Written by Jaylin Hardin | Sports Editor
For most, fall means back to school, football and pumpkin spice; for Western’s men’s rugby team, it means the start of a season. With an updated schedule having been released on Aug. 25, the team had plenty of time to prepare for their upper division matchups — four of their six posted matches are against division one schools.
However, the team feels no sweat going into the season. Coaches polls posted to Instagram on Sept. 21 by National Collegiate Rugby placed Western men’s rugby originally at 15, until revised polls posted Sept. 26 placed them at 12 on the national level. At the start of the 2022 15s season, the team was unranked, which means this is a huge jump in favor of the team this season.
This ranking additionally comes from a strong 2022-2023 full season of both 7s and 15s — these numbers denoting how many men are on the field at a time. In the National 7s Tournament, having taken place in Washington D.C. during the last weekend of April, they finished in the tenth spot nationally — after being knocked out of the tournament by Babson College, the current small college national leader.
Western men’s rugby finished their 2022-2023 season strong, winning champion titles in 7s and 15s, and have high hopes to bring in two more titles this year. This high ranking from the start compounds their hopes, as it is a favorable position and they can continuously strive to move up in the rankings.
This Saturday, the rugby team faces off against Oregon State University at home on the turf fields. Coming off a 5-39 loss against Boise State, they hope to add a win under their belt this next week. Updated coaches polls posted on Oct. 3 placed them at 17, following their loss at Boise.
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