UC Gives New Rugby Club a Try

Alex Doan, Staff Writer

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Although football is clearly the most prevalent contact sport in the United States, rugby is becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the country, with over 175,000 players (usarugby.com). Here in San Diego, there are several rugby clubs which offer locals the opportunity to play this full-contact sport. Some of these clubs include the San Diego Armada and the Old Aztec Rugby Club. Rugby maybe foreign to most of us, but it is arguably just as exciting as American football.

Rugby is a team sport played on a 100 by 70 meter field. Each team has 15 players on the field at any one time. The ball is advanced by running with it or passing it laterally or backwards. It cannot be thrown forward. The goal of the game is to advance the ball toward the opponent’s goal for a try, which is the equivalent of a touchdown in football (irblaws.com).

UCHS has a rugby club right here on campus, the Centurion Rugby Club. It is affiliated with the Aztec Rugby Club of San Diego State University, “one of the nation’s top rugby clubs for the past 50 years” (aztecrugby.com). The club is going strong with about 36 current members. Practices are twice a week with games on Saturdays at Dusty Rhoades Park in Ocean Beach. However, it is not an official school-sponsored sport. “We receive absolutely no funding from the school. We have to raise our own money,” said Junior Rafael Ruiz-Coss.

According to Senior Clayten Eggleston, rugby has several advantages over American football. “There is more freedom with the ball, and you have more opportunities to play. Unlike football, rugby players don’t have to be 6 feet 5 inches and 225 pounds,” said Eggleston. Ironically, despite no real padding, there are fewer injuries in rugby than there are in football. “Tackling is more controlled. You rarely see an ACL tear in rugby,” said Eggleston. He also believes the chemistry aspect of rugby is superior to football. “There is better leadership in rugby, and it has more camaraderie compared football,” said Eggleston.

Rugby is a sport that requires strength, agility, and coordination. It may not be for everyone, but it is certainly worth a… try.

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