University of Arizona rugby offering scholarships to student-athletes

Now that the excitement of the Super Bowl is over, Arizonans are turning their attention to other sports, including rugby. The University of Arizona is offering scholarships to rugby student-athletes for the first time. Coach Sean Duffy notes it is a big step forward for the program.

“Most schools in the country do not have rugby scholarships so this is going to put us in a very select group of teams that do,” he said. “We will be the only NCAA Division I school that has rugby scholarships.”

Duffy says the move vaults Arizona to the next level among collegiate rugby programs in the West. He adds the scholarships could draw student-athletes from countries where rugby has a strong professional profile similar to NFL football in the United States.

Rugby began as a club sport on the UA campus in 1969. The current Division I squad is ranked in the national top 20. It started the season earlier this month and is forging rivalries with Stanford University and Brigham Young University among the best in the western U.S.

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