The Fox Valley Māori 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 hometown friends of Aurora, Illinois. Both brothers received their introduction to the glorious sport of Rugby during their time at University; Danny at Southern Illinois University and Benny 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 or so high school friends attended the meeting to learn about the sport of rugby. Little did these gentlemen know they were about to start the beginning of decades of Fox Valley Rugby history. A practice was scheduled and the word of a new club spread to other locals; some even with rugby experience. Struggling to side a first XV in the beginning days a match was still scheduled for May 4, 1975 against the “B” side of the Chicago Griffins. For this inaugural match the Māori assembled a team of four experienced ruffians, 6 inexperienced ruffians, four high school students, and a borrowed body from the Bloomington Blues RFC. The fellas manages to come away with a 4 – 0 victory and the enthusiasm of rugby was born in the Fox Valley; in 1975 a try was worth 4-points.
In the years to follow the newly formed club acquired membership in the Chicago Area Rugby Football Union (CARFU) and found a home pitch at Simmons Park in Aurora. As growth and success continued, the Fox Valley Māori found themselves representing CARFU in Detroit, Michigan at the Midwest Territorial Tournament. The Fox Valley Māori played host to the Chicago Ball Tournament and in 1990 the Māori won the tournament. As the years passed the club grew with other experienced players found a home with the Fox Valley Māori. Several of these Māori went on to became CARFU select side players.
In these early days the club served CARFU in many other capacities as well. Māori player, Gregg Miller served as CARFU President. The Fox Valley Rugby pitch served as a practice and trial site for CARFU and Midwest Select Side matches. Fox Valley Māori has hosted a number of international touring sides over the years. Always wanting to grow the sport of rugby the Fox Valley Māori and the United States Rugby Union held a coaches training seminar at Simmons Park and Simmons Junior High School.
The Fox Valley area has enjoyed 45 years of Fox Valley Māori Rugby thanks to the commitment of hundreds of dedicated people that have unselfishly contributed to the success of this club. The club is devoted to this day like the early years to grow and develop rugby through all levels. From the Predators Rugby Club (Youth program ages 12-18), Fox Valley Vixens (Women’s rugby), Kāumaua (Old Boy’s), and the Fox Valley Māori (Men’s D3).