Rugby players across the world are known as tough guys who often strike fear into the hearts of their opponents.
Brophy students hope to be no different as they launch a new rugby club this year.
With the Brophy College Preparatory Rugby Football Club, BCPRFC, being so new, players are very inexperienced when they play at lunch. However, the coaches and players are certainly optimistic for the season coming up.
Mack Regan ’12 is one of the founders of the new club even though he knows little about the sport. The only experience he has is occasionally playing with his uncle who played in high school.
Regan and the other players are purely active students who want to play an exciting, contact sport.
“I had minimal prior knowledge before this year,” Regan said. “I have watched a small amount of rugby here and there and barely understood the game.”
The rugby coach is former Fordham rugby star Mr. Eddie Cullen (made captain as a sophomore) who was a member of the USA Junior national team in 2006. Mr. Cullen is the all-time leading point’s scorer in Xavier High School history.
Now in Arizona, Mr. Cullen wants to build a competitive rugby team at Brophy.
“Our main goal as a program is to win our First Side,” Mr. Cullen said. The First Side is a seven team division Brophy is planning to be a part of in the Arizona Youth Rugby League.
Also, the team is hoping to play in some out of state tournaments on the west coast including California or Texas within the next couple of years. By their third year, the team would love to tour the east coast over spring break for some tournaments.
The club had immediate popularity with 125 kids showing up to the first meeting. There will also be no cuts this year, but next year the coach plans to cut players and have about 50 on the roster.
Currently, the Rugby Club has been meeting on the field occasionally at lunch for some touch rugby and there will be some informational meetings.
In the future, Mr. Cullen said he hopes to start after school practices soon in order to be prepared for the second semester games.
“Enthusiasm, having an open mind to a new sport and dedication will ensure a successful start to the BCPRFC program,” Mr. Cullen said.
Rugby is similar to football but can be played with either 13 or 15 players and the ball can be kicked or thrown forward at any point in the game. Points are scored when reaching the end zone. Rugby was created in the 18th century in England.