Ohio Aviators (rugby)

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Ohio Aviators
Full nameOhio Aviators
UnionUSA Rugby
LocationObetz, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Ground(s)Fortress Obetz (Capacity: 6,500)
Coach(es)Paule Barford
Top scorerShaun Davies (84)
Most triesSpike Davis (14)
League(s)PRO Rugby
1st kit
2nd kit

The Ohio Aviators were a professional American rugby union team that played in the short lived PRO Rugby competition. They were based in the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area, and played their home games at Memorial Park in Obetz, Ohio.


PRO Rugby announced on February 9, 2016 the addition of Columbus, Ohio as the league's third team.[1] The selection of Columbus came as somewhat of a surprise, because the original PRO Rugby announcement in November 2015 did not mention that the competition planned to place a team in the midwest in the inaugural season.[2] Ohio's inaugural season home opener was played on May 1, 2016.[3] PRO Rugby revealed the team's nickname — the Ohio Aviators — on June 6, 2016, a reference to the Wright brothers who were from Ohio.[4]


The Aviators during the 2016 season played their home games at Memorial Park in Obetz, a suburb of the Columbus metropolitan area. The Aviators planned to move to Fortress Obetz, on the site of the former Columbus Motor Speedway, starting with the 2017 season.[5][6][7][8][9]

Current players and staff[edit]

Current roster[edit]

On December 20, 2016 all PRO Rugby players received notice their contracts will be terminated in 30 days if progress is not made towards resolving disputes between the league and USA Rugby.[10]

The squad for the 2016 PRO Rugby season:[11]

Ohio roster




Loose Forwards






(c) Denotes team captain, Bold denotes internationally capped.

Current coaching staff[edit]

Position Name
Head coach England Paule Barford
Assistant coach South Africa Paul Holmes
Assistant coach Ireland Eamonn Hogan

Season summaries[edit]

C=Champions, R=Runners-up, W=Wooden Spoons
Competition Games
C R W Coach Details
2016 PRO Rugby season 12 9 0 3 2 / 5 Paule Barford 2016 Ohio Aviators season

Leading players[edit]

Season Captain Most tries Most points
2016 Jamie Mackintosh Spike Davis (14) Shaun Davies (84)


Coach Tenure Matches Won Drawn Lost Winning Percentage
Paule Barford 2016–present 12 9 0 3 75%

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Ohio Gains PRO Rugby Team", This Is American Rugby, February 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "PRO Rugby Launches First Professional League in North America", USA Rugby, November 9, 2015.
  3. ^ "Rugby | New team offers speed, power, blood", Columbus Dispatch, Bill Rabinowitz, April 15, 2016.
  4. ^ "PRO Rugby Unveils Team Names", This Is American Rugby, June 6, 2016.
  5. ^ "Ohio Aviators trying to grow regional fan base", The Columbus Dispatch, Adam Jardy, July 3, 2016.
  6. ^ Weese, Evan (November 18, 2016). "Obetz building 6,500-seat sports and concert venue". Columbus Business First. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  7. ^ Perry, Kimball (November 16, 2016). "Obetz to build 6,500-seat stadium for pro sports teams". Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  8. ^ Widman Neese, Alissa (November 17, 2016). "Obetz says lacrosse stadium eventually will pay for itself". Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  9. ^ "Multi-Use Athletic Stadium To Take Place Of Columbus Motor Speedway". Columbus, Ohio: WOSU Public Media. The Associated Press Ohio. November 17, 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-21.
  10. ^ Down Goes PRO
  11. ^ "PRO Rugby Preview – Ohio". Americas Rugby News. Americas Rugby News. April 12, 2016. Retrieved April 12, 2016.