The Chicago Hounds welcome everyone to Dawg Town

Sat. March 23, 2024 12:00 AM
by Jerry Nunn

Professional rugby team the Chicago Hounds have found a home at 7000 South Harlem Avenue in Bridgeview, Illinois. The popular sport is new to the Windy City area and after finishing an inaugural year in 2023 these players are back for more with a vengeance.

The first 2024 Major League Rugby home game for the Hounds is slated for March 24 and Chicago Hounds CEO James English previewed what was to come on March 21 at a press conference at The Green at 320 in Downtown Chicago. He welcomed everyone to attend the home opener and future games for the rest of the season.

Several key team members attended that morning to speak on their individual experiences.

Wing Nate Augspurger is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota and has returned to the Midwest area to play describing it as “a privilege.” Fullback Dave Kearney talked about the amount of training involved to make the Chicago Hounds a success, “It's only going to get better and Chicagoans seem to love high-speed sports like rugby!”

Born in Ireland, Dylan Fawsitt talked about how honored he is to be a part of the group and feels it is his “next step” in his rugby journey. He confessed that he has not sampled a Chicago-style hot dog yet, but prefers ketchup on top. Ireland's heritage within the team and longtime history as part of Chicago's culture make the perfect match for this collaboration. Kearney stated, “Chicago holds a special place in Irish people's hearts and linking us all together is huge!”

Australian Luke White described the team as “a special group of guys from all over the world.”

The Hounds plan on cultivating a “rowdy and aggressive team” White said. Another Australian player Billy Meakes has returned for his second season as a centre and described it, “I felt there was an itch I needed to scratch and there was unfinished business to be had. We have familiar players from last year and new faces as well.”

Another returning squad member, Bryce Campbell, hails from nearby Indiana and started playing rugby in middle school. He went to Indiana University and has played nationally over the years. He explained that the logo is an Irish Wolfhound and discussed creating a party atmosphere for attendees at the home games.

Hyping up the fans and giving them an immersive experience right outside the venue in an area called Dawg Town. Ticket holders can enjoy activations, food trucks and vendor booths in an open, outdoor space.

The press conference ended as the Chicago Hounds took the lawn to warm up on a chilly morning while a DJ played tunes in the background. Everyone was preparing and brimming with excitement for the upcoming weekend games and festivities.

The Chicago Hounds take on the New England Free Jacks on Sunday, March 24 at 1 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and find seating options at

Arrive early and explore all that Dawg Town and tailgating have to offer!