The Portland Rugby Club’s under-19 girls’ team won a berth in the USA Rugby’s national tournament over the weekend.

Now, the squad will have to raise as much $20,000 during the next two weeks to cover the costs of making the three-day trip to Salt Lake City to play in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament.

“We’re giving the players Tuesday off so they go down into the Old Port and sell raffle tickets,” said Jaime Madore, one of the team’s coaches.

As part of its fund-raising efforts, the team is raffling off a dozen lobsters.

Players also are seeking individual sponsors, Madore said.

The Maine team qualified for a berth in the nationals by winning the Northeast Rugby Union’s championship at Aardvark Park in Rochester, N.Y.

Last Saturday, the squad eked out a 10-0 win against Elizabeth, N.J., in a driving rainstorm. On Sunday, it rolled to a 27-6 win against Fairpoint, N.Y., to claim the title.

The team includes players from Casco Bay, Deering, Falmouth, Gorham, Greely, Portland, Westbrook and Yarmouth high schools.

Madore said it will cost about $700 per person for the team to make the trip west.

The money must be raised to cover the costs for 25 players, two coaches and two chaperones.

USA Rugby will hold its national tournaments for high school boys and its boys’ and girls’ under 19 divisions May 22-23 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

The Maine team is scheduled to fly to Salt Lake City on May 21 and return to Maine on May 23 following the national championship game.

 

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]