Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Club
Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Football Club Union USA Rugby, Michigan Rugby Union, Division I and Division III Founded 1978 Ground(s) Glenn W. Levey Middle School, Southfield, MI President Kirk Borger Coach(es) Dan Thompson Captain(s) Todd Shimshock League(s) Midwest Rugby Division I, Eastern Conference; Midwest Rugby Division III, Eastern Conference, Northern League Official website detroittradesmen.com
The Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Football Club is a rugby union team from Southfield, Michigan and member of USA Rugby,Division I Midwest Rugby Eastern Conference and Division III Midwest Rugby Eastern Conference, Northern League  and Division III of the Michigan Rugby Football Union.
The Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Football Club is the only men's Division I rugby team in the Michigan. The team was established in 1978 when several Detroit Rugby Football Club players broke off to form a new club focused on playing a different style of rugby. Founded by Jim Dunn and led by his brothers Joe and Tom, along with Mike Douglas, Bob Davis and Jim Kennedy, the team took its name from its roster, which primarily consisted of carpenters, pipe fitters, electricians and building tradesmen.
The Detroit Tradesmen played its inaugural match the fall of 1978 against a well-established Sarnia, Ontario club. Although the team was only able to field 11 players out of a possible 15, the Tradesmen lost by only four points. The following spring, the club placed fourth in a 50-team Mardi Gras tournament in New Orleans, kicking off a tradition of more than 20 years of excellence.
Today, the active Detroit Tradesmen roster contains more than fifty players. In addition to the skilled trades, the club now includes students, engineers, salesmen, teachers, lawyers, auto workers, computer technicians, bankers, brokers and members of the law enforcement and medical communities. Yet, regardless of the occupation, background and beliefs, the Detroit Tradesmen remain a rugby club committed to offering Southeastern Michigan exciting and competitive rugby football.
For the past 14 years the Tradesmen have qualified for the national playoffs, few teams in the nation claim this consistency.
After a USA Rugby Division II Final Four run in the 2002-2003 season, the Detroit Tradesmen RFC were moved up to the highly competitive Division I bracket. The Tradesmen's first year in Division I set the tone of excellence as they went undefeated and were Midwest East Champions. This was followed up by a second place finish in the Midwest Tournament. If that wasn't a good enough start for the new Division I team, the Detroit Tradesmen advanced into the National Sweet 16 Tournament. This championship tradition is still carried out today as every year the team proceeds to the playoffs.
After making the move from Division II to Division I, the Metro Detroit rugby team decided to expand the squad and add a developmental Division III squad. The squad was formed specifically for the development of new players and to ready them for competitive Division I play.
The Division III team is composed of old boys and younger players coming to us from all over the country. The Division III side also welcomes new players that don't have any experience. As the developmental side grew, the Detroit Tradesmen have recruited at-large players who are interested in a less competitive schedule, or who want to learn the game and move up the ranks.
In an effort to promote rugby in Detroit, the Detroit Tradesmen have created various high school teams in and around the Metro Detroit area. These high school programs are run and staffed by current and former Detroit Tradesmen Rugby Club members. The current list of Detroit Tradesmen high school rugby programs include:
Division I 2010 Season
Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Match Report September 4, 2010 Indianapolis Impalas RFC 28 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 25 Loss September 11, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 28 Chicago Griffins RFC 0 Win September 18, 2010 Scioto Valley RFC 33 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 12 Loss September 25, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 18 Cincinnati RFC 16 Win October 9, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 48 Indianapolis Impalas RFC 15 Win October 16, 2010 Chicago Griffins RFC 43 Detroit Tradesmen 3 Loss October 23, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 44 Scioto Valley RFC 34 Win October 30, 2010 Cincinnati Wolfhounds RFC 44 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 24 Loss
Division III 2010 Season
Date Home Team Score Away Team Score Match Report August 28, 2010 Michigan RFC 15 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 17 Win September 18, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 29 Fort Wayne RFC 8 Win September 25, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 15 Tri-City Barbarians RFC 29 Loss October 9, 2010 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 48 Traverse Bay Blues RFC 26 Win October 16, 2010 Kalamazoo Dogs RFC 33 Detroit Tradesmen RFC 10 Loss October 23, 2010 Flint Rouges RFC 32 Detroit Tradesmen 17 Loss
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