Spotlight Player of The Week: Joyce Taufa

Joyce Taufa hails from the Hawaii and began playing rugby just a year ago for Lindenwood University. At first, she merely enjoyed playing the sport but she soon realized at Lindenwood, rugby is life.

When Taufa started playing rugby her father was not a big fan. She had to sneak off to practice to prove to her dad she could compete. “It’s funny though because my dad wouldn’t allow me to play, I had to sneak my way to practice. I started playing because I was trying to prove to my dad that I can play! That instead of me getting hurt, I can hurt other girls,” said Taufa.

Taufa is still new to the game. She is still learning all of the basics such as passing and defense but she loves the feeling she gets when she makes a tackle. She explained, “My favorite rugby moment in general is tackling. I love the adrenaline I get when I hit someone.”

Taufa makes a big hit. Photo by Nicole Earley.
Taufa makes a big hit. Photo by Nicole Earley.

Playing for Lindenwood has been the best decision Taufa has made. She has loved every minute of playing and getting better with her team. “Playing for Lindenwood is honestly the best decision I have ever made. Lindenwood has a bunch of outstanding players, so playing with them is an honor. I have never met a bunch of girls who work so hard because the love they have for rugby. I wouldn’t have been here if it wasn’t for Coach Billy. He’s the reason Lindenwood’s Womens Rugby team is where they’re at today,” she explained.

After playing for Lindenwood, Taufa quickly learned that rugby is a lifestyle that requires a ton of hard work. The tough practices, early workouts, and film sessions have become routine for her. She said, “We have practices and training sessions like crazy! At first rugby meant little to me, it was just a sport I enjoyed playing. I always heard some of the girls say “Rugby is life.” I thought it was funny but I know what it means now. The early morning training, the late night practices, the video sessions, and the lifting sessions have become a daily routine. Indeed rugby is life.”

Women’s rugby is quickly growing in the U.S. as more and more women are stepping up and picking up the game. “Women’s rugby is growing tremendously! Not only here in the Midwest but back from where I’m from, Hawaii! Not only that but scholarships are being offered to girls to play rugby at different universities. Here at Lindenwood, its a movement. Same goes for women’s rugby in general,” Taufa agreed.

Gift-Time Rugby wishes the best for Taufa and the rest of the women’s rugby team at Lindenwood. Any players interested in playing college rugby and looking for scholarships click HERE.