The recently revitalized Trojans Rugby Program has found itself struggling to fill roster positions in the wake of the pandemic.
The lack of personnel is being felt much more by the female squad, finding themselves with less than the minimum to compete in their league. Despite this, both the female and male teams are practicing and training with the expectation that they will be able to play in the spring.
“We are certainly planning on both teams playing this spring, but at minimum, we will be having our men’s team take part in an official Rugby 7’s league as well as several major tournaments,” said Matthew Bouchard, the head coach of both the men’s and women’s Rugby teams.
Bouchard also said that, for both the men’s and women’s teams, they are actively seeking new members of all skill levels regardless of playing history.
“Currently, we are holding practices that are open for anyone to come and join and give it a shot,” said Bouchard. “Whether you have played in the past before or not doesn’t matter, we can teach the skills.”
The schedule for every practice including, date, time and location is available on the Trojans website. Most practices occur on weekends.
Maria Ellah De Castro, a member of the women’s team, strongly echoed that everyone is welcome; however, she also highlighted how difficult it can be at times for students to even realize that they would have the ability to play on the team.
“Although I played rugby in high school, it took me three semesters and pure chance to find out that the team was recruiting,” De Castro stated.
This is mainly due to the fact that, unlike traditional college sports, such as basketball, Rugby at SAIT is done through a club format instead of the usual format, leading to much less exposure in an already much smaller sport.
Despite less exposure, Bouchard still strongly believes that with time, the club will flourish with talent.
“The thing that sets aside Rugby, in my opinion, is the culture. It’s just so different from any of the major sports, the camaraderie with both teammates and opponents I feel can’t be matched by any other sport,” Bouchard said. “What other sport will you go out for drinks after the game with your opponent?”
Tyson Underwood, a member of the men’s team, had much to say regarding the culture and his overall love of the sport.
“It just feels different when you are out there, it’s a different type of camaraderie. I have played other sports in past and, in my opinion, nothing compares.”
The thing that sets aside Rugby, in my opinion, is the culture. It’s just so different from any of the major sports, the camaraderie with both teammates and opponents I feel can’t be matched by any other sport. – Matthew Bouchard
Underwood was also keen to add that he believes rugby is a sport for everyone.
“Despite the contact nature of the sport, it truly isn’t as daunting to start playing as people expect. They teach you everything down to how to tackle.”