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The US rugby community has always been interested in those famous American names that played the sport. We count President George W. Bush at Yale and Harvard Business School. Three Kennedy family members; Joe Kennedy Jr. of Harvard who starred for an All-Star Eastern Union XV against a visiting Cambridge University side in 1938, Senator Ted Kennedy at Harvard, and, John Kennedy Junior while at Brown.
In addition, there have been rumors of President Bill Clinton playing at University College, Oxford during his Rhodes Scholarship, and Vice President Joe Biden suiting up while at Syracuse Law School. But, these two narratives have never risen to concrete fact; no one has indicated they played along side either of these men, and no photos have surfaced of Clinton or Biden in kit.
What the above have - or maybe have - in common is solely a university-based playing career, and no rugby after leaving the groves of academe.
In net, all lacked the city club experience. And, as every one knows, the city club offers a shared commonality along with the unforgettable characters, memorable tours, post-game parties, and, especially, the camaraderie on and off the pitch that is unique to the rugby culture.
Finally, there is a well-known politician with 22-years of past rugby playing time for college and club...Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut.
Malloy grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, the seventh of seven sons, where he played high school football. At Boston College, he started rugby as a freshman, playing all four years, and graduating magna cum laude. He continued with Old Gold RFC for three-years, the BC Alumni team while at its Law School.
He moved to New York City in 1980 as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn. He joined Manhattan RFC, and continued until 1995, ending his career as a member of Les Vieux, the club's Old Boys side. (Malloy, wing forward, is in the front row, far left in the Les Vieux photograph)
While with Manhattan, Malloy served as club vice president for many years, and went on tours to the Bahamas and Australia. He said, "I cherish the wonderful memories of my club rugby days, the fellowship, and the practices to keep fit. I recommended rugby to many friends, and still do. My family moved in Stamford, where I commuted to Randall's Island, a short 35-minute drive. When I turned 40, I decided to run for Stamford city Mayor, and my wonderful wife told me that I had to choose between public service and rugby. Reluctantly, I stopped playing."
Malloy served as the 29th Stamford mayor from 1995 to 2009. He ran successfully as a Democrat for Connecticut governor in 2010, and was re-elected in 2014 with 51-percent of the vote.
Governor Dannel Malloy, a genuine rugby clubman of 22-years in the best tradition of the sport.