No time for a scrum. The Bend Rugby Club team is heading to nationals. And some of their competition is helping them — financially — to get there.
“We’re usually outsized, but we usually compete with speed and moving the ball,” said Bend Rugby Club President Mike Gamm. “So a lot of our training around fundamental rugby, moving the ball, passing the ball support runs those kinds of things. So we’re kind of a fun team to watch because we’re based on speed, and we really get the ball moving, which makes it an exciting game.”
The Bend Rugby team has used their speed to not only go undefeated so far this club season, but also to qualify for the Super-regional playoff round in Las Vegas.
“The last time we qualified for a national run was about five years ago, and before that, it was about 15 years ago,” said Gamm. “So it’s been a while. It’s hard to do.”
RELATED: Bend’s Luke Musgrave drafted: Super Bowl winner who helped him train reacts
RELATED: Luke leaps to Lambeau! Bend High and Oregon State TE drafted by Green Bay
Gamm says the team consists of a lot of younger players mixed with a few veterans and athletes hailing from all over.
“We’ve got a Chilean national and a couple of Irish guys,” said Gamm. “Yeah, we have guys cycle in and out from all over, all over the country, and all over the world. So you’d be surprised. Usually, if they’re from like Europe or something like that, they come find us.”
In order to help pay for travel and lodging, the club set up a GoFundMe. In less than a week, they surpassed their goal of raising $12,000, scoring a big thanks to those on the other side of the pitch.
“A lot of donors who donate to us are actually fellow teams that we play in our own competition or even the teams that we beat to qualify for Vegas,” said Bend Rugby Club Athlete Tyler Crowder. “So I just I think it speaks to the community of all the players that, you know, the impact we’ve had not just in band locally, you know, high school wise, men’s wise, college wise, but also the entire Pacific Northwest as we made these connections.”
The Bend Rugby Club competes May 12-13.