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Possibility For College Rugby This Spring Increasing

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Possibility For College Rugby This Spring Increasing

Could we see Arkansas State vs Life again? Maybe. Rich Carvell photo.

It looks like we will see major college rugby going on this spring.

While some areas of the country do not look like sports teams of any kinds will have an easy time of it, still others look like they may be able to compete in some form. We caution fans when they hear that a team is going to play. For some that means that they may have been given the OK to train. 

Stepping Lightly 

And at the same time, teams that are just getting the OK to train are treading very, very carefully. Partly it's about COVID and working on a testing plan and a safety plan, but it's also about making sure the players physically get up to speed.

GRR spoke with Cal Head Coach Jack Clark and he said Cal has just started training, and the concentration is on getting player fitness, strength, and flexibility back to a level normally expected of the Bears when they begin their season. With players not always able to train the way they would like, it's a work in progress.

"We have to be careful," Clark said. "We went through a sequester period and now we've entered a reconditioning period; health and safety are the priority." 

AIC Head Coach T. Fletcher had much the same plan: "Right now we’re getting back into the S&C room with our coach and making sure everyone’s back up to speed so we don’t have injuries [once we're] jumping on the pitch," Fletcher told GRR.

(More on team protocols—the what how and why—tomorrow. 

The Mid-South

Neither of those programs even have any games scheduled, and they might not play games—that's up to a number of factor few would want to predict. But the Mid-South in D1A may well suit up this spring. They have a schedule set starting in February but with most of the games in March and April.

Lindenwood Head Coach Josh Macy said he's confident at least some of the game scheduled will happen, but that the team is taking it slowly.

"We will be far from a finished product in February," Macy said, "but who is at the start of the season?"

The Mid-South has scheduled home-and-away fixtures for all four teams: Life, Lindenwood, Davenport, and Arkansas State. In addition, those teams have scheduled teams such as Iowa Central CC, Marian University, Illinois, Queens University Charlotte, and Central Washington. All of the coaches GRR spoke to said they are optimistic about being able to play, but added that everything could change tomorrow.

Outside D1A

The Mid-South is not the only conference considering playing. The SCRC in D1AA and DII has published a schedule, but it's a schedule that won't start until April, and there remain doubts about whether the entire schedule can be pulled off.

D1 Elite

The D1 Elite women's group of Life, Lindenwood, Central Washington, and Penn State have a tentative schedule planned, however, again, you never know. Life Head Coach Rosalind Chou said she is working on contingencies if their schedule is thrown into turmoil.