Rugby is a fast-paced, challenging and exhilarating sport. Most Americans are unaware that rugby is the third most popular sport in the world and is played everywhere on the globe. In the United States, there are currently over 3000 rugby clubs. These clubs range from the US Eagles (our national team) to clubs that cater to senior men. There are numerous collegiate and youth clubs. In the end, it comes down to an enjoyment and appreciation of rugby football. Rugby builds a sense of brotherhood with its players and fans, on and off the pitch, as well as with competing teams.
What if I don’t know anything about rugby?
Most of our players started as novices and without any knowledge of the sport. One thing to remember is that we were all rookies at one point.
What if I don’t feel athletic enough?
Rugby is an endurance and mental sport. Being athletic will help in the game, but that is not something required at the first practice. Our team has men at various levels of fitness, but each of us improved from where we started. Prove to yourself that you can do this and you’ll be surprised. It is a great way to keep in shape and the perfect escape from the gym routine.
I think I’m too old…
Rugby is not a game about age, but a game about heart. We’ve had players on our team in their 40’s. The only age restriction we have is a player must be over the age of 18.
What if I’m not big or beefy enough?
Big and beefy or small and agile, we have a position for you. You’ll be amazed at the range of body types and sizes our club encompasses. Being bigger may help you as a forward, but backs are typically smaller and leaner. One doesn’t have to be stacked with muscle to play the game.
What are the physical risks of playing rugby?
Serious injury is rare in rugby. Abrasions and bruises are almost always going to happen, as well as muscle soreness; but odds are good that nothing serious will occur. Our training focuses on the development of skills and techniques that prevent injury. Exercise and stretching is also very important because it allows for the body to be strong and resist injury. Like any other sport or activity, if you are concerned about your health you should consult a doctor.
Do I have to be gay?
No. We welcome members of all orientations. We are proud to have a brotherhood and alliance between LGBT and straight allies. International Gay Rugby does not discriminate due to sexual orientation.
Can trans men play?
As of 2015, anyone who identifies as male can play rugby without any restrictions. USA Rugby's standards mimic those of the Olympic Committee, which have been broadened to be much more inclusive.
Who do you play against?
We play against other clubs in the North Carolina Rugby Union; as well as Non-NCRU and other IGR clubs like Nashville Grizzlies and Atlanta Bucks. Typically the season is split up between matches in the Spring and the Fall. Travel is a big part of our club. We play both home games at our pitch (field) and away games within the state as well as venturing out to where our cleats take us. Every two years, IGR hosts a tournament called Bingham Cup at participating cities. In 2014 the tournament was held in Sydney, Australia and next tournament will be in Nashville, Tennessee. The cup was named after Mark Bingham who played for San Francisco Fog and co-founded Gotham Knights. The cup was named in his honor after the courage he showed in United Airlines Flight 93 during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
I am ready to join!
The club organizes new player orientations during the year, usually in late January/early February before the spring season, and again in August before the fall season. These events are aimed specifically at the novice player and are great opportunities to get a more focused introduction to rugby football. But why wait? Most of our players came to the club by attending a regular team practice. With even a few weeks under your belt you’ll notice a marked improvement in your skill and comprehension. Feel free to join in even if it is mid-season. We always accept new players at anytime. Check out our practice schedules and events and join us.
How do I become a team member?
Newcomers who are considering joining the Royals should contact our club officers or just show up for a practice. Please make sure to also take a look at our new player forms.