Rugby growing sport in East Texas

KETK
News

POSTED: Monday, November 18, 2013 - 10:34pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - 10:26am

It's a sport you don't really hear about much in East  Texas.

Rugby.

But a few years ago, a couple students from LeTourneau University got the ball rolling.

It's a combination of soccer and football.

A popular sport in country's overseas.

But, according to the International Rugby Board, rugby is the fastest growing sport in America.

"It's started to grow and hopefully LeTourneau we can kind of grow up and just really show people what rugby is," said Junior from New Guinea Joel Sung.

A group of guys from LeTourneau University started a team about two years ago, and registered to play against other colleges.

Now, there are about 30 students on the team.

Both international and American students.

"When the school sees us we are a club but when the rest of the world essentially sees us we are a team," said Sung.

Sung is the team captain this year and rugby is popular in his home country, New Guinea.

Sung said he is excited to see rugby grow in popularity and get recognition at their school.

"It's hard work but I think it will pay off in the end," said Sung.  

But, for other students like Geoffrey Williamson, rugby was something new and exciting.

"I played lacrosse, soccer and basketball in high school, and I just needed something to burn off excessive energy do something constructive with my free time and we played pick up rugby and it kind of snowballed and here we are now."

The two coaches are originally from South Africa and have seen a tremendous growth on their team and the love for the sport.

"We're building momentum as were doing that and were going to do a good job on and off the field it doesn't change they've been held by a higher standard," said coach Freddie Van Reenen.

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