The Men’s Rugby team is the oldest club sport at Mason, dating all the way back to 1965.

Over most of those years the Rugby team  has had a very strong program. Currently the team is displaying that success again after a few rough years of redevelopment.

“We’re on our way back up,” Club President Zander Shaw said.

Two years ago the team did not win a single game, with some improvement last year. This fall season however, they shut out every home game and went undefeated for eight games before losing a tough  away match against Salisbury University. Shaw accredits the team’s successes to the brotherhood the group has formed over the past three years.

“We’ve grown from spending all these years together and working hard at practice, but that’s one reason why we need freshmen; new blood to keep us alive,” Shaw said.

The team is steadily growing but suffers from commitment issues at practice and tournaments. When  a few players can only make one practice a week and every other game it is difficult to improve and connect to the rest of the group. Understanding the commitment issue is key to long term improvement of club sports, and the battle for each team is different.

For the rugby club the spring season is the less competitive season for Rugby, the more crucial games are in the fall. While they still play games home and away it is prime time for recruits to come out, especially with the weather getting warmer as the semester goes on.

The stereotypical image of a rugby player is usually tall, broad, and built like an ox. Shaw wants to dispel this myth as the team focuses heavily on recruiting this semester.

“There is  position for everybody we need big boys, skinny guys and  little fast guys too,” Shaw said.

Another assumption about rugby is the danger. Unlike its counterpart, American Football, Rugby does not use pads or helmets. Shaw explains how this actually makes Rugby a safer sport.

”The pads and gear give you a sense of safety, you can hit as hard and recklessly as you want” Shaw said,”The lack of gear makes rugby much more about form. Poor technique will get you hurt and actually makes it a safer sport.”

Looking forward to this season the team really wants to get another shot at Salisbury, and a fresh pool of recruits may be a deciding factor.

“We have some bad blood, they’re one of the dirtier teams out there,” Shaw said.

The team celebrated big wins over the University of Maryland and Georgetown University after the loss, but couldn’t remove the  bad taste of defeat from their mouth. The relationship Mason Rugby has with Towson is a little nastier that most. Often the teams can shake hands and have a celebratory mixer afterwards though in some cases of blowout games the teams prefer to leave and lick their wounds.

The oldest club sport is one of the largest with a roster of 35  players and looking to develop significantly this semester with their intense recruiting campaign, interests and inquiries are asked to contact Shaw and the team through email at