JSU Rugby is Back!

JSU Rugby is Back!


Pull out your striped tube socks and dust off your cleats: JSU Rugby is back!

“JSU used to have a powerhouse team but unfortunately the program died off,” said John Maurer, a junior majoring in business and president of the newly reorganized JSU Rugby Club.

What is rugby?

“The most basic way to describe rugby is football without pads, but there’s a lot more to it,” said Maurer.

Traced back to England, 1864, rugby is defined by Merriam-Webster as “a football game in which play is continuous without time-outs or substitutions, interference and forward passing are not permitted, and kicking, dribbling, lateral passing and tackling are featured.”

There are two types of rugby matches:

• 15s – 80-minute matches consisting of two 40-minute halves with 15 players on the field
• 7s – 14-minute matches consisting of two 7-minute halves with 7 players on the field. Much faster paced than 15s with a lot more scoring. Recently played in the Olympics.

Maurer fell in love with the game as a student at UAB. Upon transferring to JSU over the summer, the Gadsden native wanted to continue playing at the collegiate level. When he learned JSU no longer had a team, he contacted former members and expressed his interest in restarting the program.

“Somehow, alumni of the club got word that I was working to restart the program and started offering advice,” said Maurer. “I began to establish relationships with them. A former president of the club offered to help come coach us and put me in contact with the former coach who has been a huge asset in the reestablishment of the program.”

Thanks to help from SGA Vice President of Organizational Affairs Dylan Jones, faculty advisor Dr. Robert Carter, former president of JSU Rugby Club David Williams and Maurer’s former coach Mike Trowse, JSU now has a rugby team that’s ready to compete.

Does rugby sound like something you’d enjoy? The team is looking for new members. Currently there is only a men’s club, but Maurer said if at least seven women are interested in playing a women’s team could be formed.

“The best part about rugby is that there is a position for everyone,” said Maurer. “Literally anyone can play and everyone has the opportunity to touch the ball and score.”

If you prefer watching from the sidelines, the team could always use help hosting its various events. Regardless of your athletic ability, you can always come support your Gamecock Rugby matches. Every match is free and open to the public. The team will play year-round. Mark your calendar for the following upcoming games:

Nov. 5 – JSU vs the Gwinett Georgia Men's Club, 15s match, in Gwinett, Ga.

Nov. 12 – JSU vs Samford University, 7s match, in Birmingham, Ala.

Nov. 19 – JSU vs Rome Georgia Men’s Club and Morehouse College, 15s match, in Rome, Ga.

The Rugby Club practices in the field next to the JSU track on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Stop by a practice and follow the team on Facebook and Instagram at @jsumensrugbyclub.