Men's Rugby

The Saint Mary's College Rugby Team was established in 1888. Respected as one of the elite college rugby programs in the country, the Gaels stand on the shoulders of all who wore the red and blue hoops before them.

National Champions

2014, 2015, 2016 (7s), 2017

Undefeated in 2019, 2020 & 2021


Rugby Tour Postponed

I want to be the first to tell you that, unfortunately, the opportunity of a rugby lifetime, our tour to play Oxford Cambridge and Trinity must be postponed. Covid and the Omicron variant have made this trip ‘a bridge too far’ for our student athletes. Both England and Ireland continue to be marked a Level 4 by the State Department, and the college will not allow short-term travel to destinations above a Level 3. 

This trip is postponed not cancelled as we hope to resurrect the opportunity in the future. For those who have bought and sold raffle tickets the funds are being held in a separate rugby account specifically designated for a tour. Questions, comments or concerns please contact Marty Storti or Team President Mackade Mangels

Thank you for your tireless enthusiasm of the program

Head Coach, Tim O’Brien


The Pat Vincent Challenge

Thank you Alumni!

Thank you Parents!

Thank you Friends of Gael Rugby!

The Pat Vincent Challenge was a huge success. We are still processing some of the last minute gifts, but we already exceded our goal and have raised $177,688 to support Gael Rugby. The generosity of the Gael Nation is awesome and all of the players are truly appriciative. 

Season Tickets Still Available

Hello Gael Nation - Season tickets for the upcoming 2021/2022 season are now available. Click on this LINK to purchase your season tickets and watch the nationally ranked Gaels take the pitch.


With COVID challenges all games are tentative

Please check back for any changes

30-Oct-2021 - Away - NARA (W 54-10), U. of Colorado (W 29-15)

6-Nov-2021 - Home - Berkeley Men's Club C Team (W 45-15)

13-Nov-2021 - Home - Nor Cal Grizzly All Stars (W 19-12), Olde Gaels (W 54-33)

20-Nov-2021 - Home - SMC B-Side vs Sacramento St. (W 90-10)

22-Nov-2021 - Home - Life University (W 31-29)

4-Dec-2021 - Home - Life West - (W 29-26), SMC B-Side vs Olde Gaels (W 36-15)

11-Dec-2021 - Away - SMC B-Side vs Long Beach St. - (W 69-31)

12-Dec-2021 - Away - Gilitinis Academy - (W 41-24)

8-Jan-2022 - Home - POSTPONED - San Jose Seahawks - Stadium

15-Jan-2022 - Home - POSTPONED - UC Davis, Olde Gaels

22-Jan-2022 - Away - Cal Poly

11-Feb-2022-Away - Santa Clara

12-Feb-2022 - Home - BYU

19-Feb-2022 - Home - UCLA

26-Feb-2022 - Away - Grand Canyon

5-Mar-2022 - Away - Central Washington

12-Mar-2022 - Away - BYU

19-Mar-2022 - Home - San Diego St.

26-Mar-2022 - Away - Cal

2-Apr-2022 - Home - UC Santa Barbara

9-Apr-2022 - TBD - Playoffs

16-Apr-2022 - TBD - Quarter Finals

23-Apr-2022 - TBD - Semi Finals

30-Apr-2022 - TBD - National Championship

Gaels Defeat Life West - 29 to 26

December 4, 2021 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, California

The Gaels took the pitch against Life West who has several former Gaels in their ranks. The Gaels jumped out to a 19 to 0 lead but Life West fought hard to the end and came all the way back to have the final whistle end their shot at a victory. Severl Gaels received valuable minutes in the match that will prove useful throughout the season. 

Gaels Beat Life - 31 to 29

November 22, 2021 - Saint Mary's Stadium - Moraga, California

It took the full 80 minutes but the Gaels prevailed with a successful penalty kick at full time to seal the victory. One would expect both teams to play at a higher standard as the season progresses, but every fan in attendance was treated to a fantastic rugby game. The Gaels started off the scoring followed by some dominant rugby by Life University who took a comanding lead late into the second half. The Gaels fought back and got within 5, but Life elected to kick for points and went up by 8. The Gaels didn't quit and with some of their most connected rugby scored a converted try to close the gap to 28 to 29. With the Gaels controlling possession and looking to attack wide, Life was called for a penalty. The kick was slotted with no time remaining, giving the Gaels the 31 to 29 victory. Both teams will learn from this match and be better for it. As they say, today was a great day for rugby. Keeping with the rugby tradition both teams joined together, took a few pictures and shared some stories. Life was able to clean up some and get a bit of food prior to taking off to the airport. We wish Life safe travels.

