LSU Rugby On Its Way Back
LSU Rugby On Its Way Back
LSU's loss to Texas A&M was a victory of sorts as the Tigers look to get back to regular play.
COVID hit Louisiana especially hard, at least when it came to making it difficult to play and travel. That, coupled with a coaching change as the longtime LSU brain trust stepped away, has meant we at GRR haven't talked about Louisiana State University Rugby for quite some time.
But things are looking up. Harry Higgins, former All American at Arkansas State, is the Head Coach for the men's and women's teams. He has put together some games for both sides.
"We have a very competitive season for our young Tiger team," said Higgins. "I am very excited to see what these young men and women can do. We spent the majority of our season at the end of last year working on our fundamentals as rugby players and trying to learn, understand, and interpret the developing collegiate game. The LSU Tigers have a lot of very talented local young players who are incredibly passionate for the game. I have been very lucky to be able to watch these athletes develop their raw abilities and turn them into physical attributes they can apply to situations they find themselves in."
So a lot of this is empowering the players' decision-making by getting them able to execute skills and understanding the game more.
"This is giving them the knowledge and power to adapt their own games whilst building their experience in the rugby arena," said Higgins. "The highlight of the day was turning up to training early and seeing these young men and women out there embracing the culture and developing their skills individually. This is the behavior and commitment it takes to be a professional but to see it instilled in them at such a young age just showed the maturity of these student athletes. It was truly something that gave me motivation every single day."
Higgins, who is from Australia, had to return there and visa issues delayed his return. Meanwhile many from the rugby community helped fill in for him.
"I was so amazed by the development, of both the men's and women's teams, over the semester to only see the commitment, dedication, and passion for the game grow in every session on or off the field. There is a competitive and physical culture in all of the players of Louisiana, not only LSU."
Meanwhile, Saturday's game was welcomed wholeheartedly by A&M Head Coach James Lowrey.
"Definitely the fixture we both so desired," said Lowrey. "A long time coming and my Personal favorite rivalry. It was evident there were plenty of quality players out there and I look forward to playing them again regularly."
Are they back? Well, to a certain extent, but likely there's more to come from LSU rugby, which is good news. Next up for the men's team is Louisiana Lafayette this weekend, and then Florida State on March 5 in Florida. Then on April 2 they will play a doubleheader with Ole Miss and Mississippi State.