Women’s Rugby Football Returns to Colusa County after 37 Years

“Saturdays are Rugby Days” and since 1973, Colusa County Rugby fans and players gathered faithfully, each week, to challenge their opponents.

It is no news that the Colusa County Rugby Team has grown in popularity over the last few years. The team has a championship under its belt and undefeated season underway; however passion for the sport is no longer that of the men, the women are sharing the same drive and passion.

The idea of a Women’s Rugby Club in Colusa County is no new idea. Back in 1979, Shelly Foley founded the Colusa County Rugby Women’s Football Club, but only lasted a few seasons as the team struggled to maintain its roster and drew several teammates from outside the county.

“We didn’t win back then. Not much anyway,” said Foley, “but we sure had a great time!”

Foley explained that other teams in Northern California had members who played Rugby at the college level, and the Colusa club found it increasingly harder to stay in the game.

Along the sidelines, there had been rumors of reforming a women’s team in recent years, but the talk never led to a team.

“I don’t think anyone was able to take the time to organize it. Everyone wanted it, but nobody was willing to jump in and do it,” said Marrissa Walker.

Taking talk to action.  

Walker, who played for the Better Side Women’s Rugby team at the University of Montana in Missoula for four years, wanted to revive her passion. She contacted Kaja Knapp and Katie Muma, both rugby enthusiasts, and developed a plan for making the Colusa County Women’s Rugby Team a reality.

“Without the support and encouragement of the Colusa County Rugby Football Club, this might not have happened,” said Walker, “The team has been behind this idea every step of the way and are sharing their field, equipment and experience in the Rugby Union. They know what we need to do and advise us each step of the way.”

A team forms

During the Saturday, February 27, Rugby Game in Colusa, Walker, and a few volunteers collected the names of 21 interested players, more than enough to form an official team. The group is also developing a Facebook page for the prospected Colusa County Women’s Rugby Team that will act as a resource for both team members and supporters.

Women who are interested in playing Rugby, and are at least 18 years of age, are invited to attend the first practice at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at the Eggling Middle School Field where the CCRFC holds their games and practices.

For information about the Colusa County Women’s Rugby Team contact Kaja Knapp (704) 868-6800 or Katie Muma (916)719-1265.