13 May 2021

Lifelong Giants fan grows Rugby League in California

There wasn’t much chance that Ben Calverley wasn’t going to be a Huddersfield Giants fan. Son of the founder and former chair of the Giants Supporters Association, and grandson of the former head gatekeeper at the old Fartown ground, he has been a season ticket holder at the John Smith’s stadium since the dark days of the Claret and Gold’s first years in Super League. So naturally, upon moving to San Diego, California and discovering there was no rugby league team there, his first thought was to start one himself! Under the California Rugby League (CRL) banner, he is founding the San Diego Barracudas (a nod to Huddersfield’s nickname of the 1980’s) – with team colours inspired by the famous Claret and Gold of the birthplace of rugby league.

Tryouts for the men’s team are just a week and a half away on May 22nd, and the women’s team is due to launch in June. The Barracudas are also in contact with local schools in San Diego to deliver rugby league sessions to the young people of California, and to get the next generation of San Diegans hooked on the greatest game.

All of this ambition and hard work to grow the sport we love needs support however. Out of a desire to make the game open to all, the Barracudas are committed to not asking for money from players to train and play, and therefore are looking for help and support from both the San Diego and rugby league communities. A range of limited-edition merchandise will be launched in the coming weeks – starting with San Diego Barracudas branded size 5 Steeden rugby balls (design attached) for just £25 including postage and packaging. All proceeds will go to help the Barracudas grow and to cover the costs of running the club. Click here to reserve yours!

More substantially, the Barracudas are looking for partnerships with individuals or organisations to help them grow. There are a range of partnership options available, if you are interested please email sandiegobarracudas@gmail.com.