News and Announcements

Former rugby player, philosophy professor reflects on program’s first international trip in 1967

by Oliver Larmi, Ph.d  ’71 G

Upon my arrival this March 16, a Bermudian asked, “Is this your first time in Bermuda?”   “No,” I said, “I come here every  50 years!”
I allowed that I that led Penn Rugby to Bermuda in 1967 as team captain and coach.   Then I was a Penn teaching fellow in philosophy eligible to play club sports.   I came from Dartmouth Rugby where I made the 1960 spring break California tour, went on to score two “A” team tries against Villanova, and rose to “C” team captain with prominent ivy footballers in the backfield.
My  Penn teammates elected me captain in 1965, and I soon brought the Dartmouth spirit of spring break rugby to the club.  One time we toured southern universities like Virginia and Duke, the next Bermuda, and finally the Bahamas.
We financed this out of pocket.    On my modest grad stipend, I even sold my body for the cause to Penn Medicine research, enduring a catherization through my groin.
In Bermuda my young wife and I were hosted by the Captain of the Bermuda Club and my teammates by other members.   We played four games in six days, losing to the Bermuda Club, the Police Club, and the Teachers’.   We ended on a high note finally by beating their All Stars.   In between we buzzed around the island on light motor bikes. Meeting Norm Dahlgren ‘68 coming the other way, we told of great views of the sea and craggy shore we had just left.   “Been there already,” he quipped, as he motored off.    On the beach we enjoyed the sea and sun.   Other collegians next to me and my wife there were aghast when I pulled out a pile of  blue books to grade.   Their looks betrayed them imagining their professors grading their work at the same time.
Patrick Norton ’69 didn’t have one of his blue books in the pile.     Besides being my teammate in Bermuda, and my sucessor as team captain, he was one of my Ancient Philosophy students.     Pat went on to be a Rhodes Scholar and successful lawyer serving in the Reagan White  House.
50 years later, I was still able to cross the goal line legitimately, as a volunteer Penn touch judge where I helped determine whether conversion kicks were good or not.    Penn star players like Alex Salazar and Nick Biden ran me ragged as I had to run behind the posts after the 21 tries the team made in their six matches.   It won 4 and lost 2 in massing well over 100 points making it the bowl winner of the tournament.

In the photo facing the camera are the Bermuda captain, Olli Larmi, and Pat Norton


Quakers went 4-2 in first international tournament in program history

By Cole Jacobson 03/22/17 5:27pm


The University of Pennsylvania men’s rugby program is pleased to announce that we have finalized a new corporate sponsorship agreement with the sports nutrition company, Ruck Science. As an organization, we are very committed to ensuring the health and safety of our players. So for the past few years, the club’s admin team have been looking to find a nutrition partner whose products we feel comfortable recommending to our members. By finalizing this open-ended sponsorship deal with, Ruck Science, we hope to raise some consistent, passive revenue for the club and at the same time ensure that our players and supporters are using only the best possible nutritional supplements.

Before we talk too much about our new sponsors, we’d like to take a few minutes to thank all the corporate partners we’ve worked with during the past couple of seasons, in particular HSBC and Canterbury.

Why is this a good deal for the club?

Fundraising for amateur rugby is actually much harder than people realize. It often involves trying to track down sponsors for cheques that they’ve promised and are reluctant to deliver on. Getting cheques is nice, but the work you have to do to get them can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. By contrast, the RS sponsorship program is super-simple and very low maintenance for our management team. It works like this, any time a player or supporter, parent or student associated with the U Penn rugby program makes a purchase on, the company will make a cash donation of up to 20% of the value of your order. All you need to do is use the coupon code UPENNRUGBY during the checkout process. You’ll get 50% off your first order, and a portion of all future orders will go directly to the club.

This kind of deal is good for the club because it doesn’t require us to pay for printing costs to put their logo on our jerseys or anything like that. We also don’t need to worry that a cheque will bounce. And best of all, if you’re buying these kinds of products anyway (many of us are), a simple switching of brands means the club can benefit substantially.

