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Why You Should be Excited for Women's Rugby at ASU this Spring

Updated: Jan 19, 2023

Rugby is in the air this Spring semester and there is no team more excited about this upcoming season than Women's Rugby at ASU. With a large group of eager rookies coming in, seasoned vets returning to the pitch, and brand-new coaches with valuable experience, there is much to be excited about in these upcoming months of Women's Rugby at ASU.

Freshman and former soccer player turned flanker, Julia Bognar, is an excellent example of the fiery energy that the rookies bring onto the field. Bognar decided to come out to rugby after being persuaded by some of her friends on the Rugby at ASU team and because of her older brother who also played rugby in college. Bognar, who knew nothing about rugby, was told by her brother that she may end up playing hooker, to which her response was, “To say the least, I had to find out what he was talking about.” Ultimately, Bognar decided she felt she had a place on the team the first time she came out to the info meeting. “I immediately felt at home and accepted by the players even though I only knew them for 30 minutes.”

Perhaps the biggest reason the incoming group of rookies are so ecstatic to be a part of this team has to do with the welcoming attitudes of the veterans. Club president and team captain, Steph Davies, plays an integral role for the team this year. The absolute powerhouse of a fly-half is confident in her team. “I expect to see a lot of hard work put in from the team and I think everyone is super motivated for the upcoming season,” Davies said. She is entering her final year of ASU rugby and is especially excited about the chemistry of this team thus far. “This team is more than just teammates. We are friends and family on and off the field, which is one of my favorite parts about this team in particular.”

But of course, there is one looming question that is circulating within the rugby community in Tempe; Who will lead this growing team? Head coach, Chelsea McIntosh, has the challenging task of shaping this new team. McIntosh has over 20 years of rugby experience and although it is her first full year of head coaching, she is not new to guiding a team to success. As far as what she expects from her team this season, her opinion on that is clear as well. “I mainly expect to see a lot of growth from this team,” she says. “We have a lot of talented athletes and I’m just excited to see what we can do once it all starts to click for everyone.”

It is certainly a big job, however Coach McIntosh has help from assistant coach, Alex Jaros. Jaros has been playing for seven years and is new to coaching. Just like her fellow coach, she also has high expectations for the team. “There’s many talented players on the ASU squad this year and I am very excited to see how they challenge and push each other to succeed,” Jaros said. There’s no doubt that with coaches like Chelsea and Alex, the team is sure to strengthen their arsenal of game IQ and skill set.

While this team is mostly new, it is very apparent that this team has the potential to really make their mark in the Pacific Desert Rugby Conference this Spring. After a tough but promising performance at the annual Scrum by the Sea tournament hosted by the women’s rugby team at the University of California San Diego last November, these young ASU women have hope for a bright season. In fact, the excitement surrounding the home opener is going to start it off with a bang. After suffering two losses from a well-matched UCLA team back at Scrum by the Sea, a rematch is long overdue.

And on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 11 a.m., a highly anticipated rematch is what you will get at ASU’s very own home pitch. It would be a shame to miss out on such an occasion, so wish these ladies luck and come out to enjoy a great Saturday morning of some Sun Devil rugby!


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