Rhode Island Rebellion
|Full name||Rhode Island Rebellion
Rugby League Football Club
|CEO(s)||Lawrence Almagno, Jr.|
|Competition||USA Rugby League|
The Rhode Island Rebellion are an American semi-professional rugby league football team based in Providence, Rhode Island. The Rebellion compete in the USA Rugby League (USARL), which they joined as a charter franchise in the 2011 season. They play their home games at Classical High School.
The club was established in 2011 by Lawrence Almagno, Alex DeCiccio, and Anthony Nardolillo, as a charter member of the USA Rugby League. Together with Oneida FC and the New Jersey Turnpike Titans, they were one of three new teams to join the USARL, which was formed by clubs that had broken with the established American National Rugby League (AMNRL). The USARL had originally intended to establish a team in New York City, sponsored by the private investment fund, Kodiak Capital Group, LLC, and named Kodiak Rugby. Almagno, a Kodiak employee, was one of the planners charged with setting up the team, but the group was unable to find a suitable venue in New York. Thereafter Almagano just having moved back to Rhode Island contacted DeCiccio in order to determine if Rhode Island had a large enough player pool to form a new team. After the first team meeting, Nardolillio joined Almagno and DeCiccio to assist in the task of bringing the team to Providence, Rhode Island. The move gave the USARL four teams in New England.
Almagno, who had experience playing both rugby league and rugby union, got together with former teammates DeCiccio and Nardolillo to recruit players. Their first major signing was Australian former professional player Josh Price. After initial difficulty finding players, they were able to recruit a full roster in time for the inaugural 2011 USARL season. They achieved their first win of the season in game four against the New Jersey Turnpike Titans. During their inaugural season the Rebellion attracted around 300 fans a game and was able to cover its expenses.
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Youth Development and Community Involvement
In the Fall of 2011 Lawrence Almagno formed the American Youth Rugby League Association, and with the help of Anthony Nardolillo, John St. John, Eric Hall and Joshua Kent administered a middle school Rugby League development program and pseudo competition at Roger Williams & Esek Hopkins Middle School. Whilst formalities with the incorporation of the American Youth Rugby League Association (AYRLA) the program was technically run under the banner of the Rhode Island Rebellion Rugby League Team.
The program continued in the Spring of 2012 with the help of Mik Shammas of the Boston 13s and NAMOA as well as Philip Henry, John St. John, Anthony Nardolillo. Later on in the program David John French and Gareth Frodsham joined the staff as well. The Rebellion returned that July to run Rugby League summer programs as part of the Providence After School Alliance's summer camp's. In the Spring of 2013 the American Youth Rugby League Association has expanded its programming to include a third Providence Middle School allowing for a more proper Rugby League competition to take a hold in the Providence Middle Schools.
In February 2012, due to the assistance of Shayla Belenger and the Rhode Island Institute for the Study and Practice of Non-Violence. The Rhode Island Rebellion & AYRLA were able to start a Rugby League Program at the Rhode Island Training School, which serves as a Juvenile rehabilitation center for youth. (an alternative to sending youth offenders to prison). The Program ran from February through August. The program started off as flag and eventually progressed into a full contact program culminating with a mixed game with the Rhode Island Rebellion. All the residents were treated to an outdoor BBQ in which they were able to watch their peer's mix it up with the Rhode Island Rebellion.
In 2012, the Title sponsor of the Rebellion for 2011 and 2012 Ullucci Physical Therapy donated 10,000.00 to Classical High School per the request of the Rebellion in lieu of the money going to them for the 2012 season. Classical High School, where the Rebellion play their home games as well as their training ground, were short 10,000 dollars for installing stands at their home field, something the school has never had in its history. In Rhode Island, Providence the capital city has been experiencing extremely difficult financial times since the financial collapse in 2008, which has effected Providence High Schools, including Classical. The Rebellion as part of its mission has been to serve the community and the State of Rhode Island, saw the donation as a way to stay true to their mission of assisting the growth of its community as it grows.
The Rebellion in partnership with the Boston 13s & American Youth Rugby League Association are attempting to organize a few U23 teams in the area in order to form a competition that would include the Rhode Island Training School in the Spring of 2013.
The Inaugural Champions of the U23 Competition were the RI Training School (Team Black) Defeating the RIR U23 team. The RI Training School (Team Grey) won the plate beating the Boston 13s U23 team.
In 2013 one of the participants of the U23 Program at the RI Training School, upon release, made the RI Rebellion Roster, being the first person in the USA to come through a youth development program and make a 1st Grade Team. "RIR have first for rugby league". rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com. August 1, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2013.
In 2014 The American Youth Rugby League Association in Partnership with The RI Rebellion are Launching a High School Competition in Providence Rhode Island In Providence Public Schools. This was possible because of the popularity of the sport in Providence middle schools and those students moving on to high school with the desire to continue playing rugby league.
- Lawrence Almagno
- Brad Crandall
- David John French
- Luke Handley
- Tom Riley
- Jose Montanga
- Matthew Tanozzini
- Brendan Sweeney
- Joey Cofone
- "Tank" Meyers
- Nate Andrews
- Khalid Halloumi
- Matt Burke
- Mike Jones
- Kevin Pomeroy (June 30, 2011). "New semi-pro rugby team finding its way". Warwick Beacon. Retrieved July 1, 2011.
- "RI's First Semi-Pro Rugby Team Debuts". golocalprov.com. April 23, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- Damien Baldino (July 8, 2011). "Johnston Native Brings Rugby To RI". patch.com. Retrieved July 13, 2011.
- Mark Reynolds (July 23, 2011). "Providence-based rugby team battles for recognition". The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- "USA Rugby League (USARL) is Formed; Nine Clubs Already Committed To Inaugural 2011 Season". usarl.com. USA Rugby League. January 11, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- Ian Bridge (February 18, 2011). "Inaugural USARL Line-up Announced". league13.info. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "USARL Constitution & Teams announced". usarl.com. USA Rugby League. February 18, 2011. Retrieved March 24, 2011.
- "Youth Rugby League making an impact in New England schools". USA Rugby League. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Podcast Episode 19: Lawrence Almagno (Rhode Island Rebellion RLFC, USARL)". arugbylife.com. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Rugby League Reforming Youth". rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com. 6 November 2012. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
- "Title unknown".[dead link]
- "Rhode Island Rebellion". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-03-21.