FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Yankees Rugby Football Club, Fairfield County’s local men’s rugby team, will begin its pursuit of a national championship next weekend.

On Saturday April 16, the Yankees will take on Brooklyn Rugby Club at 3:30 PM at P.J. Romano Field at Saugatuck Elementary School in Westport in the first round of the Division III Empire GU playoffs.

The winner of the eight-team tournament moves on to a regional tournament in Pittsburgh. The winner of that competition advances to the national championships in Colorado.

“The Yankees have been training hard all winter for their spring season,” said head coach David Lyme in a press release. “Through our principled approach and adherence to the foundations of rugby, the Yankees have proven their ability to win both on and off the field. I am proud to coach such an outstanding group of young gentlemen.”

During the fall 2015 season, the Yankees led the Empire Rugby Football Geographic Union league, outscoring their opponents 587-101 and going 9-1. The regular season success secured the team a No. 3 seed in the Empire GU playoffs. The Yankees also had success in warm-up matches this spring going 3-0 against the Division II men’s teams of Hartford, White Plains and Morris.

Founded in 1975, the Yankees captured a national championship in 2004. The Yankees are now a part of the Fairfield Rugby Club which features organized play at the U10, middle school, high school and college levels.

Attendance at the game is free of charge. Individuals looking to learn more about the sport are invited to join the team. Spectators and guests are also invited to attend post-match social events.

For more information about the club or upcoming match, individuals should contact Fairfield Yankees RFC President Michael Pappa at info@fairfieldyankeesrugby.org, or visit the Yankees’ website www.fairfieldyankeesrugby.org.