The Army Rugby Team: History and Cool Facts

How exactly does a person explain the sport of rugby? If we were to try and draw you a picture, first consider the sport of soccer (football in Europe), and the sport of American football.

Rugby is essentially a mix of these 2 sports. Like soccer, there is no pads or helmets except the occasional leather helmet or some players may wear a knee pad. Like American football, it uses a similarly shaped ball and is completely a full-contact sport.

So, let me take the picture even deeper…put a bunch of living bulldozers on a field trying to move a ball to the opposite side. It is much like a bulldozer demolition derby.

The sport uses strategy, strength and speed, along with a lot of pain. If you have never witnessed a rugby match, I highly recommend the experience. But do know, you will probably hear screams and you may see some blood, along with a broken limb from time to time.

Like soccer, rugby is a highly recognized sport in Europe, but it hasn’t been quite as recognized in the United States until recent years.

But, the United States Military Academy at West Point has recognized this great sport for quite some time.

In today’s post, I am going to provide the history and some cool facts about the U.S. Army rugby team.

Army Rugby History

The Army Rugby Football Club was established in 1961. There were no collegiate championships or such held in those early years. The team primarily played intramural rugby and scrimmaged against other would-be rugby teams.

The Army rugby teams were known to be the strongest and fastest in those early days…and as a matter of fact, they still are.

It wasn’t until 1980 that a United States Rugby Collegiate Championships was established. Army has been a major force in those championships ever since.

Army plays in the Eastern Conference Division 1 A.

Cool Facts About Army Rugby

Following are a plethora of cool facts you may or may not know about Army rugby:

  • The Army rugby team is West Point’s most winning team.
  • Since the collegiate rugby playoff was established, the Army rugby team has qualified for every playoff tournament.
  • The Army rugby team has reached the semifinals 10+ times.
  • All West Point cadet classes play rugby.
  • West Point fields four rugby teams. Divisions 1 A and B fight to be the leaders in the Eastern Division. Divisions 1 C and D challenge local rugby clubs in matches yearly.
  • Coached by Matt Sherman who was head coach at San Diego State and Stanford. He is a full time coach.
  • Army won the 2016 Bowl Final against Maryland with a score of 10 to 0.
  • Rugby positions are: prop, hooker, lock, flanker, number 8, scrum-half, fly-half, centre, wing and fullback.
  • Army rugby was 2nd in 1990, 1991, 1992, and 2011.
  • In 2013, the Army rugby team was suspended because several Army rugby players forwarded sexually explicit emails.
  • The 2016-2017 season starts in September. Army will play: Stony Brook, Iona, West Virginia, St. Bonaventure, Buffalo, Delaware, Penn State, Wheeling Jesuit, Kutztown and Air Force.
  • The elite are the All Army Rugby Sevens. Players are ranked to be accepted by some strict standards. You can see these standards at this link.

These are just a brief list of cool facts about Army Rugby.

Final Thoughts

Have you ever played rugby? We would love to hear your thoughts. If you played for Army, we would love to hear about your experience.

If you have any questions or comments about Army rugby, feel free to share them below.

Thank you, and with that, let me leave you with an Army Rugby video.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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