Gaels have successful trip to Colorado

The Saint Mary's College Men's Rugby program traveled to Colorado to start their season. The first team took on the North American Rugby Academy and the second team competed against the University of Colorado. Infinity Park was the beautiful location to host these two matches on their side field. The Gaels dominated possession on the pitch and on the scoreboard ending with the first team earning a convincing 54-10 victory. The second team played a well organized Colorado team. The second team was up to the task and prevailed 29-15. A great start to the season that has many upcoming challenges. 

Tavite Lopeti and Dino Waldren - USA Eagles vs the All Blacks

Tavite Lopeti and Dino Waldren wore the national team jerseys against the famed All Blacks. Although the score was not in favor of the Eagles they gained perspective on the match. Head Coach Gary Gold praises the play of Tavite after the match. 

20th Annual Tucci Golf Party was a Great Success!

Over 100 former and current Gaels had a great day of golf and fun at the annual Tucci Golf Party. In memorial of Frank Tucci and all of the fallen Gaels, this was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends, tell some stories that may or may not be embellished, and support the current team. A special thanks to Jim Togneri for all of his work over the past 20 years. 

Gaels dominate Cal 32-14

On April 17, 2021 the Gaels hosted the California Berkeley Bears in Moraga, CA. With COVID restrictions the fans had to line up outside of the playing venue to watch this much anticipated match. The atmosphere was electric with the fans tailgating and cheering on their team. The Gaels started strong scoring first and never looking back until the final whistle blew.

Gaels outlast BYU  35-28

Watch Live on Youtube


Saint Mary's Completes Sweep of BYU ... Barely | Alex Goff Report

The Gaels have beaten BYU twice, both close games, and also beaten Cal and Central Washington. For BYU, it was yet another close game the Cougars didn't quite win—they have been within reach of Cal, and twice with Saint Mary's, and tied Central Washington. Read more here. 


Saint Mary's battles against BYU in their final home match for A side this season.  Final score 22 - 19.  B Side hosted UC Davis and came away with a win 29 - 25.






12th Annual Pat Vincent Fundraise recorded Program 

Donate Here


Mail in your donation: 

Men's Rugby/Pat Vincent Fundraiser

1928 Saint Mary's Road

Moraga, CA 94575

It's Hard to Ignore 32 -14 | Goff Rugby Report

The tone was set early when the Gaels won a lineout and mauled it over from about 15 meters out. That maul was impressive because the players bound tightly and they didn't allow themselves to be distracted from the task at hand. Read more here. 


Saint Mary's Downs Cal | Goff Rugby Report

Saint Mary's took it to Cal Saturday, beating their Northern California rivals 32-14 Saturday in the second game either of these two teams have played since March of 2020. Read more here.


Saint Mary's over Central Washington | Goff Report

Saint Mary's opened up their season after more than a year away from competition, and beat a very strong Central Washington team 38-17 in Moraga, Saturday. Read more here


Registration now open for the 12th annual Pat Vincent Fundraiser. Click here for more information.



Anthony Richardson credits rugby for giving him a new lease on life. At a time when his health was wavering, Richardson was invited to come out to a 7s practice and instantly fell in love. While he knew nothing about the game and was not physically prepared for the game’s demands, he knew that he had found his place of refuge.  Read more here.


