In the fall of this academic school year, Marquette University’s club rugby team celebrated its 30 year anniversary. The now 35 player team is anxious to continue its growth and progress. The highlight of this season was the team’s third place finish at the Mardi Gras Tournament in St. Louis. Next year they will have four coaches as well as eight returning seniors to lead the team.
“Hopefully for next season (next fall) we will have solid numbers at practice every day and we can make a run in the Wisconsin playoffs,” commented Tom Collins, a co-captain and junior in the College of Business Administration.
The team will have its work cut out for them due to the fact that they compete in one of the more competitive conferences in the Midwest.
“There are no easy games in the state of Wisconsin. We are a young team and need our younger guys to step up in the fall”, commented Ryan Hunter, co-captain and junior in the College of Communications.
With these goals in mind, the Marquette Rugby team has just purchased a new scrum set, similar to the equipment that football teams use to practice hitting. They owe the ability to invest in such equipment to the fundraising they did earlier this year. They’re working on similar opportunities that will insure future development.
“The improvement of our rookies this semester along with the new equipment we’ve purchased has raised the bar for the fall season,” said Drew McMillin, president of the Marquette rugby team and junior in the College of Arts and Sciences.
The team plays six to eight games each fall and spring season with roughly three home games hosted at King Field, located half a block north of 17th and Highland. In order to maintain high intensity during these games the team practices for a total of seven hours a week. This rigorous practice schedule is essential for such a complex game that many associate it with discipline, a strong work ethic and a tendency to be violent.
McMillin added, “with the talent of our players and the expertise of our coaches, we have the ability to win state next semester.”
New players are always welcome and are encouraged to show up at any of their practices. Mandatory practices are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The next home game for the Marquette Rugby squad will be August 26th, 2006 at 1:00pm at King Field. They always appreciative of their fan base, and welcome any new spectators.
After all the hard work the current members have invested, they hope to see it pay off in the fall. As stated by Collins, “this will be the last year for a lot of guys and I know I want to go out on top and bring a good name to the club and school.”
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