Rugby in the Quad Cities has a long and rich history. The Quad City Rugby Club was founded in 1964, and the Irish Rugby Club of the Quad Cities, Ltd. in 1975. In 1985 the two teams merged and became the Quad City Irish who went on to win the win the national 7s club championship in 1986.
Our HALL of fame inductees
Earl Strupp III
Inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame 2013
Earl Strupp III was instrumental in the early success of the IRISH RFC of the Quad Cities. He went on to assist the Palmer RFC, the combined Augustana & St. Ambrose Club, the Iowa Union, and even the Midwest and USA rugby organizations. Earl passed away on April 23, 2018, at age 74. His leadership is truly missed! Rest in Peace, Earl.
Inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame 2016
A former U.S. international player, captain and head coach of the United States National Team, Tom Billups recently completed his 21st season at the University of California, Berkeley, where, as associate head coach, he has helped to guide the Golden Bears to 12 national collegiate championships in 15s and five national 7s titles since joining the program in the 1999- 2000 season. Billups was head coach of the U.S. National Team from 2001-2005, including the record-setting seven-win campaign that culminated with the 2003 Rugby World Cup; head coach of the Collegiate All-American Team in 2001; and head coach of the U.S. National Sevens team at the 2005 World Games in Germany. As a player, Billups made 44 international appearances on the U.S. National Team in 15s, serving as captain for the 1998 season and playing in the 1999 Rugby World Cup; and 25 international appearances as a player for the U.S. National Sevens team. He was one of the first Americans to become a professional player when he joined the London Harlequins in 1996 and was named Supporters’ Club Player of the Year for the 1997-98 seasons before finishing his professional playing career with Pontypridd, Wales. Billups, the most capped hooker in USA Rugby history, was inducted into the U.S. Rugby Hall of Fame in September of 2015. He holds the distinction of being the first person inducted into the U.S. Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. In 2018 Tom was presented the Craig Sweeney Award for his character and contribution to the game of rugby. With this award Billups earned the distinction of being only the 14th Sweeney Award recipient, first presented in 1979 to honor the memory of former national team member Craig Sweeney.
Inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame 2018
Cecil Youngblood was taken hostage by John Hinrichs, Earl Strupp, Ed Lillis, and Greg Moroni and taken to his first rugby anything in his first All Iowa tournament. He had not been to a practice or a match; he did not have a kit and actually was not aware he was going to play. “I thought I came to watch! Greg Moroni at his sales pitch best!” They found Cecil a kit including boots. After watching and still not having a clue, they told him he was playing a wing, which meant nothing. Ed told him, “When the ball comes to you, run as fast as you can! If you're tackled, let go of the ball. If someone comes toward you with the ball, tackle them but don't lead with your face!” Words of wisdom. One All Iowa down, and he was hooked. The game was great in so many ways, especially for the camaraderie. Cecil was a two time All Iowa MVP, played on all Iowa Select Side, played on the Midwest Select Side, was Player/ coach for the Quad city Irish 7s National Championship Team, was chosen as the outstanding player in the 7s National Championship (year before we won it), played for the US Atlantis Team vs. Scotland and Ireland, played for the US Eagles over 33 Team in Bermuda v. England, France and the New Zealand All blacks. None of this was possible without the dedication and hard work of every member of the Quad City Irish!
Inducted into the Iowa Hall of Fame 2021
Rugby turned out to be much more than a sport for Dan Kilen (Inducted 2021) as he formed lifelong relationships, traveled the world and loved the competition. Dan always felt blessed to have the quality teammates both at Luther College and the Quad City Irish. Both teams competed at the highest levels, and it was a joy to be part of it. Dan’s wife Kathy was also supportive through all of it and would travel with as often as possible. Dan played outside center almost every game of his career. Select-side Play *Iowa Select-side games: Dan represented Iowa many times starting when he was at Luther College and continuing while playing with the Quad City IIRISH. *Midwest Select-side highlights include: 1. Played in many ITT Tournaments 2. Toured England where he led the team in tries 3. Defeated Japan’s National Team in Chicago *National Team Select-side Play: 1. USA Eagle in 1987 World Seven’s Tournament in Sidney, Australia and was the team’s leading scorer. 2. In 1988 Dan and Tom Billups played on the USA Cougar team at the Melrose 7’s in Scotland as part of the 106th and 107th annual tournament. Dan scored multiple tries. 3. Junior Eagles 15s victory Japan in Dallas, Texas. 4. Junior Eagles Europe - 3 1/2-week tour from Paris to Amsterdam. 5. Dan was asked to tour Russia with the USA Eagles and also join the first World Cup team in 1987 as a replacement. Dan chose to decline both opportunities due to the birth of his twin girls and work commitments, a choice he has never regretted.