Home > About USRF > Press Releases > 2012 Press Releases > June 5, 2012

 Help a High School Rugger in Need -
Take Part in the Largest Scrumdown Ever 

San Diego, CA (June 5, 2012) - On Saturday, April 7, 2012, Ronan Nelson, a sixteen-year-old sophomore student at Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego, CA broke his neck in a club game in San Diego. Following surgery, Ronan was transferred to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where he continues his quest to regain normal function, including the ability to walk.

The Cathedral Catholic High School ( community and Serevi Rugby (, along with the USRF have joined forces to raise funds to help support Ronan's rehabilitation. This coming Saturday, June 9, 2012, a special event titled the "Team Ronan Rugby Challenge" will be held at Cathedral Catholic High School, 5555 Del Mar Heights Road, San Diego, CA from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The event will feature an attempt to break the world record for the largest scrum ever trying to overtake the previous mark of 840 participants at the Ravenhill Royal Academy in Belfast, Northern Ireland on March 30, 2012.

The day will also include an exhibition game by USA Eagles 7s players, San Diego State University players and Cathedral Catholic players. Autographs from the Eagle players, food, rugby gear, and other related activities will also be available on site.

Entry fee for the event is $10 and includes access to all exhibitions and events and a ticket for a raffle including prizes such as skateboards, ski gear, rugby apparel and more. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Team Ronan Recovery Fund. Participants for the scrumdown or those who want to make a donation to the Team Ronan Recovery Fund can do so at

Ronan Nelson was born on December 31, 1995 in Okinawa, Japan. He attended Flora Vista Elementary School, Diegueno Middle School, and is currently a student at Cathedral Catholic High School, having finished his sophomore year. Ronan played club, middle and high school rugby, soccer and football; he was a member of the 2006 U11 National Champion indoor soccer team. As a freshman on the Cathedral Catholic rugby team, Ronan was named the team's "Back of the Year."

Ronan's high school GPA is 4.5 and he most recently completed two Advanced Placement courses as a sophomore in Alegebra 2 and History. He is a member of the National Honor Society.

Ronan's dream was to attend the US Naval Academy, like two of his cousins (Classes of 2007 and 2009). He now has his eyes set on Georgetown University. Ronan will help coach the Cathedral Catholic High School and Coastal Dragons rugby teams next year. Matt Hawkins, former captain of the USA Eagles 7s team and Director of Serevi Rugby for California, has asked Ronan to assist him with the San Diego State rugby team next season.

Ronan is determined to overcome his current condition and is working very hard in rehab to achieve his goal of walking again.