Men’s rugby tackles season
With a new head coach and designation as an athletic club, Men’s Rugby hopes to apply more focus on the field.
“In the past, we had to deal with a lot of off-the-field stuff; we had to manage our own budget, acquire our own equipment,” senior captain Casey Coughlin said. “Now that we are [a part of athletics], it’s a lot easier, a lot more streamlined for us…because a lot of that stuff is just handled by the Athletics Department. It makes it a lot easier for us to focus on playing the game.”
Since there is more of a focus on the field, new coach Tony Dow is using his 40 years of experience to develop the team and prepare them for their scheduled tournament in Rhode Island on Nov. 13.
“The expectation is you show up to training, have a good time, and learn the game of rugby,” Dow said. “Rugby is a great sport…and you can teach it at any age or to any sex, it doesn’t matter. The outcome is normally the same, and they fall in love with the game.”
Coughlin praised Dow’s passion for the game, “He’s a very big proponent of it, he knows the game inside and out…and he’s just overall really dedicated.”
First-year players like Perrin Grubb are also responding well to Dow’s coaching. “He pushes us to be our best both in practice and on the field and does a great job of making sure we know why we do the drills we do and how everything translates to an actual game,” Grubb said.
“The openness to things I put them through is pretty cool because they don’t really know,” Dow said about his first-year players. Specifically, Dow is instructing his players to carry their teammates on their back and work on grip strength, something at first is confusing but makes sense once the team gets into gameplay.
Coughlin and senior President Sanuj Arora have set the focus on recruitment and the program’s continuation after they graduate. “We just want to have fun. This year we want to focus on rebuilding,” Arora said. “[The first-years] want to play. We are glad we have people that actually care about the program and want to get this going so we can pass off our positions and legacy.”
The overall message from Coughlin and Dow: enjoy the team and game. “We are all here because we want to be here. We are all here because we want to play rugby, we want to enjoy the game, we want to enjoy the camaraderie that comes with the team,” Coughlin said.
“Take it on, try the new things and see where it takes you,” Dow added. “It’s really about the journey, the destination is the tournament, but it’s all the learnings that go along with it.”