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Rugby team finishes fall season with winning record

(Source: WSU Men’s Rugby Club)  WSU Rugby team captain Johnny Francis pulls the ball out of the ruck in a game against Utah Valley University earlier this season.
WSU rugby team captain Johnny Francis pulls the ball out of the ruck in a game against Utah Valley University last season. (Source: WSU Men’s Rugby Club)

The Weber State men’s rugby club finished their fall season with a 2-2 record and an invitation to the Red Rock Tournament in Mesquite, Nevada on Jan. 30 and 31.

Last fall, the rugby club finished with a 10-1 record. Their spring season will begin on Feb. 28 with all games at home, except one.

“Rugby is the best of all sports combined,” said club president and scrum half Johnny Francis.

Each team has 15 players on the field and they play for two, 40-minute halves.

“It’s a true team sport. Some sports have that one all-star who can win it for you; rugby has no such thing,” Francis said. “If the team doesn’t work together, the team loses.”

The rugby club currently has 27 players on its roster, but they are hoping to have enough players for two teams next year.

Utah has one of the highest percentages of rugby participation in the country, according to Francis said that anyone of any skill level can join the team.

“Just show up to practice. We take the new guys off to the side and teach them the basics and they learn by trial and error,” he said. “Another great thing about rugby is that all shapes and sizes can fit. The club is you come, you play. All are welcome.”

Practices are held Tuesday and Thursday nights from 8 to 9:45 p.m. at the Marquardt Field House, west of the Dee Events Center.

“If you want to have a close group of friends or even brothers, rugby is the place to find them,” Francis said. “The best part is the more you put in, the more it gives back. Rugby is not about pure brutality and who can hit the hardest. It’s about who can read the field and see the plays as they happen.”

Francis attributes Weber rugby’s greatness to its fans. The club always wants more people to come cheer and support them.

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