2020 Rudy Scholz and MA Sorensen Awards | Alex Goff

Join Alex Goff as he officially presents the MA Sorensen Award for the top women's college rugby player in the country, and the Rudy Scholz Award for the top men's college rugby player in the US. The awards are sponsored by the Washington Athletic Club of Seattle, Wash. Hear from the winners, plus a few special guests as we celebrate the best of college rugby. See all our coverage of the Scholz and Sorensen Awards at Goff Rugby Report here:

Telea Ilalio Rocks His Scholz Award Trophy | Alex Goff

Telea Ilalio was named the Rugby Sorensen Award Winner as the top men's college player in the country. He would normally have received his trophy at the annual awards dinner in Seattle, Wash. But with the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, the dinner was canceled. Read More here

Draft - Watch here

#3 Overall Pick - Derek Ellingson

#5 Overall Pick - Aaron Matthews


Congratulations to our 2020 Graduates



2019-2020 Team Awards


Best Rugby Player in America for 2020? Right here in the Bay Area...Again | KPIX Vern Glenn

vern Glenn


The 42 News Article: 'I'd love to get into an academy somewhere because I want to play pro rugby' - Karl Keene, Class of 2023

A student at St Mary’s College of California, one of the leading college teams, Keane is a highly-rated prospect in the US and has ambitions of making it in professional rugby. Read more here.


USA Men's U20 Head Coach Scott Bracken has named 33 players to the 2020 team, with Saint Mary’s freshman Miles McCormick as captain.

"There is no better jersey to wear than the red, white, and blue," McCormick told Goff Rugby Report. "To be captain is such an honor. For me and the other players it's very attractive to play against different countries."

Saint Mary's Prop Payton Telea Ilalio Wins Rudy Scholz Award | Goff Report
Payton Telea Ilalio has been selected as the winner of the 2019-2020 Rudy Scholz Award as the top men's collegiate rugby player in the United States.

Telea Ilalio is the first prop, and in fact the first tight five forward of any kind, to win the award. 

Fan and team voting around the country pared the group of nominees down to five finalists. Selecting the Scholz Award winner was then the task of the Rudy Scholz Award Panel, which included: Ohio State University Head Coach Tom Rooney, University of Arizona Head Coach Sean Duffy, US Naval Academy Head Coach and former All American Head Coach Gavin Hickie, Dartmouth Head Coach and current All American Head Coach James Willocks, former Central Washington Head Coach Tony Pacheco, journalist Austin Willis, and Goff Rugby Report Editor and Scholz Award coordinator Alex Goff.

Payton Telea Ilalio 2020 Scholz Finalist

Taking a break from working a carpentry job, Payton Telea Ilalio is a multi-skilled prop for Saint Mary's, and he sits down with Alex Goff to talk about his growth as a player and his plans for the future.

Rugby Matrix Talk with Coach Brendan O'Meara

Former Saint Mary's All American Brendan O'Meara has been back at his alma mater coaching the Gaels players and mentoring young athletes.

This week in College Rugbyb Episode 12

California Conference Names All-Conference Players | Alex Goff

The California Collegiate Conference has named its All-Conference team, with Rudy Scholz Award nominees Payton Telea Ilalio, Ronan Murphy, Patrick Madden, and Aaron Matthews all on the list.

This week in College Rugby Episode 11


Nominees For 2019-2020 Scholz Award Named | Alex Goff

Following fan voting and nominations put forth by the Scholz Award Committee of coaches and experts, The list this year is larger than usual—18 players—and that is a function of the rugby shutdown halting playoffs, which is usually when certain players make an even stronger case for themselves.

Vote for your nominee here.

This week in College Rugby Episode 10


D1A, D1 Elite Confirms Cancelation Of Season | Alex Goff

D1A Rugby has confirmed that it will cancel the 2020 playoffs and national championships, and that the D1 Elite playoffs, which were to be held in conjunction with D1A, are also canceled.


Amidst the growing risk of the Coronoavirus in the United States, it is important at this time we understand the health and welfare of our student-athletes and the well being of their families is paramount.

Therefore, while all rugby is suspended for thirty days we are, in solidarity with USA Rugby, canceling the 2020 D1A Playoffs and National Championship; along with conjoined competition in Women’s D1 Elite.

Further information will be released as the situation evolves and becomes available.


This week in College Rugby Episode 9


SMC 43 - NAVY 25

In a hugely physical clash between top-10 D1A teams, Saint Mary's pulled away from Navy to beat the Midshipmen 43-25 Saturday at Cal's Witter field. | Goff Rugby Report

Navy and Saint Mary's went at each other as hard as possible, and it was a battle for Saint Mary's to make the gainline early on. But slowly Saint Mary's started to inch their way through. Joe Marchant was very effective running onto the ball, and Ronan Murphy was also useful, while out wide Eddie King continued his good run of form.

