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Rugby nears the end of the season

The rugby team singing the national anthem before their game in France. Photo submitted by Jackson Taylor

As the rugby season nears its end, the team prepares to claim the ultimate title of national champions. The Gonzaga purple rugby team is currently on a tear throughout the global rugby circuit, being named number one nationally.

 The team recently hosted and won a tournament against teams hailing New Orleans, Westport, Conn., Montreal and Charlotte, N.C. This was a crucial piece in strengthening the team and fortifying their place as number one in the nation. 

“It was a non-stop action packed tournament with a lot of good teams. I just wished we got an opportunity to play some more games,” said  Jack Tompkins, senior.

The team is full of talented players who all preach and live the mindset of playing with grit. The team has been on a dominant run seeking revenge for their runner up performance last year. The boys on Eye Street sought their revenge on St. Ignatius from Ohio, who defeated them last May  putting up over 50 points on them this season.

The players also went on a trip to France where they found success and took a lot away from their experiences.

“We learned how to offload a lot better in the French style and learned a lot,” said Jackson Taylor, senior. 

After falling short of the national title last year, earning second place, the Eagles have loaded up their schedule with international competition that has molded the team into the unstoppable force that they are now. Constantly playing elite teams has made the squad play in a near-professional manner with minimal penalties and errors that one would expect from a high school team.

“I was talking to Coach [Bagetta] the other day and he said, since France, I do not think we’ve had a high tackle penalty in our last three games. It goes to show how the competition we have been playing has prepared us for the national tournament,” said Mr. A.J. Powers, assistant freshman/sophomores coach.

The team focuses on maintaining a professional level of composure on the field that is partially responsible for a great deal of their success. The rugby team hopes to carry on the recent success it has been having into the national tournament that will be occurring in late May.

The team is hungry for vengeance as they look to take a national championship trophy back to Gonzaga. 

“I think we are a well prepared team, and we are ready to make a good run at nationals,” Taylor said.

There is a lot of hype around the Gonzaga rugby program as the national tournament approaches. However, the boys in purple have lived up to the hype thus far. Gonzaga will be supporting them as they continue to train and compete for a chance for the title of national champions on May 27. 


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