Returning to rugby


Zachary Araki

Alumni returned to the field of play for the rugby alumni game.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

The Lions rugby team entered its first scrimmage in an alumni game and beat the alumni Red Lions 40-5.

Instead of the usual 40 minute halves, the alumni game was sectioned into 15-minute quarters.

Dr. Donald Hart, head coach, felt pleasantly surprised by the game’s outcome.

“It went much better than I thought it was going to,” said Hart. “The boys were very aggressive at tackling, very aggressive in all their play. There are some technical things we need to work on, and they’re easy remedies, but they just have to be worked on. I got to say, the team is playing like a rugby team already within four weeks of practice.”

Several players, like junior biological sciences major Richard Watkins III, who plays as a prop, were new to rugby, playing for four weeks or less.

“I haven’t been playing that long, and I haven’t been exercising that long,” said Watkins. “The game is really exhausting because you’re running the entire time like 40 minutes at a time with a 5 minute break in between each 40 minute interval. I have to keep my conditioning up there.”

2015 Alumnus Thomas Dericks, who plays as a flank, traveled from Georgia to participate in the game. He shared his thoughts on the competition.

“I loved it,” said Dericks. “I was part of putting the team back together in 2011, and I’m happy to see that they built that back up. I’m glad to see they have the leadership and the coach that they need.”

2006 Alumnus Jason O’Quinn, who plays as a lock, was president of the rugby club in 2003-04. O’Quinn discussed his love of rugby.

“When I came to college, I met a lot of great people,” said O’Quinn. “I’m still friends with people I met back in 2002. Rugby has totally changed my life, and I wouldn’t be where I’m at today without rugby.”

The rugby team’s next scrimmage will be against the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. For anyone interested in joining, the rugby team is recruiting.