The USA Club Rugby season resumes this Saturday, as the Red River conference gets back in action. The rest of the conferences are still idle, but there will be 14 games across four divisions in the Red River over the weekend.
Here's the rundown:
Women | Red River - Division 2
In Red River Women's Division II play, three games were originally on the docket, but that number has been reduced to two after McAllen's late cancellation against the Valkyries.
So, as it happens, we'll have two matchups this weekend, as the Dallas Reds host crosstown rivals Dallas Athletic Rugby Club (DARC), and the San Antonio Riveters welcome Bay Area Rugby Club (BARC) to town.
Reds vs DARC
This will be the Reds first cup match of the season. Their counterparts, DARC, have played in and lost one game, a 19-10 defeat on at home to Little Rock.
Riveters vs BARC
The Riveters were ruthless in their one outing in the fall, clobbering McAllen 122-0. Bay Area also picked up a big win in their season opener, defeating defending conference champions Austin Valkyries 24-19.
To add some extra spice to this matchup, San Antonio's Antea Dedic and Bay Area's Ronnie Houck will line up across from each other in the centers, setting up an exciting battle between a pair of gamebreakers. The two were teammates on the TRU Selects team that put on a clinic at the All Star Challenge in December.
Men | Red River - Division 1
The men's Division 1 campaign kicks off this weekend with a pair of games in D-town. The Dallas Reds welcome the Austin Huns to Highlands Park, while the Austin Blacks travel to Glencoe Park to take on the Dallas Harlequins.
Reds vs Huns
The Huns saw a major resurgence in 2019 after a rough 2018 year which saw them win just one game. They look to improve upon last year's renaissance and push for a conference title in 2020. They'll have their work cut out for them in the season opener against a Reds team that has been one of the best in the country over the past five years.
Harlequins vs Blacks
If you remotely follow rugby in Texas at all, you well-know that the Austin Blacks rule the roost in the state. Having reached the national championship game in three of the past five seasons, the Blacks are once again the team to beat.
However, before the Blacks became the dominant team in Texas, it was their opponents this weekend, the Quins, who reigned supreme over everyone. They fell on hard times at the back end of the last decade, but they are in the process of a rebuild, and could use a strong outing this Saturday to help them on the road back to glory.
Men | Red River - Division 2 North
In the first round of cup matches for the Red River D2 North division, the Austin Huns will visit the Dallas Reds, and Fort Worth will host the Austin Blacks.
Reds vs Huns
Both teams had good years in 2019, but fell shy of reaching the conference championship. For the Reds, a heartbreaking loss in the semifinals kept them out, and they'll be eager to make another crack at it this go around. Saturday's test will be huge for both teams, as they can expect a highly competitive D2 competition in 2020.
Fort Worth vs Blacks
The Blacks took the Red River D2 crown in 2019, and they have plans to do the same in 2020. Their first game comes against a Fort Worth team that always seems to be streaky. The Blacks will need to bring their A-game to avoid an early slip-up, but they're a team used to having a target on their backs, so Saturday will be nothing new.
Men | Red River - Division 2 South
In the south, San Antonio sees Houston Athletic Rugby Club (HARC) come to town, while the Woodlands play at home under the lights against Houston United Rugby Team (HURT).
San Antonio vs HARC
This one has the makings of a real barn-barner. After a really strong 2018 season in D2, San Antonio made the leap into D1 for the following season. The step up in competition proved to be a bit too much for them, and they've elected to return to Division 2. This weekend they'll take on last year's Red River D2 runners up in HARC. It should be an exciting game and a good indicator of how these squads may fare in 2020.
Woodlands vs HURT
The Woodlands open their cup season with nighttime fixture at home versus Houston United. HURT took first in the South division last year, before falling in the conference semifinals to the Blacks. Hungry to go at least one better in 2020, HURT got off to a nice start with a 71-0 shutout of the San Marcos Greys in their first game.
Men | Red River - Division 3 North
After a nice holiday layoff, Red River Division 3 North sides are right back at it this weekend, with two games on tap. The Dallas Reds welcome DARC to Highlands park, and the Harlequins host Alliance.
Reds vs DARC
The Reds are off to a nice 2-1 start, losing only to top-of-the-table Grand Prairie back in November. They meet 3-1 DARC, whose one blemish is their 26-23 defeat against Alliance.
Harlequins vs Alliance
After a good opening round win over Shreveport, the Harlequins have dropped each of their last two contests. They'll look to get back on track against a 2-1 Alliance team.
Men | Red River - Division 3 Central
Three games are on the bill for Saturday in the Division 3 Central. San Antonio hosts Alamo City, the Austin Blacks welcome Other Rugby Club (ORC) to Burr Field, and the Corpus Christie Crabs take on McAllen in Corpus.
San Antonio vs Alamo City
It's been an up and down start for both teams through the early portion of the season. San Antonio recorded a big 47-41 win over the Austin Huns, but also dropped a pair of games to ORC and to the Blacks. Alamo City, meanwhile, suffered two big defeats to start the year against the Blacks and McAllen, but have recovered with back to back wins against ORC and Corpus Christie.
Blacks vs ORC
The Blacks are the two-time defending D3 national champions, and there's no reason to believe they aren't the favorites once again in 2020. They're off to a 4-0 start this season, and look to make it 5-0 on Saturday against brand new side ORC.
The Other Rugby Club has had an up and down season thus far, winning twice, losing twice, and suffering a forfeit. The forfeit will be a good learning point for the young club, who played a player in their 45-43 win against the Huns who had received a red card in the week prior. By law, a player who is red-carded is also subsequently suspended for the next eight days. Upon review, they had their win taken away and were penalized another point in the standings for breaching the rules.
Corpus Christie vs McAllen
Corpus comes into this game still seeking its first win of the year, but if they're going to get it, this weekend could be the one. Their opponents, McAllen, are 1-2 on the season and typically play much better at home than on the road.
Men | Red River - Division 3 South
Although there is only one game in the D3 South division this weekend, we're in for a good one. Two undefeated teams square off with the Woodlands hosting HURT.
Woodlands vs HURT
The Woodlands have begun the season with two comprehensive victories over Kingwood and the Houston Arrows, but Saturday brings with it a far tougher test. HURT sit at 2-0 after two massive blowout victories against Bay Area and Kingwood. This is a statement game early in the season, and the winner will have some good momentum moving forward.