Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the USA and aims to promote a culture of diversity and respect. The Eastside Lions Rugby club is purposely designed to be a friendly, fun introduction to Rugby for boys and girls. The club has enabled players to reach college, national and international levels.

The Lions continues to be the largest and oldest youth rugby team on the Seattle Eastside.

From our humble beginnings in 2007, we have grown to become one of the most respected youth clubs in the Northwest. We have multiple boys and girls teams catering for grades 1-12, and serve more than 200 players from the Greater Eastside. We play 15's format in the Winter and Spring and 7's format in the Summer.

We have a proud history of mentoring and developing character, sportsmanship and teamwork in young athletes through the wonderful game of rugby. We have a devoted staff of high quality, USA Rugby certified coaches, athletic trainers, and a committed parent support organization. We partner with Atavus Rugby to offer professional coaching support and athletic training. Lions Rugby is rooted in a strong technical foundation and the development of player understanding and Rugby IQ is paramount.

Lions at nationals
Boy running with rugby ball being supported by team

The Eastside Lions Rugby Club is a 100% volunteer-driven organization and is a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization. We are very proud of our accomplishments as a club and the contribution our organization has made to our youth and society over the years.

We strive to keep our dues as low as possible so we can reach the widest range of players in our community. Please see the registration page for more information on the registration process and costs. The official Washington Youth Rugby league runs from March through May.

New players are welcome to join at any time, so please feel free to join us at one of our practices. Take a look at the schedules on the home page  for practice times and locations. If you have any questions, would like to subscribe to our mailing list, or if you would like one of our coaches to talk to you, please see the Contact US page or simply send email to

We look forward to having you be part of the Eastside Lions Family!

Meet The Coaches

Neil Rhodes

Neil Rhodes: USA Level 200 coach

ESLYR Director of Rugby

Varsity and Junior varsity coach

Coaching Experience:

Washington state Loggers Under 14 coach 2019

Youth Coach Eastside Lions (U14, U12) 2016 - present

Playing Experience:

Multiple teams in the UK and US

Ray keane

Ray Keane: USA Rugby Level 300 coach

Coach Advisor/Training

Coaching Experience:

IRB level 2

USA Rugby High Performance

Atavus Rugby

Varsity/ JV head coach Eastside Lions

Varsity/ JV coach Eagle Impact Rugby Academy

Varsity/ JV Head coach  Washington State All Star Loggers

Director of Rugby, head coach Malahide RFC, Leinster Rugby, Ireland

Coaching advisor to Grand Canyon University, D1A USA Rugby

Atavus Coach

Playing Experience:

Representative: Ireland (universities) and Leinster Rugby

Monkstown FC – All Ireland League, Dublin Ireland

Wanderers FC – All Ireland League, Dublin Ireland

Clontarf FC – All Ireland League, Dublin Ireland

Malahide RFC – All Ireland League, Dublin Ireland

Suttonians RFC – All Ireland League, Dublin Ireland

College: Carlow Institute of Technology (CIT) – Ireland


Tom Davis: USA Rugby Level 100 coach

ESLYR President

Varsity and Junior Varsity assistant coach

Coaching Experience:

Washington Loggers U14,

Youth Coach Eastside Lions (U14) 2018-Present

Valley Fort, Hong Kong - mini-rugby

Going Rugby, Italy – Junior rugby


Playing Experience:

Going Rugby, Italy

Saracens, UK.  U21 captain

University of Brighton, UK

South of England U19 captain

South East England U16

Royal Grammar School High Wycombe UK, captain


Coach Paul

Paul Brookes - USA Rugby level 200 coach

Eastside Lions U14 2019-2020

Coaching experience

Eastside Lions U12 2018-2019

University of York 1992-1996

Playing Experience:

Great Britain Civil Service Rugby League 1999-2011

Gloucestershire Warriors RLFC 1997-2011

University of York 1992-1996

St John Rigby Sixth Form College 1989-1992

Wigan St Jude’s RLFC 1989-1992

Wigan RUFC 1985 – 1989

Eric Fleming: USA Rugby Level 300 coach, PNRFU Referee

ESLYR Youth Director

U14 coach, Level 1 Ref and Ultra Marathon Runner

Coaching Experience:

