Rugby begins spring season in South Dakota

Courtney Upah, Staff Writer

WSC’s rugby team starts its spring season in an 18-team tournament Saturday at South Dakota State.

Both men and women will compete in this tournament at the Jackrabbits’ new indoor football field and track.

However, rugby will not be played the same way as in the fall. During the fall, the game is played 15 on 15, and in the spring, the teams compete 7 on 7.

“7’s rugby are short, 15-minute games, but the running involved is nothing short of 2 on 2 full-court basketball.  Athleticism, speed and fitness are big demands in 7 on 7 rugby,” coach Darrin Barner said.

Last year, the WSC women’s team won the national championship in New York, and the men were one score from reaching the national semi-finals in Philadelphia.
These competitions were part of NBC’s national broadcast.

This spring, the women’s national championship is in Charlotte, and the men’s is once again in Philadelphia.

Women and men rugby players will compete this weekend and in late March until national qualifying tournaments begin in April.

“We have a very strong chance of a national title in late April. We are just looking for that one special person that joins the club this semester that can show their speed and passing skills to take us up one more notch and win the national title,” Barner said. “There are quite a few athletes on campus, they should come out and give a practice a try and see what rugby is like.  We very likely can be the number-one seed in the USA in just two months.”

The rugby club meets twice a week and is open to new members. Any students interested in joining or trying out can contact coach Barner at [email protected] or (402) 316-0100.