Ryche Parker had a long sporting career before he fell in love with rugby in 1973. He played for the Houston Rugby Club and Hart’s Rugby Club from 1973-1976. In 1976 he briefly moved to Denver and played for Denver Highlanders and Mile High RFC. Shortly after he did a rugby tour to England and ended up staying, eventually playing for the Northampton Saints, Kettering RFC and Midland Counties.
Upon his return to the US, he created a new rugby club, the Houston Heathens and they were instantly dominate for the next 3 to 4 years. in 1977 they won the Galveston,
Austin, Corpus Christi, Houston, Wildebeest 7’s and Texas A&M 7’s
tournaments. In 1978 Ryche led the Heathens to the Galveston, Austin,
Houston and High Desert Classic tournament championships and the Texas
Rugby Union Championship. In 1979 they completed an unusual feat by
winning the Houston Tournament the 3rd straight year and also won their
2nd straight Texas Rugby Union Championship.
While playing with the Heathens he was also a member of the Hart’s,
Southern Counties Representative team, the Texas RFU Representative team,
the Western RFU Rep team and was a trialist for the USA Eagles. His dream
was to play for the Eagles and was on the verge of achieving that – said Bryan
Morrison of the USA selection committee – when his dream was cut short in
1980 with his sudden and tragic death.
Ryche inspired his friends and team-mates to be the best they could possibly
be. He led by example and left a legacy of fond memories about events on and
off the field. It should be noted he was well respected as a leader and as a