College Rugby Team in Pennsylvania Stays in Shape Despite Season Suspension< < Back to
GIBSONIA, Pa. – The Robert Morris University men’s rugby team had a successful fall season. The Domers, a club team at the university consisting of about 20 players, finished their schedule with a 7-2 record, including a trip to the Three Rivers Rugby Conference Championship.
The Domers had their eyes set on the spring season with some new expectations as a team.
“We had a bunch of new guys come out for rugby,” David Weigand, a junior on the Domers said. “Our main goal was to teach them how to play it and teach them the rules and all the things that go with it; the second goal was to do well in our tournaments.”
The COVID-19 outbreak wiped out the Domers’ hopes of reaching those goals this spring. On March 12, Dr. Armand Buzzelli, the Director of Campus Recreation at Robert Morris University, announced that the university suspended all club sports practices and competitions until further notice.
“Our initial thought was ‘well this sucks’ with (COVID-19) going around,” Weigand said. “Later on, we saw how serious this virus is. Not playing this spring doesn’t really mean much. We just needed to stay safe, stay indoors and hopefully we can play in the fall.”
Even though the players can’t take the field together this spring or see each other because of Pennsylvania’s stay-at-home order, they still find ways to stay connected.
The team has a group chat where players can talk with each other virtually. In addition, the players try to stay in good athletic condition.
“To stay in shape, we mainly work on our cardio,” Weigand said. “That’s the biggest factor playing this sport. You get tired pretty easily.”
Cardio workouts help increase an athlete’s endurance. Weigand usually works on his endurance by going for runs or walks in the local park. When the weather permits, the players also try to improve their rugby skills in their own backyards.
“If we have a chance, we just go out and throw the (rugby ball) with someone to keep our form,” Weigand said.
The Domers are hopeful they can be back together once again in the fall and continue the success they had the last fall.
“I’d say we’re definitely more motivated this fall because last year, we made the championship game and we were unable to win it all,” Weigand said. “This year, we’re definitely looking to win (the championship) and go far in the national tournament.”
Club rugby season usually opens up in mid-August.