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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Six Nations: Of Brujos, Gecko's and Aardvarks

Da Red-Head in front of Gecko's
As much as I have enjoyed living and working in the Northwest corner of New Mexico,  rugby is a hard thing to come by. I contacted an Irish place in Farmington, and when I asked if they carried rugby or Soccer on Saturday mornings, I had a frosty negative response. With the Six Nations starting this weekend, I just had to find SOMEPLACE where I could get my oval ball fix.

I knew there were two rugby clubs in Albuquerque: The Brujos(Spanish for warlock, or Wizard) and Aardvarks I contacted the Brujos via their Facebook page and asked if they knew of a rugby friendly bar, and I got an immediate response with a couple of suggestions. More than a couple of people mentioned that "Gecko's" was owned by an ex-rugger and they showed matches frequently.

Since I was working during the day on Friday, my wife contacted Wally, the owner of Gecko's and verified that he was going to show the match carried in the US by BBC America.

We drove the 3 hours from Farmington to Albuquerque on Friday night. There are two Gecko's in Albuquerque, and as luck would have it, our hotel was less then 5 minutes from the one that was showing Scotland and England.

It never ceases to amaze me how many nice people are involved with the sport of rugby.  Wally, the owner of Gecko's gave me and my wife a very warm New Mexico welcome and introduced me to his fellow Aardvark mates. While devouring excellent breakfast burritos, sucking down some micro-brews and watching England beat Scotland 13-6, I enjoyed the company and conversation of just a very congenial group of ex-ruggers who helped develop the game of rugby in New Mexico.

Flanked by Ray, Wally and Tony at Gecko's

I spent a great deal of time speaking with Marty, who was just an encyclopedic resource on rugby in New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains, the West Coast and the Midwest.(This is a guy who travels more than even I do)

It was great to watch Scotland and England, but meeting people who are involved with this sport make me proud to be a rugby fan. Finding a place with a great beer selection that serves great food and supports rugby was just a treat. I cannot thank the Albuquerque rugby community enough for a very fun Saturday.


  1. ...words to the wise, be careful what you believe when you listen to Marty (no one talks to Marty, we all just listen)... be very, very careful. Remember the Olde Boys creed: the older I get, the better I was...
    Larry (olde boy Aardvark)

  2. Steve

    Sounds like an awesome mission. Love it how you travel for hours to watch a game in another country! Though obviously the breakfast burritos and micro-brewed beer helped.

    Great news in your other post about the Junior RWC going to the US too.

    I did not watch England v Scotland, but I did get to see the Ireland v Wales game. That was a cracking Test match.

    Take care

    1. I still cannot understand why Scotland keeps giving the number 10 shirt to Dan Parks...He is just a nighmare. Quite an indictment on the lack of any other decent fly half in Scotland.