Northeast Academy Women’s Rugby Spotlight

Northeast Academy at Rugby Barbados 7s
Credit: Rugby 7s Magazine

Founded in 2013 by Sean Horan and Steve Lewis, the Northeast Academy was originally envisaged as an elite Mens 7’s program and designated by USA Rugby as its initial Olympic Development Academy (ODA). Its mission was to providing playing opportunities for athletes between the club and international levels, as part of the pathway to national team selection, and indeed the Northeast ODA enjoyed much early success.

By 2015, Horan felt strongly that the same opportunities should be afforded female athletes and that a women’s side should also be added to the program. Since then the Northeast have always sent both a men’s and women’s team to every tournament in which they compete.

Recognizable players from the Northeast Academy include dual 15’s and 7’s caps Tess Feury and Nicole Heavirland, as well as 7s cap Sarah Buonopane. The Academy’s commitment to the women’s program include the rotation of coaches such as Steve Lewis, Rys Chadwick and Academy Director John McGeachy between both men’s and women’s programs.

Next stops for the Academy women’s program is the inaugural Lupus Intus tournament in Dartmouth on Labor Day, followed by regular appearances at the New York Sevens, the Rugby Barbados World 7s and the Las Vegas Invitational.

Support for the Academy comes from both the Empire and New England geographic Unions as well as Tradeview Forex and kit manufacturer Samurai.

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