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Rugby club team hits hard this fall

Since its inception in October of 2010, the men’s rugby team has been one of the most popular and successful club teams at VSU.

The VSU rugby team began play in January of 2011 and has been winning ever since.

Savannah holds a well known rugby tournament every year, The Saint Patrick’s Day Rugby Tournament, in which men’s teams from all over the world, such as England and Canada, come to compete. This was the VSU rugby team’s first tournament and the men won it all.

VSU has also played many teams from Division 1 schools ranging from Georgia Southern to Ohio State, and experienced a lot of early success.

“We are hoping to make it to a D1 matrix season, which is unprecedented to do in the length of time that the Valdosta State team has been around,” Derick Howard, the rugby team captain, said.

A matrix season is the usual type of schedules that Division 1 teams go through each year.

“With all the club teams out there such as cycling, lacrosse, and table tennis, there is just something that makes the rugby team special,” Mallory Price, Assistant Director of Intramural and Club Sports, said.

“They are more proactive in being organized,” she said. “They actively go out and find local businesses to be sponsors. They travel a lot and participate in many tournaments, and of course it doesn’t hurt that they have been playing very well in these tournaments.”

The rugby team practices Sundays at 5 p.m., Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 7 p.m. on the north campus fields. It may be intimidating to see some of the massive men on the rugby team, but any student who is interested in playing or even just learning about rugby is welcome to attend.

“Anyone can play,” Howards said. “No experience is needed.”
Even if playing rugby doesn’t sound ideal, the matches are an absolute joy for anyone to watch regardless if they are familiar with rugby or not.

“I’ve never watched a game in my life, and I went to the 7-on-7 tournament they hosted on north campus last year and had a blast,” Ryne Nimmo, a senior geology major, said. “Those guys really know how to have a good time.”

The team is going to its first tournament of the fall season, the Georgia Rugby Union 7’s Tournament in Kennesaw on Saturday.

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