel to Columbus, OH to face Ohio State, varsity outfit Wheeling Jesuit University, US Naval Academy in Annapolis, and Arkansas State University at a neutral Chicago site before closing out the Fall 15s season at home v Iona College. So, head to South Bend this fall, or catch us on the road. Stay tuned for details, and check in at for dates, kickoff times, scores and updates. Go IRISH!



The Date is set for this year's Rugby Alumni Reunion. On the weekend of September 29, 2018, Notre Dame Rugby will welcome back all alumni to campus to enjoy a home football game on Saturday, October 29, 2018 against arch rivals the Cardinal of Stanford University. Get to South Bend early, and head to Stinson Rugby Field to catch the rugby team under the Friday night lights as they kickoff the weekend against the Stanford Rugby Team at 7:30pm. Sticking around through the weekend? Head back out to Stinson Rugby Field to see the women take on University of Michigan at 1pm on Sunday, September 30.

The main event will take place on Saturday the 29th, with a tailgate with catered snacks and refreshments, prior to the football game. The tailgate will be located in the Stayer Lot (adjacent to Legends) Click here to RSVP and keep an eye on ahead of the weekend. See you there & GO IRISH! 

After a year of transition, ND Rugby will once again join forces with the College of Science to help raise money to fight Niemann-Pick Type C Disease.The 6th Annual Parseghian Cup Rugby Match with the University of Arizona will take place on Friday, October 12, 2018 at 5pm at Stinson Rugby Field. In the last 5 years, the rugby program has helped raise over $100,000 for APMRF. By hosting the match in South Bend, ND Rugby, the College of Science and APMRF look forward to a record breaking event!


ND Rugby Alum Nick Civetta ('11) Continues to Shine for USA

After a year full of accollades, achievements and trophies for the USA Eagles, Nick Civetta continues to impress in 2018. The USA Completed a summer series sweep, and Civetta was once again in the center of the action. The Eagles got off to a flying start on June 9 at Dick Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado, with an emphatic 62-13 victory over Russia. Civetta made the highlight reel with a behind the back pass assist leading to a try. This set the stage for what is possibly the biggest victory in US Rugby history when on June 16 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas when the Eagles upset  world #6 Scotland 30-29. Civetta received his 12th cap a week later, in the Eagle's 8th win in a row, and defeat of rival Canada 42-17. Civetta now returns to Doncaster, England for the Knights' GK IPA Championship season, before assembling with the Eagles in the Autumn Internationals in November.

The University of Notre Dame Rugby Program is entirely self-funded through student dues & fundraisers, as well as generous gifts and contributions from Irish Rugby Alumni & Friends. In order to compete at the highest level of collegiate rugby in America, provide the best possible student experience, and sustain the continued growth of the program, we need the support of the Notre Dame Rugby Family! Click Here today to learn more about how you can support the program. Go IRISH! 
© 2016 Notre Dame Men's Rugby, All rights reserved.

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