It’s a sport that combines athleticism, pace and aggression, all without pads, and it has made its way to Pacific University.
Rugby is now among the ranks of clubs offered at Pacific.
Bringing rugby to this school has been in the works since last spring, said adviser and coach Ben Dictus.
According to Dictus, who is also the Area Coordinator of Student Life, he was approached by then-freshmen Miguel Minchin and Ben Cabral last year.
The two were looking to see if they could get a rugby team going at Pacific.
To get the word out, both Minchin and Cabral tabled at the University Center during the fall semester.
They got around 50 people to sign up.
Dictus said that along with the men who come out, around five women show up to play, but do so separately from the men’s team. He is hoping that enough women will eventually show to let them have a full team.
After getting a practice schedule arranged, the team got approval for funding so they could buy team jerseys.
Dictus said that because the team sometimes doesn’t have enough numbers for a full game of 15, they play what is known as “sevens,” a smaller and even quicker version of the game.
The team’s first game was on Feb. 4 against Lewis & Clark where they lost 21-17. They then beat Reed College in two consecutive games. Their record is now at 5-4 overall but Dictus said he is looking to put more games on their schedule.
He also said the biggest challenge at the moment is coming up with the funding to allow the team to travel.
“Everyone pays a $40 fee for a U.S. Rugby membership but it’s hard to keep asking for money,” said Dictus. We’d like to play Evergreen State College and Whitman University but the problem is getting there to do it.”
The team has a quite a few football players on it, so Dictus said they’d have to figure out if playing in the fall would be possible since a lot of the rugby club members would be in season.
Overcoming those challenges may take time but Dictus is confident in the future of rugby at Pacific.
The rugby team practices Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 to 10 p.m. and Fridays from 7 to 8 p.m.
Anyone is welcome to come out and play.