Boston Thirteens

The Boston Thirteens (officially written as Boston 13s RLFC) are a semi professional rugby league football team based in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. The team currently plays in the USA Rugby League.

Boston Thirteens
Club information
Full nameBoston 13s
Rugby League Football Club, Inc.
Nickname(s)13s, Thirteens, B-13s, B-One-Three
Colours     British Racing Green
     Metallic Gold
FoundedFriday, 13th February, 2009
Current details
CoachPeter Lupton
CompetitionUSA Rugby League
Premierships1 (USARL) (2015)
Runners-up1 (USARL) (2012)

The Boston Thirteens were founded in 2009 as an expansion team of the American National Rugby League (AMNRL). The league had been attempting to form a rugby league team in Boston for several years, due to the comparatively strong presence of rugby union in the area. The Thirteens played in the AMNRL from 2009 & 2010, going to the league semi-finals in their inaugural season. In 2010 they became one of seven teams to depart from the AMNRL in order to found a new governing body: the USA Rugby League (USARL).



The American National Rugby League had been attempting to establish a team in the Boston area for years, hoping to gain a foothold for rugby league in an area with a comparatively strong rugby union presence. The Boston Storm competed in the first season of American domestic competition in 1998, but folded after a single season.

In 2005 overtures by the AMNRL and rugby league supporters drew the interest of some local rugby union players, and a local union club, the Boston Irish Wolfhounds, fielded a rugby league side that joined the AMNRL on a trial basis. The Wolfhounds played an abbreviated two-game exhibition schedule to build interest in the sport in Boston, with the intention of playing a full schedule for the 2006 season.[1] The next year the team ended its association with the Wolfhounds, adopting the name Boston Braves.[2] They played through the 2006 season, winning only one game; they suspended operations at the end of the year.

In 2009 a new leadership group led by Mikhael Nizam Shammas established a new team, which was named the Boston Thirteens. The club was incorporated as a C corporation (under the name of the "Boston 13s RLFC, Inc.") on Friday, February 13, 2009, and began play in the 2009 AMNRL season.[3] They went to the playoffs that year, advancing to the semi-finals before being defeated by the Jacksonville Axemen.[4] They failed to qualify for the playoffs in the 2010 season.

USARL: 2011 to present

On January 12, 2011, the Thirteens became one of seven teams to depart from the AMNRL to found the new USA Rugby League.[5][6][7] The new league began in 2011.

The Thirteens finished their first season in 6th place, not qualifying for the play offs. They only achieved two victories, both over their Boston rivals Oneida FC. Boston made the Grand Finals in 2012 before falling in a close contest to the Jacksonville Axemen. In 2015, Boston won their first National Championship defeating the South Conference champion Atlanta Rhinos 44-12.

USARL season summaries

C=Champions, R=Runners-Ups, F=Finished first, P=Playoff Appearance, L=Finished Last
(Brackets Represent Playoff Games)
2011 USARL season
8 (0)2066/8
Mikhael N. Shammas
Clark Hoopes
2012 USARL season
8 (2)6 (1)02 (1)3/8
Mikhael N. Shammas
Dustin Cooper
2013 USARL season
8 (0)3055/6
Dustin Cooper
Dustin Cooper
2014 USARL season
7 (2)3 (1)13 (1)5/11
Robin Peers
Marcos Flegmann
2015 USARL season
10 (3)9 (3)011/14
Robin Peers
Marcos Flegmann
2016 USARL season
11 (3)7 (2)03 (1)3/14
Robin Peers
2017 USARL season
8 (0)3056/14
Robin Peers
2018 USARL season
8 (2)3 (1)05 (1)6/10
Robin Peers
2019 USARL season
8 (2)6 (1)02 (1)
James Smart

Logo and colors

The team was named the 13s reflecting the 13 original colonies of America, the thirteen players on the field in rugby league, plus the fact that the club is the thirteenth RLFC to be founded in the United States. For their inaugural season they adopted the colors of black and gold, and white and gold, with a logo incorporating the number 13 and a stylized Metatron's cube in the shape of a rugby football.

In 2010, and in conjunction with the re-branding of the American National Rugby League logo and those of all affiliated clubs, the Thirteens adopted a new logo which depicted the numeric symbols of "1" and "3" merged to form the letter "B" for Boston. Additionally, the color of British racing green was added to the existing colors of white and gold, reflecting the Boston area's strong Irish heritage.

2019 squad

  • Mike Elias




Winners (1): 2015,
Runners up (1): 2012,

International representation

USA Hawks

  • Shane Begin (2014)
  • Mike Elias (2017)
  • Marcos Flegmann (2015-2016)
  • Lance Gaines (2009)
  • Curtis Goddard (2015)
  • Tyler Ierardi (2016)
  • Urban Iyo (2016)
  • Matt Shipway (2013, 2017)

Coaching Staff

Other Nations

See also


  1. "Boston Irish Wolfhounds Join AMNRL". American National Rugby League News. 2005. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  2. "The Boston Braves announce sponsorship deal with Budweiser Select". American National Rugby League News. 2006. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  3. "History". 2009. Archived from the original on February 26, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  4. Francine King (August 20, 2009). "Jacksonville Axemen trying for bid to Rugby League title game". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  5. Mascord, Steve (January 12, 2011). "Discord 2011: Edition 2". Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  6. "New Rugby League Competition Announced". Rugby Magazine. January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
  7. "Breakaway league launched in the US". January 12, 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved January 13, 2011.
Official websites
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