Products designed for rugby players

We’ve done quite a bit of research into different supplement suppliers, and are confident that Ruck Science provides the best possible products for our members. Unlike most companies that sell nutritional products, these guys only sell supplements for rugby players. That means the focus of their products is on performance on the field and recovery after games rather than on building superficial bulk in the gym. They also provide a 100% guarantee that their supplements contain no banned substances. So for anyone competing in other sports at an NCAA level, this is a nice assurance to have. In particular, their products do not contain any ingredients that are anabolic in nature.

How will we use the proceeds?

For many things the club needs help with on an on-going basis. We’re always looking to fundraise for bus trips, social events and equipment. If you can help us in those fundraising efforts by using Ruck Science’s pre-workout or whey protein rather than your current brand, it would be greatly appreciated by your teammates.

Other stuff they do

If you’re keen to read some blogs about rugby by a wide range of authors, checkout the company’s rugby training blog which includes a bunch of stuff about different niche issues and ideas related to rugby. Here’s a sampling:

College Rugby as an alternative to Greek life
What to expect at your first rugby practice
Three exercises to master breakdown poaching
Why curls are the best exercise for rugby
How to avoid muscle cramping in rugby games

Work for the company

Want a job in rugby? Ruck Science are actively recruiting top talent for internships and full-time paid positions. They don’t publish current opportunities, but everyone is welcome to email their management team to find out about what they have on offer. We understand that they’re looking for team members to move to Austin, TX and potentially handle international franchising opportunities, crowdfunding programs and new product development.

How to use to help support Penn Rugby

1. Sign up for Rucks (their rewards program) and you’ll get $20 to spend before your first purchase.
2. Check out their sample stack which contains their 4 supplement blends in a handy carrying case.
3. Be sure to use coupon code UPENNRUGBY when you checkout for 50% off your first purchase.
4. Use that code once and a % of all future orders will be given directly to the club.

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Thank you to all our donors, players, coaches, the Kingsessing Roadrunners, and PennRec for their help in making Penn Rugby Bikes to Bermuda a huge success!

The team biked for a total of 378.6 miles, with a total pledged of $5584.

To all our donors, please verify your email for a message for instructions on how to submit donations.

Here is a recap on how far each of our players biked!

1. Nick Biden: 26.2 miles
2. Cullen O’Boyle: 25.0 miles
3. Alec Bayliff: 24.3 miles
4. Camilo Ignacio Navarro Vivar: 24.1 miles
5. Gary Zhou: 24.0 miles
5. Taylor Martinez: 24.0 miles
7. Matthew Dong: 23.5 miles
8. Tabong Kima: 22.0 miles
8. Harrison Seymour: 22.0 miles
8. David Harris: 22.0 miles
11. Matt Caltabiano: 21.0 miles
12. Gavin Bond: 20.9 miles
13. Jack Smallwood: 20.7 miles
14. Lincoln Talbott: 20.6 miles
15. David Kinnaird: 20.2 miles
16. Conner Wakeman: 19.6 miles
17. Nathan Xu: 18.5 miles

Penn Rugby Bikes to Bermuda

Posted by University of Pennsylvania Rugby at Feb 21, 2017 11:53AM PST

Tuesday 2/21 from 7-8 pm, Penn Rugby will bike as a team to raise money for their upcoming 7’s tour to Bermuda in mid-March. We ask that you consider donating to support the team. 50% of the money raised will go to the team’s trip and the other 50% will benefit the Kingsessing Roadrunners which promotes youth athletics in Philadelphia and is launching a Rookie Rugby Program this Spring.

We are asking that supporters pledge for each mile which a specific player bikes. If the player you choose to support bikes the farthest, you will receive a free Penn Rugby t-shirt. See the google below to learn how to pledge a donation.

Keep an eye out for player profiles on our FaceBook page that we’ll post this week where the players will let you know why they’re the best player to support!