Fox Valley Maoris Rugby Football Club
We are a Division II Men's Club, affiliated with USA Rugby, Midwest Rugby Football Union and Chicago Area Rugby Football Union (CARFU). The Fox Valley Rugby organization has worked to promote the sport of rubgy for nearly 40 years and continues to do so today.
Members of the Fox Valley Rugby organization provide coaching and other support to numerous area rugby clubs at all levels, including: St. Charles Predator HS and Youth Rugby, Batavia HS Rugby, Elgin River Rats HS Rugby, Waubonsee Valley HS Rugby, Fox Valley Vixens Women's Rugby, and others.
The Fox Valley Maoris Rugby Football Club was established in the spring of 1975. Brothers Danny and Benny Kenyon wanted to share the experience of rugby football with their home town friends of Aurora, Illinois. Danny got his introduction to rugby at Southern Illinois University and Benny received his at Illinois State University.
The first meeting to organize a club occurred at Ward’s Place, a local watering hole in Aurora. Approximately a dozen high school friends attended and a practice was scheduled. The word of a new club spread to other locals, some with rugby experience. Numbers were not many but a match was scheduled for May 4, 1975 against the “B” side of the Chicago Griffins. For this inaugural match the Maoris assembled a team of four experienced ruffians, 6 inexperienced ruffians, four high school students and a borrowed body from the Bloomington Blues RFC.
The Maoris came away with a 4 – 0 victory and the enthusiasm for rugby football was born in the Fox Valley. In the years to follow the new club acquired membership in the Chicago Area Rugby Football Union (CARFU) and a home pitch at Simmons Park in Aurora. Other experienced players found a home with the Maoris RFC. Several local athletes became CARFU select players.
As growth and success continued, the Maoris found themselves representing CARFU in Detroit Michigan at the Midwest Territorial Tournament. In these early days the club served the unions in many other capacities as well. Maoris player, Gregg Miller served as union president. The Fox Valley pitch served as a practice and trial site for CARFU and Mid West select side matches. Several touring teams were hosted by the Fox Valley RFC. The United States Rugby Union held a coaches training seminar at Simmons Park and Simmons Junior High School.
The Maoris also played host to the Chicago Ball Tournament and in 1990 the Maoris won the tournament. The Fox Valley area has enjoyed over 35 years of rugby football thanks to the commitment of hundreds of dedicated people who have unselfishly contributed to the success of this club.