Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every week for a new post from The Club Chronicle!
The Club Chronicle Interview #13: NU Men’s Rugby
Interview conducted on September 22nd
Can you tell me a bit about yourselves and your roles on the team?
Anthony: I’m the president, and as president, I do a lot in terms of scheduling matches and practices for the team. I help with organizing fundraisers and community service for our group. Other than that I also help with communicating between our coach and acting as a middleman between him and Northeastern, because they can want different things sometimes. It’s a lot of off the field stuff that people think works itself out, but it really doesn’t, it’s a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes. That’s pretty much what I do.
Jack: I’m the vice president. Most of what I do is supporting Anthony. I help with organizing for community service and reserving rooms. Anything that we need last minute like ordering gear or paying for flights I help with.
Can you tell me about the team and how it functions?
Anthony: It’s a club sport so we run ourselves. We have a coach but we do a lot of work behind the scenes. Rugby as a sport, to give context because not everyone is familiar with it, it’s a cross between football and soccer. We have a large team of about 50 to 60 guys. Because of that we have two sides, an A side and B side, that get to play every week so we can get everyone playing time which is nice. We have a culture where everyone is included and gets playing time. Especially for me and Jack, we came in as freshmen not the most physically gifted athletes. We want to get everyone time because actually playing the game is the best way to get better and it’s the best part of being on the team. We have a good culture on and off the field.
Jack: We also are a good team.
Anthony: We have had some very good seasons. There’s two kinds of rugby, 15s and 7s. We play 15s in the fall and 7s in spring. For our 7s season this year we went to nationals and finished 9th in the country which is pretty cool.
Jack: A lot of university sports are split between varsity and club, but for rugby everyone is in one division.
Anthony: So for nationals 16 teams were there and we were the only club team there. So it was pretty cool. It was the best season in the club’s history. 2 years ago our Fall season we went undefeated and won our conference. So we’ve had a couple of successful years recently.
Jack: We have been ranked for awhile now.
Anthony: That’s pretty much what we’ve done as a team recently, we’ve been pretty successful on and off the field.
Jack: There’s also a lot of diversity, we have a lot of guys from other countries like South Africa, Australia, Ireland
Anthony: Our coach is from Ireland and he tries to recruit a lot of guys from there.
Photo by Dave Chan Photography
Are there tryouts to get involved?
Anthony: During the first week of season, anyone who wants to come join can come. There’s a couple of forms they have to fill out but there are no cuts. Everyone who wants to play we think should get a chance to play. If you come to practice you’ll play. We don’t post our practice schedule but on our website you can contact us and we’ll send the practice times. A lot of new players have never seen the sport at all, so we spend the first couple of weeks understanding the rules. We had a B side game yesterday and half the team were kids that hadn’t played before, and they played really well and only started 2-3 weeks ago.
Jack: They actually won, they killed it.
Can students get involved mid season?
Jack: We have had people get involved mid season. It’s a little tough because with new guys we focus on having them separate so they can get caught up and learn the game. Whereas if you come in the middle you’re trying to catch up to everyone else later on.
Anthony: It is possible but it’s easier if they come in the beginning of fall or spring. But we actually just got an email from someone who’s looking to join.
Jack: Just last week we also had a few guys join.
Anthony: Easier to join mid-season if you have experience in the game or know the rules already.
Where can students watch you guys play?
Anthony: We practice and play at Carter Field, right on Columbus. We play on Saturdays usually in the afternoon or night. We have a game this coming Saturday against Fairfield at 6. It’s free admission, no tickets. We had a decent amount of people come out to our last game.
Jack: We had a decent turnout, we played URI.
Anthony: Fairfield should be a good game. It’s a good atmosphere when you get a lot of people there. Going into school I know a lot of people wish that we had a football team or something but I feel like going to a rugby game can scratch that itch a little bit.
Where is your game schedule?
Anthony: Our website https://www.northeastern.edu/nurugby/ has an updated game schedule.
Photo by Dave Chan Photography
Do you have social media accounts?
Jack: We do, we’ve been stepping up our social media game recently.
Anthony: Our facebook is NU Rugby, twitter and instagram are @nuhuskyrugby.
Jack: And one interesting thing I want to mention is one of our players went pro.
Anthony: One of our coaches this year used to play for us then went on to play for the U.S. 7s team. We’ve had a couple of players go to play for this new professional league in America as well.
How long as the team been around for?
Anthony: 1984 was our first year.
Jack: We have a pretty good relationship with our alumni actually.
Anthony: It was started by a few students who didn’t have a coach or really school support. That first group is pretty tight knit and they host alumni events every year so I’ve met a few of them.
Jack: We’ve had many events with them like touch tournaments or golf outings.
Anthony: Just how you play touch football you can play touch rugby so we had a tournament where we mixed in current players and alumni players. They played against each other last year and that went pretty well. It was good to meet the older guys. A lot of people from the 80s and 90s especially have a good strong connection to the team.
You mentioned community service earlier, what kind of stuff do you do?
Jack: Today we were actually at the Jimmy Fund run. We were at a refill station and we handed out stickers and snacks and refilled waters. It varies what we do, but it can be tough because at a lot of of events you can’t take too many people, like you can’t bring 60 guys to these events. We usually have like 10 or 12 guys for each event. A lot of it is 5ks, we’ll help set those up and we have a blood drive coming up on campus
Anthony: The blood drive is open up to anyone. Club sports requires a certain amount of hours but we’re pretty happy to do it.
Jack: They require 10 for the year and we did 20 last year. Relay for life was a big one too.
Anthony: It’s a lot of runs or sport related things.
Jack: We like to help volunteer at the runs to make sure it’s running smoothly as opposed to running in it.
Photo by Dave Chan Photography
What’s your favorite part about being involved in the team?
Anthony: I wasn’t in a club prior to coming to Northeastern. I was on my highschool football team but you’re not doing anything aside from playing really. Here, we help to organize everything the club is involved in. If there was no one on the team to organize stuff, the team wouldn’t exist. I’m glad we have an organization that has a good impact on the people on our team and the community. The fact that I’m partially responsible for keeping that around is pretty cool. I have an important role in what the team does. We practice three times a week and have games, it takes up a lot of time, but I’m glad we can provide this opportunity for people.
Jack: We have a great group of guys really.
Anthony: That’s another thing, all the friends I’ve met after freshman year have been through this team.
Jack: It’s a great way to meet people.
What’s one thing you wished people knew about the team?
Jack: When our games are. I think people would really enjoy watching it. Even if you don’t know the rules it’s fun to watch.
Anthony: I like having the community aspect of people coming out and getting to know who we are, and what we are about.