The North Texas rugby club opens its season under the D1A Red River Conference along with Baylor, Oklahoma St., University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M, TCU and Texas Tech.
The club is one of the oldest sports clubs to be around at the university. Currently, the team is managed by former rugby alumni players. These coaches do not get paid for their positions, as they see it as a way to give back and keep the legacy going.
“I had the opportunity to go play professionally after playing here at UNT so [I’m] just trying to give back where I can,” assistant coach Austin Becker said. “Give back to the boys and also try and create a pipeline with the local professional team at Dallas Jackals just trying to create every opportunity I can for the guys here, you know opportunities that weren’t there when I came to the school.”
Coming into the new season, the team lost half of their players due to graduation or professional academy teams. Recruiting was one of the things members emphasized during the summer, whether that be attending high schools, hosting watch parties or tabling around campus.
However, the team roster saw many new names join. A good portion of them joined the team having zero experience.
“I would say in our conference we consistently have the least experienced recruiting class compared to other schools,” assistant coach Andrew Marshall said. “We only have two practice sessions so only twice a week, so [newcomers] are told they must watch rugby whenever they can. Just watching a sport when you are brand new to it, you’re going to absorb it very quickly because of all of the things you get from watching a broadcast of it.”