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Player Spotlight: Bau Molinari Finds A Home

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Player Spotlight: Bau Molinari Finds A Home

Bau Molinari in action for Fort Hunt.

You hear the story of a kid growing up in a rugby-rich environment and then moving to a place where it’s not certain he could play, and this is one of those stories—the kicker here is that Bau Molinari was too young to worry about it.

Born into a rugby family in Argentina, Molinari cheered for the Pumas and the San Isidro Rugby Club as a young boy. But then the family moved to Maryland. His dad took a job at the Argentinian Embassy in Washington DC, working with the dad of capped Eagle Ben Cima. That turned out to be a nice break, as when Bau wanted to play rugby, Mr. Cima recommended the Maryland Exiles youth program.

“I 100% lucked out,” said Molinari. “The Exiles were great for me and I didn’t have to worry about there being no rugby.”

When he got older he attended Gonzaga HS in part because of the rugby program there.

“I was lucky,” he said again. “My sophomore year I got to play for the Purple team.” That’s Gonzaga’s championship varsity side. “I got to play with guys like Will Lyke, Ian Kilcullen, Owen Sheehy, and Calder Jones. I learned a lot from them. They basically taught me everything about the game and the values and tradition of Gonzaga Rugby.”

Sheehy has been a teammate of Molinari since they were both playing for the Maryland Exiles Under-6 team. With Molinari playing fullback and Sheehy flyhalf, they worked well together.

“Owen took me under his wing,” said Molinari. “He’s a great guy. He and Ian [Kilcullen] and I have been playing together for years. They helped me a lot because Gonzaga is a different program. It’s a varsity program, you practice every day. It’s why I wanted to go to Gonzaga.”

This past year, his senior year, Molinari actually switched teams. He opted to play with Fort Hunt.

It was a personal decision based on what he wanted out of his rugby team, and it was, he added, “one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. I talked it over with my family and with my teammates at Gonzaga. They understood. I wanted to play rugby no matter what and was so fortunate that Fort Hunt took me with open arms. At the end of the day I had to do what’s right for me.”

Fort Hunt started the season on fire, and Molinari was a big part of that. Now, with the season of course ended, he is looking ahead to a place at St. Bonaventure where he will study finance.

“One of my good friends, Ultan Horrigan, goes there and he told me I’ve got to go there, I will love it,” Molinari explained. “I saw the environment and the rugby mindset they have and I really liked it.”

Head Coach Tui Osborne made a good impression too.

“He’s a really soft-spoken coach, the nicest person ever, and he knows a lot.”

A rangy fullback and flyhalf with an excellent kicking foot and a good ability to read the field, Bau Molinari has been shifting positions and, as we’ve seen, he’s been shifting rugby homes a bit, too. But maybe he has found a home for now at Bonnies.

As for a set position?

“I really like both of those positions and I feel I fit in well with both, so I can’t decide.”

OK, well, either way, you know he’s at home on the rugby field.