Rugby Club Open to New Members

This year will be the first year that Long Beach Poly has ever had a rugby team, thanks to the head coach of Poly’s football team, Stephen Barbee, who is the on-campus sponsor for the Rugby Club. Coach Barbee has been an important pillar in starting this club along with Poly alumni Tina Taunanu’u who will be the manager of the rugby team. Another important role which is head coach will be filled by coach Gavin Lauvao Lutali who is a Belmont Shore Rugby Club coach and former professional rugby player. The student president of this club is Gianna Diaz and vice-president is Ikenasio Mikaele.

Although rugby sign-ups started Wednesday, November 10, they are still open. Since rugby is a spring sport you still have time to register. Rugby is open to everyone, with or without any experience. Be prepared because it is a contact sport but there is a place for everyone.

“Rugby is a family sport,” said Taunanu’u. You are not only a part of a team but you are also a part of a family when it comes to rugby. In the rugby world, rugby is considered a “gentleman’s sport” due to the code of ethics, sportsmanship, and player to player respect.

Although rugby has been around for quite some time and is well-known world wide it is just now emerging in the United States. With multiple youth organizations having launched in the U.S., many high schools now have rugby teams. There are approximately 700 universities in the United States that offer rugby, many of these schools offer scholarships.

Rugby originated in England, it dates back to the 1700’s and was originally known as “Rugby football’’. Oxford and Cambridge were the first universities to incorporate rugby into their athletic programs. Today hundreds of universities all over the world offer rugby. Rugby is an Olympic sport and like soccer, rugby has a World Cup that is played every four years.