Strength, speed and strategy

Newly formed Rugby Club offers fun and competition

By Alexandra Cizek
Staff Writer 

There’s a new club on campus, one that Rugby fanatics would find particularly interesting. Much like football, rugby is a free-flowing game that features a combination of strength, speed and strategy to move a ball into an opponent’s zone. It is a full-contact sport, yet players wear little or no protective gear.

This past October, Schoolcraft introduced a rugby team to campus. This club was started by student Donatas Tukys (Co-founder of the Rugby club and Rugby forwards coach) and a few of his classmates, Emiljan Vukaj and Zach Harthun. They were introduced to the game by friends and had begun to play together in high school on a city team by the name of Northville Knights.  They loved the game so much that they decided to start Schoolcraft’s first Rugby club. “Rugby is the fastest growing sport in America,” Tukys adds, and he wants to share it with anyone interested in playing.

The three started the club because they had such a passion for it in high school and wanted to be able to share it with the rest of their peers. “We work so hard in Rugby and we love the game so much,” says Tukys. The club meets five times a week in the main gym at Schoolcraft and practice for a few hours each session. Sometimes the club practices twice a day purely because certain practice hours work better with some players’ schedules. During the summer Tukys says, “We plan on using the soccer fields here at Schoolcraft and have only one practice, but for a longer period of time.”

Currently, the club has 12 members enrolled. In order to join unions, 15 players are required, though the club’s main goal is to get about 30 players. The club is looking for male participants who hold the desire to learn the game, the passion to play it, and a lack of fear of getting hit. “We would like to have a co-ed team for rugby, but right now we’re just focusing on getting a guy’s team started for now,” confessed Tukys. Rugby is known for being quite physical, though Tukys feels very strongly against too much physical activity between players: “Fights happen in Rugby just as much as they do in any other sport; we just don’t want to encourage it.”