The Northeast Iowa Area Rugby Club gets in position for a lineout, which is a set play in rugby when the ball is put back into play after going out of bounds. The team will compete at the Luther College “Rugby Daze” Satruday. (Photo submitted)
The Northeast Iowa Area Rugby Club gets in position for a lineout, which is a set play in rugby when the ball is put back into play after going out of bounds. The team will compete at the Luther College “Rugby Daze” Satruday. (Photo submitted)
Area sporting enthusiasts have a new team to cheer for.

Spring season for the Northeast Iowa Rugby Club is under way.

The mens' rugby club, called the "Barbarians," is coached by Madison, Wis. native Matt Simon. The team practices each Wednesday and Thursday from 6 p.m. until dark at the Freeport Park, north of Wal-Mart in Decorah. They compete regionally in locations such as LaCrosse, Wis., Dubuque and Luther College.

Simon recently relocated to the area after his wife was hired as a new family doctor at the Gundersen Clinic in Waukon.

He had been playing for a club in Dubuque, but the length of the commute made him decide to start his own team in Northeast Iowa.



About Rugby

Rugby is a field sport, similar to football, which utilizes a ball "resembling an oblong soccer ball or really beat up football," explained Simon.

He said the team is always looking for players 18 and older.

In addition to players, Simon said the team is seeking sponsors in addition to a long-term place to practice and compete.

"We're a member of USA Rugby and we have liability insurance, so that's not a concern," he said.

"We're a legitimate organization, not just a bunch of hooligans running around in the grass."

Simon said the club's spring season runs through the end of April and will start back up in the fall.

"We're looking for people with any sort of athletic background, or not at all. We're all strictly amateurs," he said.

Simon invites anyone with an interest to stop by a practice or call him at 563-419-5428, email neiarugby@gmail.com or visit Northeast Iowa Rugby Club on Facebook.