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University of Minnesota Women’s Rugby: Undefeated on the Field, Unparalleled in Passion

The University of Minnesota Womens Rugby Team is undoubtedly one of the coolest student organizations on our campus. They are a D1 sport and also a campus club, so they have a president and executive board, as well as a captain and coaches. I sat down with a few of the team’s leaders to learn a little more about what make’s these women such a powerful group to have on campus… 

Q&A

Q: Why is the Women’s Rugby team an important organization on our campus?

A: Anyone can play rugby which is what makes it so unique. It’s pretty unusual for someone to play in high school, so anyone can come in having never played before and compete at a high level in college. We don’t have tryouts, we just have practices, and anyone is welcome to come. Our coaches are some of the best rugby players in the country. Aside from the fact that our head coaches, Reebok (Rebecca Radtke) and Lynelle Kugler, are volunteers, they are such a power couple, too. They can take girls who have never touched a ball before and turn them into players who go to national training camps.

Q: What is the difference between Men’s and Women’s rugby?

A: Everything about women’s rugby is the exact same as men’s rugby. There is no difference. We play at the same level and follow the exact same rules.

Q: How does the team contribute to your community at home, on campus, or both while going to the U?

A: We all live together, there’s a sophomore house and a senior and junior house, and even the men’s team live together, too. The culture within the sport of rugby is so incredibly different than any other sports teams; your body is on the line (they don’t wear pads), and the traditions within rugby create a bond that you can’t find anywhere else.

Q: What are the team’s goals or future aspirations?

A: Our team’s goal is to make it to Nationals and win.

Q: What is the biggest lesson that rugby has taught you?

A: Never underestimate yourself, or anyone else. Are you tall? Are you short? Are you big or small? It doesn’t matter. Anyone who wants to put in the work to play rugby can play rugby. Also, respect is key. You have to respect yourself, your teammates and your opponents if you want to play rugby.

Q: How do you feel about being a part of one of the most badass female organizations on campus?

A: Not going to lie, it’s amazing. Both of our head coaches are super talented rugby players, along with all of our assistant coaching staff, and they’re all female. It’s definitely really empowering to be apart of something like this. Some of the U’s more successful sports teams are women’s teams, like the Women’s Hockey team, and that’s really inspiring.

Just For Fun

Favorite Rugby Tradition: Aside from the wildly inappropriate songs, the post-game socials. If you are the home team, it’s tradition to have a big meal after the game with the other team. You forgive and apologize for any foul play the went down in the game. You make good friends from different teams who live across the country.

Team Anthem: Pony by Ginuwine

One thing you can’t live without: Teammates.

The University of Minnesota’s Women’s Rugby went from not being ranked two years ago, to being ranked 19th in the nation for D1 rugby as of the Fall 2016 season. The team is currently undefeated with a record of 7-0. They just completed their regular season and are on to the playoffs!

Writer’s Note: A huge shout-out to Maddie “Wheats” Wheaton, Rebecca “Dreads” Burvich and Aniela “Pheebs” Peiffer for speaking on the behalf of the Women’s Rugby Team for this interview.

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Anna Rosin

Minnesota

I'm from St. Louis, Missouri and I'm currently going to school at the University of Minnesota, located in Minneapolis.
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