What’s better than a season full of wins, all-time high media coverage and a move up to the highest level of collegiate rugby competition?
You may think nothing, but the UConn Club Men’s Rugby team is even more excited about being positioned for sustained future success.
“What’s interesting is we’re such a young team, and now we’re recruiting guys that actually played rugby in high school, so it just builds us up for the future,” UConn Men’s Rugby president Nicholas Wehrle said.
This sentiment was echoed by team captain Joe Phillips.
“I think the story of the year was the skill level of the incoming rookie class,” Phillips said.
These are surprising takes from a team whose A-side just went 5-3 on the season and 4-1 in their conference, the most in-conference and overall wins in UConn men’s rugby history.
It’s less surprising though when you look at the B-side, who went 7-0-1 despite being comprised of mostly rookies and underclassmen.
Dan MacLean, a junior playing on the B-side, was thrilled by the team’s play this year.
“My first fall semester was very successful, we had a lot of new guys come in and play well together right away,” MacLean said. “With only six seniors leaving after this season, the future is looking good.”
It’s these younger players like MacLean and underclassmen that played A-side this season that will lead the charge for the team next year.
Along with returning most of their players next season, the team is boosted by having six coaches to direct them, along with an elite mental skills coach to keep them focused and mentally tough for the grind of the season.
Another huge accomplishment for the team this season was moving up to Division 1A, the highest collegiate division that is sanctioned and administered by USA Rugby.
Not only did the team experience their most success ever on the field, their success in the media was sky-high as well, topped off by playing their first ever national live-streamed game, which was hosted and televised by Flo Rugby.
There is a lot to be excited about for UConn men’s rugby, and with so many things changing for the better, one thing will remain the same once next season rolls around, their motto: “Time To Eat.”
Zac Lane is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.