UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | February 28, 2024

Rugby preps for Spring

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If you have strength, speed, strategy and don’t mind a full-contact sport, you might want to consider rugby.

At Dixie State University, there is a variety of clubs that can help you fuel almost any desire you have, whether it be academic, cultural or for entertainment.

Matthew Cooley, a junior general education major from American Fork, has been part of the men’s rugby club for three years and is the club president and captain.

The Rugby club participates in tournaments, scrimmages and games against other university club teams, Cooley said.

Rugby is not an NCAA-recognized sport, but the club still tries to go by all of its rules in hopes to eventually become a recognized sport, Cooley said.

The men’s club has 15 members and is actively trying to find more; it needs 23 total men to fill its roster.

The women’s club has approximately 25 members.

The club members have goals to grow the club and eventually be able to have their own field with goal posts.  

Alexis Romero, a sophomore elementary education major from Catalina Island, California, said she has enjoyed playing rugby since she started college three years ago and is the women’s club vice president.

“Everything about rugby is really fun,” Romero said. “Everybody should at least try it.”  

The Dixie campus does not currently have a field to play on, so the club plays games at a park; the club still practices at the Encampment Mall on campus.

The club welcomes anyone who wants to play. The members will even teach  one-on-one the skills such as the proper way to pass, how to scrum, how to do a line out, the rugby kick and basic game rules and strategies, Cooley said.

The sport consists of two 40-minute halves, and the goal of the game is to get the rugby ball into the other team’s goal area. Players can move forward by running with the ball or by kicking it.

There are approximately eight season games for the men’s rugby club, not including practice games and scrimmages.

The women’s club does not have as many organized games as the men’s club but it hopes to be able to play as many games as it can this semester, Romero said.

Nehmiah Vicente, a junior nursing major from Las Vegas, said he is a member of the club and said that the club has personal goals as well as team goals; conditioning is a goal that he is working on now.

“The best part about the sport is smashing into people,” Vicente said. “The sport is intense and a good outlet.”

Being part of a team club is more like being a part of a family, you share a bond with a group of girls that share the same love of sports that you do, Romero said.

The club practices everyday on the Encampment Mall field, the women from 5 to 6 p.m. and the men from 6 to 8 p.m.

The men’s club has only had one scrimmage so far this year against Salt Lake Community College, which it lost. The next game will be in two weeks at the Las Vegas Invitational where it will play multiple schools.

The women’s team played a game in Las Vegas Saturday against a team called The Slots and lost 27-35; this was the first season game. The women are unsure of their next match. They have to call and schedule games with the other schools.