By Colin Condon ‘20

It’s that time of year again Crusader sports fans! The most storied program at Brother Rice takes the pitch once again this Friday.

After winning the state championship last year, Brother Rice rugby will host St. Rita to open up the season.  With nine state championship rings, the Crusaders would like to earn their 10th this year. With many returning players, the rugby team has their eyes on the prize.

Senior Jake Summers said, “Last year’s class taught us a lot about winning and finishing the job. We have a solid lineup this year. Though we lack size, we make it up when it comes to speed.”

Playmakers like Summers and Sean Corbett will certainly do their part by scoring tries and by leading the team.

“Having played last year helps me when it comes to knowledge and skill of the game. Also, when younger players and newcomers ask me for help about something, it is easy to lend a hand because I was that newcomer last year,” said Corbett.

“The goal is obviously state!” said senior hooker, Martin Murray. “We have the skill and the comradery to go all the way. We play another tough schedule, but as long as we all do our jobs we should be fine.”

Being a better team than last year will be tough, but that is not the goal. The goal for these players is to win a state championship. However the team compares to last year’s squad will be decided in June.

The learning process for new players can be tough, but former football players seem to pick the game up faster than others.

Charlie Fitzgerald, former linebacker for the Crusaders football team decided to pick up the rugby ball for the first time this year, and is hoping to make an immediate impact.

“Obviously playing football helps me when it comes to the hitting aspect, but the subtle rule changes and pace of the game can be confusing at times. After watching the team from last year, I see some similarities. We have the guys to do something special again here, and that is the goal,” Fitzgerald added.

As Charlie said, the rugby team has the capability to do something special, and it all starts against St. Rita.

Come out and support your reigning state championship Crusaders rugby team!