Head Coach Columbia University Mens & Womens

Youth Coach Eastside Lions (U8-U14) 2013-Present

Playing Experience:

Whitman College 1987-90

Columbia University 1990-92

New York Old Blue 1992

Old Puget Sound Beach 1992-99 & National Sevens

Pacific NW Loggers Rep Side

Chris Stone - USA Rugby Level 200 coach

Eastside Lions Under 12 coach

Coaching Experience:

University of Washington Men's Rugby Asst. Coach 2004-2005

Eastside Lions Asst. Coach Varsity 2013-2015

Seattle Rugby Asst. Coach 2015

Eastside Lions U8-U12 2015-Present

Playing Experience:

Florida State University 1997-1999 (Inducted into FSU Rugby Hall of Fame)

Boston RFC 2000-2003

New England RFU 2003

Northeast RFU 2003

Old Puget Sound Beach RFC (now Seattle Rugby) 2003-2010

PNRFU Loggers 2004-2005

Pacific Coast RFU Grizzlies 2004-2005


Casey Nelson - USA Rugby level 100 coach

Eastside Lions Under 10 coach

Coaching Experience:

Coach Eastside Lions U10 2020

Playing Experience:

Old Puget Sound Beach/Seattle RFC
Eastside Axemen RFC
Cincinnati Wolfhounds RFC
University of Washington RFC
Para Todu Guam RFC


Owen Gonder

Owen Gonder - USA Rugby Level 100 Coach

Eastside Lions U10 & U8 Coach 2019-Present

Coaching Experience

Occidental College Women's Rugby Football Club- Head Coach

Playing Experience

Occidental College Rugby Football Club

Oxy Olde Boys RFC

Denver Harlequins RFC

Eastern Rockies RFU Selects

Seattle RFC

Old Puget Sound Beach RFC

PNRFU Loggers

LA Godzilla RFC

IV Horsemen LRC

Rich Furutani

Rich Furutani - USA Rugby Level 100 coach

Youth Coach Eastside Lions (U8-U10)  2018-Present

Playing Experience:

Redmond High School 1991  (5th Place at U.S. Nationals)

University of Washington 1991-1995

Ueda RFC 1996-1998

Seattle Raccoons 1999-present

Brent Nourse - USA Rugby Level 300 Coach

Assistant Coach

Coaching Experience

Whitman College Men's and Women's 1992 - 1996

Eastside Mudhens 1997-98

Eastside Lions 2010-2017

New Mexico Tech 2017 - 2019

Playing Experience

Overlake RFC - 1986 - 1990

Redmond HS RFC 1990-1992 (5th and 4th Ranked US)

West Coast Grizzlies Rep-side 1992

USA U-19 Representative Side - 1992-93

Seattle Men's - 1990-92

Whitman College - 1992-96

PNW Collegiate Loggers 1994 - 95

Seattle Mens 1996 - 97



My son has been involved with the Eastside Lions Rugby program for 6 years. I cannot find a better sports experience for him any where else. Great coaches with a philosophy of commitment and hard work will take care of everything else.  Plus being part of the best club in the State Of Washington for four years running, 3rd place finish at nationals and trips to Ireland and abroad there is not a better value out there for youth sports. #eastsidelionsrugby #lifelessons #friendsforlife

Hugh Gladner

Arrived in the US several years ago and was looking for my 3 children to play a safe contact sport. Very welcoming, great community spirit and coaches that are invested in all the children. We've made friends on and off the field!

Paul Brookes


I have 3 kids on the program and they love it! Rugby is a great sport but it's more than that it's the community behind it that makes it what it is, and in the Lions we have found a second family. My kids are learning more than a sport, they are learning about integrity, honesty, hard work and community. AND, they have tons of fun while doing it!

Tanit Bruix-Fuste

The Eastside Lions Youth Rugby club is brought to you with donations from Microsoft Give and volunteers