You are here
Like Camelot that burned brightly for but a short time, so did the N.Y. Aliens, an all-star side that played at least twice in the oldest sevens tournament in America, the venerated New York RFC event, held every Thanksgiving since its 1959 inauguration.
In the earlier beginning, the NYRFC tournament attracted the Ivies and other eastern colleges and clubs, expanding each year during a time (1960s and 1970s) when seven-a-side tournaments occurred rarely. As the tournament grew in popularity, a different mix of better US and foreign teams opted to play in the event, which lead to the creation of a Premier Division that attracted top sides.
Enter the NY Aliens, a made up mix of all-star internationals and US greats, the latter including Gary Hein, Chris O’Brien, Tom Billups, Brian Corcoran, and John Hinkin. The international visitors numbered All Blacks 7s captain Eric Rush, and 1994 Hong Kong 7s MVP Glen Osborne from New Zealand.
In their first tournament in 1993, the Aliens lost in the finals to visiting Sydney University in a close game 31-28. In a rematch of the final a year later in 1994, the Aliens vanquished the defending champions from Australia 35-26.
Other sides that played in the 12 team Premier Division that year were Newport, NYAC, St. Anne’s, HOGS (NY area invitational side), New York, White Plains, Ujima, and OMEX.
John Hinkin, who organizes the Las Vegas Invitational (240 teams coming in March) at the USA Sevens in Las Vegas, remembered, “Those Alien teams were some of the last great teams assembled before the professional era limited that ability. That particular NY tournament was always a highlight as I was honored to play with the best players from around the world.”