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University of Notre Dame Men’s Rugby

Program History:

Formed in 1961 but only in its sixth year back on campus, Notre Dame rugby
has grown exponentially. It began in CARFU and quickly worked its way up the collegiate ranks,
when in 2011 the side was one of 32 teams invited to join the College Premier Division. The
2011 side, led by a class of 17 seniors, surprised the Mid-South Conference with its tough play
and fighting mentality. In 2012, the team contested matches against the service academies in the
fall and played once again in the Mid-South Conference of DI-A in the spring against some of the
nation’s strongest competition. Notre Dame is one of only seven teams to have been invited to all
four Collegiate Rugby Championships.

Coaching Staff:

Head Coach and Director of Rugby: Sean O’Leary

Sean moved to South Bend to restart the ND Rugby Program in 2007. Prior to that he served as Head Coach at Northeastern University for 4 years and at Boston College High School for 7 years. Sean was also an Assistant Coach for the USA U-19s from 2002-2005, and Head Coach of the USA U-17s from 2005-2008.

Forwards Coach: Lonnie Heeter

Lonnie also joined the program in 2007 after 7 years as an Assistant Coach at Penn High School. He concentrates on set piece for the Irish.

Fitness/Collision Area Coach: Neil MacDonald

After 35 years of rugby experience, “Mac” leads the Fitness & Conditioning Program for ND Rugby. He specializes in coaching the back row and the collision area. Mac is a Personal Trainer at the University and the Conditioning Coach for the University Boxing Program.

7s Coach: David Fee

David played 29 times for the USA 15s and captained the USA 7s. He is in his second year leading the ND 7s Program. David is also an Assistant Coach with the USA High School All American Program.

Backs Coach: Joel Bennett

Joel is in his second year at ND having coached at Penn High School for the previous 3 years. He has 11 years of playing experience and still plays Men’s Rugby locally for Michiana RFC.

SAQ & Yoga Coach: Cat Bolten

Cat is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies at the University. Cat uses her 8 years of experience as a competitive heptathlete to improve the players’ Speed, Agility & Quickness. She also leads the Yoga portion of the Rugby Program.

Chicago Lions March 2nd Chicago
ND v Arizona March 10th Tuscan, AZ
ND v ASU March 12th Phoenix, AZ
ND v Davenport (A & B sides) March 23rd Notre Dame
ND v Ohio State (A & B sides) March 30th Brother Rice HS, Chicago
ND v Wheeling Jesuit (A side) April 6th Notre Dame
A side v Michiana/ B v Ball State  April 13th Notre Dame
Varsity Cup 1st Round (ND v Cal) April 20th Annapolis, MD
Varsity Cup Semi Final April 27th  TBD
Varsity Cup Final May 4th  TBD
CRC 7s June 1st & 2nd Philadelphia, PA

Highlighted players:

Bobby Manfreda: Although he only began playing rugby sophomore year of college, Bobby
quickly picked up the game, traveling with the first side immediately and participating in the
CRC 7s his first year. Now a senior, Bobby plays flanker in 15s. He recently won the 194 lbs.
division of Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts boxing competition and will be working for a consulting
firm in Chicago next year.

Sean Peterson: Sean has been playing rugby since an early age, and started at Notre Dame as a
freshman. His knowledge of the game has been vital to the squad’s success and he is comfortable
at both scrum-half and fly-half. A native of Sacramento, California and graduate of Jesuit High
School, Sean will be attending medical school after graduating Notre Dame.