Joe Yacoubian put over a penalty goal for the first points of the day, but on the next kickable penalty, the Gaels opted for the lineout, and eventually punched one over. Navy stormed back, and after a yellow card to Tavite Lopeti of Saint Mary's, the Midshipmen kicked deep and turned the ball over to score in the corner. That made it a four-point game. The teams traded scored to keep it that way, 24-20 at halftime.

It remained close through a good portion of the second half, but the depth of Saint Mary's started to tell and the Gaels scored three late tries to pull away.


Four Top D1A Teams At One Special Day At Cal | Goff Rugby Report 

Saint Mary’s comes in after a pretty solid defeat of UCLA last week, one in which fullback Eddie King had a bit of a breakout performance, and one in which the front row of Payton Telea Ilalio, Nick Hryekowicz, and Joe Marchant put a bit of a stranglehold on the Bruin pack. Read more here.


SMC 51 - Sac State 21

This week in College Rugby Episode 8



#2 Saint Mary’s remain undefeated on the year after #15 UCLA match. Read more here.

D1A Scores and Games this weekend | Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff

SMC 60 vs UCLA 25

This Week in College Rugby Week 7



#4 Saint Mary’s remains dominant within the California conference as other inter-state matchups prove to shakeup the standings; Cal Poly over UC Davis, and UCSB defeating Santa Clara.  Read more here. 

SMC gets conference win over SDSU 

This Week in College Rugby Episode 6

Gamebreakers DIA Players This Weekend | Goff Rugby Report | Alex Goff

Payton Telea Illalio, Saint Mary's

In a tense 25-24 win over BYU, the Gaels prop was solid throughout, getting Saint Mary's over the gainline in a game where they had trouble doing that.

Joe Yacoubian, Saint Mary's

Back from an injury that sidelined him for close to a year, the young flyhalf started in the #10 jersey and picked apart the Grand Canyon defense in a 69-7 Gaels victory on Monday. Yacoubian also scored two tries.

SMC 69 vs Grand Canyon University 7

  • SMC B Side 74 - GCU B Side 17

gael rugby

SMC edges out BYU 25-24 on Saturday, Feb 15.  

SMC B Side 103 - Sac State 14

SMC C Side 98 - UC Santa Cruz 5


Highlight Video from FloRugby


Saint Mary's Ekes One Out Over BYU | Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report

BYU hit Saint Mary’s hard early and put the Gaels under pressure. Putting together of their best offensive efforts against strong opposition in some time, BYU looked more polished, and were certainly more aggressive than they have been in recent visits to Moraga. Read more here.

Last minute try by Lorenzo Richardson

last minute try

Saint Mary's Wins on Final Play of the Game: Darren Yamashita Photo Album

The Saint Mary's Gaels defeated the BYU Cougars, 25-24, on the last play of the game at Saint Mary's Stadium on Saturday, Feb. 15. Captions and photos by Darren Yamashita.


GAEL RUGBY BEANIE GIVEAWAY: SMC Students only | Saturday, Feb 15th | 12:30pm.

 Saint Mary's Stadium. Must bring valid SMC ID card. Limited Supply.


A Classic Rivalry as Saint Mary's hosts BYU | Alex Goff | Goff Rugby Report

“This is definitely one of our toughest games,” added Saint Mary’s Head Coach Tim O’Brien. “Playing BYU at BYU, which we do later in the spring, is unquestionably one of our toughest games. Both games are a really good test for our guys.”



On President’s Day, next Monday, #20 Grand Canyon (2-1) will endure their 2nd match of the weekend challenging the ever-powerful and dangerous #4 St. Mary’s (4-0). This will be both clubs 2nd game of the weekend, with the attrition of the previous match a big factor in deciding the winner of the test. St. Mary’s may have more depth, but will be a tough decision who to play and not, with their first match going against the massively successful #8 BYU, just two days prior.

This matchup will be an extremely interesting one with these Top-20 clubs facing off for the first time since last April in 2019. In last year’s two head-to-head matchups, The Gaels of Moraga came away with the clean sweep both home and away, in decisive fashion.

