Newport Rugby will host the 2022 Rhode Island Rugby Festival on the Parade Field inside the historic walls of Fort Adams on Saturday, April 9.

A full day of rugby, which features players from youth, college, and men’s club levels, will kick off at 11 am with youth rugby matches, hosted by Island Rugby, the local Newport County Youth Rugby Football Club team, and Providence Youth Rugby.  

At 12:30 pm, the Rhode Island Collegiate All-Star match will kick off.  This match will showcase talent from Providence College, Roger Williams, Salve, and URI. The Newport and Providence men’s rugby clubs have drafted eligible players to form representative teams for each club in a special all-star game. This game is presented by event sponsors Arbella Insurance and Fitzpatrick Team who contributed towards special edition match jerseys for each player.

The headline event will begin at 2:30 pm with the Rhode Island Cup. Bagpipes and a color guard will march the Providence and Newport Clubs into the Fort to prepare for the kick-off. For over 25 years, in-state rivals Newport Rugby Football Club and Providence Rugby Football Club have squared off on the rugby pitch, with the winner claiming rights to the Rhode Island Cup.  This annual rugby match is always a fierce contest between Rhode Island’s two top-level men’s rugby programs, with bragging rights to “best rugby team in Rhode Island” on the line.  Newport RFC has claimed the RI Cup in recent years, and on April 9th they will not only be looking to “Defend the Fort”, but to also “Defend the Cup”.  Providence will be looking to upset the home team and take the Cup back to Providence.

Governor Dan McKee will be overseeing the match opening proceedings and carrying out the official coin flip before the game, according to Newport Rugby.

The event is supported by the Fort Adams Trust.  Admission and parking are free to spectators and participants, and donations at the gate are encouraged to support the Fort Adams Trust.  Concessions will be available in the Fort for attendees.

For additional information please visit www.newportrugby.com/ri-rugby-festival

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.

He currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.