Women’s Rugby: Minuscule & Mighty

Julia Paiano (jupaiano@ursinus.edu)

After a majority of their leaders graduated in 2020, the Women’s Rugby team has been focused on gathering enough players to compete this season. Unfortunately, they did not reach their goal of 15 players to play in a 15 v. 15 league, however they now have a total of eight players. This is enough to participate in a 7 v. 7 league. Although there have been some challenges in the recruiting process, team members are hopeful for their season.  

Depending on the day, practices are broken into different categories. Mondays are focused on working on the skills and strategies of offense. Wednesdays are for defense, and Fridays are meant to work on putting all of those practices together. Returning player and team leader, Amanda Marley ‘23, further explained their practices. “We spend a lot of time in practice explaining the rules, why we do certain things, and how to get better!” Also, she shares that it took almost a full year of playing for her to feel like she completely understands the game. There is a team joke of, “if you are confused on the field, then you are definitely playing rugby.” 

This year, team members knew they had to increase their recruiting efforts. They did their annual “dorm storm” where current members go around to freshman dorms and knock on as many doors as possible to fish for new players. Additionally, the team had a table at the activities fair. Marley noted that they, “Also had a table at the activities fair that help[ed] spread the word out more, not only to potential players but also the campus.” this table was used to  make the campus more aware of the club and sport, and ultimately build excitement for their fall season! 

Being in the 7 v. 7 league means that the team participates in mostly pick-up matches with other local teams. They typically play three matches which each lasting only fourteen minutes long. A sophomore on the team, Camille Mills, shared that they enjoy meeting the other teams. “It’s really cool that we can talk and laugh after we just tackled each other.” Mills believes there is definitely a learning curve to the sport, but that they enjoy the learning process. 

Marley and Mills hope that anyone who is interested will give Rugby a chance. Most of the players are inexperienced and will be learning right alongside newbies. “Come to one practice and give it a shot! Plus, we are a pretty cool group to hang out with and get to know,” Marley concluded. 

Practices are every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4:30-6pm. The team meets at Reimert Circle fifteen minutes before each practice. This season, they are hosting a match on the day of homecoming, October 30th at 11am! The entire campus is welcome to cheer them on! Not only is it a fun sport to play, but it is thrilling to watch and follow along.