This Week In College Rugby Episode 5

February 15, 2020 SMC vs BYU | Saint Mary's Stadium | 1:00pm

  •  2:45pm B Side vs Sac State
  •  11:00am C Side vs UC Santa Cruz



This week in College Rugby Episode 4

The gaels prevail in all three match ups. SMC 46 - Cal Poly 10

Highlights from SMC vs Cal Poly | FloRugby

The Gaels took care of business against Cal Poly on Saturday, but the Mustangs sure made them work for it.

GCU, Santa Clara, Saint Mary's Win In California | Alex Goff Report




#4 St. Mary’s were back in action following a bye week as they defeated Cal Poly at home 46-3. St. Mary’s scored eight tries in the win, two of them coming early in the first half via winger Jon Hackett. Cal Poly’s lone points came in the 27th minute as fullback Alexander Domine successfully converted a penalty kick. The Gaels move to 4-0 on the season as they comfortably sit on top of the California conference. Cal Poly sits at 0-3 on the season, with all their loses coming at the hands of teams ranked in the top 25 this season.


This Week In College Rugby Episode 3


SMC @ Komaba WMM Rugby Football Club | Win 40-21


This Week In College Rugby Episode 2

Alex Goff, Gift Egbelu, Matt McCarthy, and Arizona Head Coach Sean Duffy talk with Tom about D1A Rugby featuring in depth looks at Red River, Life University, and more.

SMC @ STANFORD | Win  129-0


gaels in japan

Kyoto has been kind to the Gael thus far!


SMC 36 - UCSB 17 | The Gaels defeat the Gauchos on Saturday, Jan 18th. 


College Rugby this week: Episode 1

An in depth look at D1A rugby from around the country featuring interviews with Alex Goff, Gift Egbelu, Matt McCarthy, and Commissioner Kevin Battle.

Another Big Score for Saint Mary's | Alex Goff, Goff Rugby Report

Saturday the Gaels traveled to UC Davis and came away with a convincing 97-0 victory. This follows up on an early 93-0 conference win over Santa Clara, putting Saint Mary’s at 2-0 in the California Conference when most teams in the West haven’t started playing. Read More here.

SMC Men's Rugby prepare for their Japan Trip this week in the classroom. Departure is set for Sunday, Jan 12th.

This year, the annual men's rugby tour allows the players to earn academic credit as they travel to abroad.  Saint Mary's College offers a unique experiuence to all the student durng the month of January. Read more about Jan Term Here.

Schedule of Activites

Jan 13th - 16th | Sako, Kyoto-City

Jan 17th -19th | Osaka

Jan 20th - 25th | Tokyo

Jan 26th | Departure Home

Rudy Scholz Award Watchlist: Payton Talea Ilalio: Alex Rees, FloRugby

It's rare to find a front rower that moves like a center, and even more rare when that front rower is a prop. 

In the case of Saint Mary's prop Payton Talea, however, you get a guy that's as mobile as a back but as powerful as the strongest of forwards.

He combines punishing work in the scrum with game-busting work in the carry, and if you don't go in at 110% to tackle Talea, you will get run over. 



Both sides grab a victory in their match against UC Davis

  • SMC A 97 vs UC Davis  0

  • SMC B 100 vs UC Davis B 0


Jan Term Tour Raffle Tickets still on sale.  


Results from Saturday, Jan 4, 2020

  • SMC A 96 vs Trinity Western University 0

  • SMC B 29 vs Olde Gaels 48

  • SMC C 32 vs Santa Barbara Academy 14

Three wins for the Gaels on Dec 28th.

  • SMC A 36 - Lifewest A 17

  • SMC B 50 - Lifewest B 31

  • SMC C 84 - Santa Rosa Men's Club 12


Thank you for your generous donations. We appreciate your tremendous support!

This years Pat Vincent Fundraiser Dinner success is because of your generous donation, all proceeds from this event help support Gael Rugby scholarships and travel.

View Event Photos Here

Pat Vincent Dinner

Click here to view the 2019-2020 Printable Schedule


The Gaels fight for the win against North American Rugby Academy

SMC 33 - NARA  29


Season Tickets Now available: Click here to view more information


Interested in playing rugby for Saint Mary's College? 


Team Activities 

Click here to view what the team is up to.

Alumni in the News 

Click here to view what the Rugby Alumni are up to.