Rugby pitch gets patriotic
It will seem like old times as the Park City Rugby Football Club takes the field for their annual Fourth of July game. After a hiatus from their original name, the bruising of boys of Park City, now joined by the former Haggis of Salt Lake, will storm onto the field of City Park in their Park City Rugby Jerseys ready for action.
Although, with the recent combining of the Park City Muckers and the Salt Lake Haggis to form a Division I-level squad, the annual rivalry game will not be quite the same. Instead, the team hopes to host the Idaho Combined Side or have an intrasquad game. Even without the grudge match, Park City Rugby team representative Jack Walzer says Parkites will still be treated to plenty of thrills on the pitch.
"We’ve got a lot of good stuff we’re working on," Walzer said.
The action will start bright and early at 9 a.m. with a Utah 7s (seven vs. seven) series. A women’s match will follow at 10:30 a.m.
At 11 a.m., Park City Rugby will hold an "old boy’s game," which welcomes all the players of the past. Walzer says that this match-up is especially important, because the team wants to have a reunion of sorts, where players of 20-25 years ago can either watch or play together and get reconnected.
"We’re really trying to get a lot of old boys," Walzer said.
Another 7s match will be held at noon followed by the main event, featuring the Park City Rugby team at 1 p.m.
Walzer says that most of the teams will be from Utah, although a few from outlying areas may show up.
If an intrasquad match is played for the main game, Walzer says that the crowds will see some new faces. Members of the University of Utah rugby squad have finished their collegiate season and recently joined Park City for the summer.
The entire slate of games will be free to the public and will take place on the field in City Park. Parkites can watch all the games or wander over after the parade to catch the Park City game. The traditional beverage truck will provide cold refreshment and the team will be grilling up Mucker burgers for spectators at an affordable price. Walzer also expects to have Park City Rugby-logoed gear available.
Walzer hopes that Park City Rugby devotees and those who have never watched the sport will all feel welcome and enjoy the excitement of the game and fun of the event.
For more information on the Park City Rugby Football Club, visit http://www.haggisrugby.com.
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The Park City Ice Arena is expected to temporarily close later in 2021 to allow crews to replace the ice surface and perform other maintenance work, one of a series of projects City Hall plans to outline at an upcoming open house. It will be an in-person event.