ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The St. Louis Crusaders men’s rugby team competed in the 2016 Bingham Cup in Nashville, Tn. over Memorial Day weekend.

The Crusaders reached the semi-finals of Tier 3 competing for the Challenger Julep during the international rugby tournament promoting rugby as an inclusive, non-discriminatory sport.

The team played a total of five matches across three days against the Chicago Dragons, the Dallas Lost Souls, and an amalgamated team made up of members from the Seattle Quake, Portland Lumberjacks, New Zealand Falcons and San Francisco Fog, and the Armada Montreal.

This was the first tournament the current Crusaders team has participated in representing Missouri to the international gay and inclusive rugby community. The team participated in the tournament alongside 1,500 other athletes from 48 teams representing 28 countries making new friends and establishing a strong reputation for our state as a worthy opponent.

“We were originally thought to be the underdogs of the tournament and even an easy win,” said Robert Fischer, starting prop for the Crusaders. "However, the Crusaders fought hard and earned respect for our sportsmanship and quality of play."

The Bingham Cup was named in honor of Mark Bingham who helped start two of the first premier gay rugby clubs and is internationally known as one of the heroes of 9/11. At the time of Bingham’s death, only six gay and inclusive rugby clubs existed worldwide. Today, there are almost 60.



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