French club tries something new, plays rugby

by Kelsey Hagelberg

Instead of sitting in a classroom to learn about French culture, members of the French club are playing rugby.

“One of the objectives of the French club is to make the students grasp a better understanding of the French culture and to break the cliches,” member Agathe Ponge said. “France is not just about wine, cheese, soccer and the Eiffel Tower.”

To educate students about the French culture and how rugby fits in, the group comes together every Thursday in Buxton stadium to compete against each other.

A group of around 15 students meet for two hours to practice this version of “football.”

“At first, we didn’t even have a Rugby ball,” member Ben Muff said. “We had to use an American football for the first couple of practices.”

The French club thought that it was only going to be a single occurrence, but it quickly escalated into a team.

“Initially it was only for French club members, but people enjoyed it so we made it a once a week meeting,” member Jeremy Dubois said.

The turnout at the first practice, consisting of 10 French club members, quickly grew as more students became interested.

Beginning practices met in the wrestling room due to the cold conditions outside, but now they can finally practice in a much larger location.

The French club would really like the sport to become an official intramural sport since many people are becoming more interested in it.

“We would love to play other teams but currently we don’t know of any others,” Ponge said.

Since it is not an intramural sport, the Rugby team usually splits off into two teams of eight to play against one another.

“It is a tougher sport than football because there are no pads that players wear,” Muff said.

Rugby is usually a tackle sport, but since many of the players have not played before, the French club has made it no-tackle rugby.

“We have actually had a few injuries, but none that have been life-changing,” Muff said.

The injuries have included a pulled hamstring and quad but nothing too severe.

The actual French rugby team has a good chance of representing their country in the Rugby World Cup. The Rugby World Cup is one of the most watched sports in the world.

“The Rugby World Cup is taking place next year in New Zealand,” Ponge said.

In order to learn more about the sport that’s taking the world by storm, tune in starting September 9 to see how the French, and the United States, do in the Rugby World Cup.

While you’re waiting, check out the opportunity to learn a new and challenging sport at Simpson. Contact Ponge for more details on Thursday practices.