MALDEN, MA – Mystic River Rugby Club and Middlesex Barbarians Rugby Club are excited to announce the merger of the two clubs. Both clubs are looking forward to building on their combined strengths in an effort to develop the game of rugby in the Boston area. “We want to give all of our players the best possible environment to grow and develop, whether that be as rookie rugby participants, high school players, fresh college graduates or as top-flight players participating in Division I rugby,” says Mystic President, Brett Willis. “We have always had a great deal of respect for Middlesex Rugby and what they have accomplished and are very excited at the prospect of a combined effort moving forward.”
The merger will see the combined club field teams in both Division 1 and Division 2. The Division 1 team will retain the Mystic River name, while the Division 2 team will compete as the “Mystic Barbarians”. The clubs will also field multiple 7s teams over the summer, including an elite team that will compete in the Northeast 7s Qualifier circuit.
The new entity will be run by a board comprised of both Mystic River and Middlesex officers, with Brett Willis continuing as President and outgoing Middlesex President, Dan Mullane, assuming the role of Director of Recruiting. Mullane is truly enthused by the union, saying “The merger of our clubs will help compress the player pool and give our combined team a real chance to compete for national titles in 15s and 7s year in and year out.”
Josh Smith, who has had an incredible run with Middlesex, will be stepping into the role of Head Coach. The coaching staff will also include former USA Eagles prop, Jake Sprague, with Mark Holi from Middlesex heading up the Mystic Barbarians Division 2 side. The club membership should be well served by the merger, as all players will now have the opportunity to compete at their preferred level using the premier facilities at Pine Banks Park and an experienced coaching staff.