Pen Green Club History



The Peninsula Green Rugby Football Club has a long history on the San Francisco Peninsula.  The Club has been in operation continually from 1998 to the present.  In addition to training many years of high school and youth rugby players, the team has spun off the core players and coaches to found multiple additional high school rugby and youth rugby teams that have also grown the sport.
High School - East Palo Alto Razor Backs, San Mateo Warriors
Youth - Stanford Seahawks (now Peninsula Seahawks - which spun off the Los Gatos and Mountain View teams)
The History

In 1998 several players at Sacred Heart Prep High School (SHP) were interested in playing rugby at the high school level.  Chad Keck (former player at Army, Harvard Business School and Manhattan [NY]) and father of SHP player, Matt Keck,  was instrumental in organizing the players and recruiting coaches for the the team.  Coaches Paul Negus (London Wasps, PAXO, PAXO Old Blacks) and Rich Kelly (Santa Clara, Mission RFC) took the initiative and established The PGRFC for High School age players in 1998 in order to provide a competitive high school rugby experience for athletes on the mid peninsula. The coaches emphasized rugby basics and team tactics, fielding successful teams that were known for both competitiveness and fair play. The team toured British Columbia, Canada in 2003.During these early years, the team often practiced on peninsula park fields without lighting and coach Paul Negus brought both a large light and a generator to illuminate the field for practices.  Negus also personally financed much of the team expenses - jerseys, balls, transportation.

It had always been the intention of Negus and Kelly to train younger rugby players.  In 2000 Negus and coach Bob Benson (Harvard Business School, Back Bay, PAXO, PAXO Old Blacks) decided to expand the age level offering and founded the Peninsula Green Youth Rugby program for players from 5 yrs to 14 yrs old.  With a lot of assistance from other coaches this program quickly grew to over 150 youth players and split into 4 geographically separated programs on the Peninsula which now have over 400 youth players.  In 2003 Benson also joined with Negus and Kelly to help coach the high school program.

Coach Rich Kelly retired in 2007 and coaches Moses Similai (Hawaii RFC, Old Blues RFC, PAXO Old Blacks RFC), George Richard (Chico RFC), Phil Bertetta (San Diego State, San Jose Seahawks) joined the PGRFC.  Coach Jim Collins joined the coaching staff in 2008.

In 2009, Negus retired from the Peninsula Green Rugby Football Club and Bob Benson became head coach supported by coaches Moses Similai, Jim Collins, and Phil Bertetta. In 2012, 4 new coaches joined the coaching staff to replace Jim Collins and Phil Bertetta – John Foster, Vic Dippenaar, Greg Lee and Steve Everett.  For 2013 the Club decided to expand with younger players in the Middle School (U14) and U12 age groups.  Coaches Wade Hess and Brad Richey joined the PGRFC coaching staff to coach the Middle School teams. 
In 2012 Benson and Similai asked Kala Kalauta (Fitness coach for the Tonga National Team) to help with coaching the Peninsula Green Rugby Club.  Since that time Kala has endeared himself with the Pen Green players and coaching staff with his quiet coaching style and his encyclopeadic knowledge of rugby.
For the 2014 season the Peninsula Green Rugby Football Club joined with the Peninsula Seahawk Youth Rugby Club to form the Peninsula Rugby Club The  Peninsula Green Rugby Football Club manages and fields the High School teams for the Peninsula Rugby ClubThe Peninsula Seahawk Youth Rugby Club manages and fields the 5 yr old through Middle School (14 yr old) teams for the Peninsula Rugby Club.  The two clubs work together to share coaching, to promote rugby and to provide a long term experience for youth rugby players on the San Francisco Peninsula.