Needless to say, no player on the University of Texas rugby club has ever played before more than a couple of hundred fans during their rugby careers. So stepping in front of more than 8,000 on a nice pitch in a large stadium had the men very excited.
“It feels incredible to play here,” Kye Heck said. “The crowd is awesome. It is great that so many people were able to see me play – here and on TV.”
Tod Mullen said the manicured field of Philadelphia’s PPL Park left dusty, drought-crushed Texas fields in, well, the dust.
“It is far cry from that tournament we played in San Antonio,” he said. “But USA Rugby has been great to us. This has all been first rate. This is the biggest thing I have ever played in.”
Stephen Mahoney had loads of family in town for the event. Several of his aunts live in New England, and his parents made the trip.
“But also, many people watched us on TV, and that was really cool,” Mahoney said. “This whole experience makes me feel like a legitimate college athlete.”
Well, Stephen, while rugby does not get the respect of other sports, you and your teammates are, indeed, legit.