Rugby showcases young talent, carrying big expectations after three-club round robin

Jacob Justice, Sports Reporter

The University of North Florida (UNF) Deadbirds Rugby Club played their first two preseason games this Saturday against the Jacksonville Rugby Football Club and the Alpharetta Exiles Rugby Club.

The games were played at Bob Hayes Park, a neutral field providing an excellent host for all three teams.

Sadly, the Deadbirds came up short in both contests, losing to Jacksonville 35-7 and Alpharetta 52-0.

Despite the devastating losses, there is no shortage of young talent, as the Deadbirds carry a large amount of hype for this upcoming season.

UNF rugby club poses with UNF president
Rugby is growing on campus, exemplified by UNF President Moez Limayem’s interest in the club. Photo via UNF Deadbird Rugby Club on Instagram.

With the Deadbirds finishing in third place last season, they are heavily focused on veteran leadership stepping up to help this young team reach its full potential.

In an interview with some of the veteran players, they revealed that they are hopeful that the newer guys will learn at a fast pace and unify as a team.

“Even though we’ve got a lot of new guys we’ve got a lot of athletes,” Christopher Friend, president of Deadbirds RFC, said. “I think they’re going to pick up this game very quickly and we’re gonna be able to teach them how we play and how we can start playing as a team, we’re gonna go pretty far.”

The Deadbirds will next take on the University of Florida Rugby Club at home, which many players have described as potentially the biggest game of the season.

With the game being played on October 28th, the Deadbirds are hoping to enter well prepared and come out with a win as a large crowd is expected to be in attendance.


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