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Eugene Weekly : Sports : 7.28.11

 

Women Wanted for Rugby

Photo: Trask Bedortha

The women of the Eugene Reign, our local rugby team, are looking for some tough, tenacious chicks to round out this year’s squad. “Recruitment is the most important thing for us right now,” says team captain Brittany Stepnioski.

Rugby teams field 15 players, and Stepnioski says the Reign almost has a full squad but they need to round out the team with enough players for substitutions.

“What’s great about rugby is anybody can play it, from itty bitty girls to big girls,” Stepnioski explains. “We can teach anyone how to play, and we can work on getting in shape.”

She says that rugby isn’t nearly as dangerous or difficult to learn as most folks think. In fact, she adds, anyone who joins the team is guaranteed to play this season. “After your first game you get some understanding,” Stepnioski says. “The best way to learn is to play.”

Last season the Reign made the playoffs, but were defeated by Olympia’s Budd Bay Bandits, a team that ended up competing in nationals. On tap this year are three home games and a pair of away games, including a trip to Boise, Idaho.

It only costs about $100 to join, she adds, which includes the cost of referees, field use, union dues and a player certification. Stepnioski says rookies this year will get a $10 discount. Also, she added, there is the further incentive of free beer after each match (the team is sponsored by Ninkasi).

Practices start Aug. 8 and will be held at 5:30 pm every Monday and Wednesday at Skinner’s Butte near the playground. For more information about Eugene Women’s Rugby, call 525-0157, email eugenewomensrugby@gmail or visit www.eugenewomensrugby.com; or go to http://wkly.ws/13d to see EW’s March 17 cover story on the Reign. — Rick Levin