By Doris Christelis, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – It is not often you see a scrum in the Boston area. A scrum is a commonly used move in the sport of rugby. One of the oldest sports in the world, rugby was first played in England. Today, men and women can enjoy this competitive sport considered to be one of the fastest growing sports in the United States.
The Northborough Southborough Rugby Association is now recruiting players for its upcoming summer season. The league, which plays “Sevens” rugby, has several teams in the association, including a men's team, a U-15 team and a U-12 clinic.
“Sevens rugby is a faster-paced shorter version of traditional rugby,” explained Greg Richer, president of the?Northborough?Southborough Rugby Association. In this version of rugby, teams of seven play against each other in games that are only 14 minutes long. Rugby sevens is now recognized as an Olympic sport and will make its debut in the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The Northborough Southborough Rugby Association has been loosely organized in the past, but this is their first official year.
“Our men's league has around 30 players right now? Anyone over 16 plays in that league,” added Richer, who started playing last year in college and now plays for UMass-Amherst and semi-professionally for the Boston 13s.
“I love rugby because it's a fast-paced and exciting game which instills a brotherhood in all of its players,” he said. “Our league consists of a great group of guys, ranging from brand new to ex-professional players. But we are always eager for new players to join in and welcome players at all skill levels.”
The first practice this year was May 20 at the fields in front of the Woodward School in Southborough. Practices will continue there through the summer until Aug. 5. In the fall, the group typically plays scrimmages and begins regular season play. In the spring, the group has play-offs if they qualify and friendly matches between teams.
“Women also play rugby,” Richer said, “but unfortunately not with us. We’re working on trying to incorporate a women's team into our association, especially as there is a rugby team at Algonquin High School so it makes sense to have a women's team over the summer.”
“This year's schedule hasn's been assigned, but last year we played Ronin Rugby, Wake Forest, and Suffolk Law,” Richer added.
Those interested in joining the rugby association can contact Richer at [email protected].