Blane Warhurst

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Blane Warhurst attended the University of California, Berkeley from 1970 to 1975 and played both football and rugby for the Bears. On the gridiron, he accumulated numerous accolades including MVP honors, setting the all-time record for all-purpose yardage on the frosh team, and lettering three times at the varsity level.

Blane’s natural athleticism made him a perfect target to recruit to the rugby pitch. After being introduced to the game and a couple practices, the rest is history. Blane earned a starting position at wing in his first season and made his first tour to Australia and New Zealand. The following year, Cal Rugby went 27-1 with the only loss being to New South Wales Country at the Monterey Tournament. For the next three years, Blane moved from wing, to center, to fly half, due to the constantly changing needs of a team having great athletes but some with only limited rugby knowledge. The Cal teams beat the other college sides as well as local club teams, establishing a tradition that has continued at Cal to this day.

After his collegiate playing years concluded, Blane would make appearances on the pitch with Northern California and West Coast representative sides, the Poppies, Pelicans, and Grizzlies. He had a lengthy club tenure with the Old Blues Rugby Football Club in Berkeley, California. With the Old Blues, he served as team captain on numerous occasions and led the team to a Monterey Rugby Championship, a New Zealand tour, and seven National Championships from 1979 to 1987.  

Warhurst made his mark at the international level representing the USA Rugby Eagles in both 7s and 15s. Over the course of 6 years, he earned six caps for the Eagles 15s side and appeared on tours to Australia, Japan, and Canada. For Eagle 7s, he made three tours to Hong Kong, Australia, and Canada from 1982 to 1986.

Upon the conclusion of his playing career, Warhurst transitioned to coaching for the Hayward High School Griffins from 1999 to 2015. During his tenure at head coach, his teams advanced to the playoffs every season, were crowned Northern California High School Club Champions in 2010 and 2014, earned a Northern California U19 championship in 2010, and won a Major League Rugby Championship in 2001. In addition to a USA Rugby National Championship in 2007, his teams advanced to the USA Rugby Sweet 16, Elite Eight, and Final Four on numerous occasions.

“He did all this because he believes that the US will be a world class winner when our rugby teams look more like football teams and believes that is evidenced by the improved competition displayed by US Seven-a-side teams. With so many great athletes involved with football, many of whom are given little or no actual playing time, it is his hope that US Rugby will be able to tap into this huge resource, giving the Eagles more strength to become a world power and giving more athletes an outlet for their skills. It was also give these players entrance into the US Rugby family, a family that he has known for most of this life and is something he will always treasure,” said Warhurst’s former Old Blues coach and US Rugby Hall of Fame inductee, Ron Mayes.