National Collegiate Rugby recognizes four Southeastern players


Courtesy of Brendan Scripter

Sami Madonna stiff-arming a defenseman in order to score.

After a battling season in the Deep South conference, Southeastern’s rugby team had four players that went above and beyond on the field and had their efforts recognized. 

Senior fly-half Nick “Monty” Montreuil, junior team captain Allen Pennington, along with recent graduates Sami Madonna and Cole Stevens were invited to participate in the Collegiate Rugby All-stars Men’s National Shield Challenge, alongside the best in the league. The event was held in Houston, Texas on Jan. 13-16 at Avera Stadium.

Each year National Collegiate Rugby chooses the top players in each conference and invites them to attend a four-day training/tournament where Major League Rugby and international scouts are in attendance. 

Due to personal reasons, only Pennington was able to attend. The first two days consisted of scrimmage and training, followed by the remainder of the event in tournament play. 

Pennington said, “Just the thought of being invited to a national level competition and to be able to compete against other players at such a high level was amazing and humbling inside itself. The humbling part was playing against guys that are from different countries that have had a rugby ball in their hands since birth. The level of competition and knowledge my teammates and coaches had was awesome to experience.”

Alongside the tournament invitation, last season Pennington, Stevens and Montreuil were nominated as three of the top 15 players in their positions in the USA. 

SLU team vice president Brendan Scripter stated, “My thoughts and feelings are a mixture of being proud, to not being surprised. These four guys make such a monumental impact on the field each time they step on it. I was not surprised when I found out if anyone deserves the recognition, It’s them.“

The first home game will take place on April 2 against LA Tech.