LSUA Rugby builds a winning team in a matter of months on the basis of family, courage and accountability.
LSUA rugby made its debut on the scenes a couple of months ago, but if you look at them play you will see something completely different. Though this team has not been together a long time they play as though they have known each other for ages.
They play as though they were a family anticipating the others next move. LSUA rugby has risen from the ground and ended their 15s season 9-2. They won a trip to the national playoffs, but unfortunately they lost to North Alabama 22-5. Though upset the team was not broken in their first year they managed to take it all the way, even though the fell to a good team.
The players base their success off of family and accountability. The players from LSUA are just like any other rugby team they come from all over the place. No two players are alike. Everyone brings something new to the table.
Eion Keenan saw the development of this team happening on Facebook and jumped at the chance of playing rugby again. He had been around rugby all his life, his dad and brother had played and his family was full of supporters, he says in his family “it’s what we did”.
Keenan like other on his team had not the slightest idea that they would be playing in the small town of Alexandria.
In Coach Lejunes attempt to find players he had this to say,”I hustled, I reached out to recruiters, I went to tournaments,” LeJeune said. “And I’m having to pitch, ‘Come to this little school you’ve never heard of”
Most of his players had never heard of the sport some knew a brief bit about it but that did not stop them from building a team. This team worked diligently in learning the basics as some crossed over from other sports.
Because so many of his players were not from Alexandria and were away from home, the team spent a lot of time together.
They were invited to play the 7s regional playoff in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Compared to 15s, 7s is played at a much faster pace, is more wide-open and places a premium individual athleticism.
In the finals, they faced a familiar nemesis: North Alabama. This time, LSUA came out on top of a close contest, 17-12.
LSUA will be the underdog in the upcoming tournament hosted in Philadelphia. The NSCRO 7s Championship is part of the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, contested at Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia June 4-5 and televised on NBC.