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SHAUN KNOWS SPORTS?

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SHAUN CONNOLLY

The Worcester Rugby Football Club is kicking off their 43rd season this year on April 2nd and will be playing every Saturday through the end of May. They are awaiting confirmation from the city as to where their home field is, but truthfully the where is not what matters here. After getting a taste of your new favorite local sports team, you’ll want to join, drink and be merry with the WRFC.

I already had a pretty good idea of the hard work and fun this team has in my experiences with them around Worcester. I have seen them singing songs and smelling like mud and body odor post match at the now defunct Greyhound in Kelley Square, celebrating their injuries, flaws and mishaps over pints in the darkened Irish pub. I watched them walking in the Saint Patrick’s Day parade acting like they own Park Ave., shaking hands and high-fiving every other person that lined the street as they tossed the Rugby ball to kids, hoping to recruit a whole new team of psychos. I had seen them more recently at Breen’s Cafe on Cambridge street taking the whole place over and cheering on the Bruins (of course).

After talking with team captain and Vice President of the club, Nick Ducey, I was this close to joining them myself. Then I realized with my doughy, diminutive frame I wouldn’t last 10 seconds out on the pitch, but this all more proof of the intoxicating allure of Worcester Rugby.

The team carries a 23 man playing roster, however they roll way deeper than that. They don’t make cuts, “we’ll take anyone,” Ducey said with a chuckle. There is an A-Side game (comparable to a Varsity squad) and B-Side game (think JVs). There is even an older gentleman’s league for those who still love playing the game, but realize those hits from 22 year olds sting just a little bit longer.

Ducey himself got into WRFC after watching his older brother play, and was carried off the field with a gash on his forehead. This, Ducey explains, is what inspired him. Then he learned of the traveling to different tournaments, the sense of competition a 20 something maybe still be yearning for, and that chance, “to meet friends,” says Ducey, “a lot of times when you’re out of college and you have a job and you’re separated from your high school and college friends it’s surprisingly hard to make new friends. This club has definitely been a place for a bunch of guys to get together and create lasting friendships.”

According to Ducey, a lot of the guys who created this club and the years after are not only still involved but closer than ever with each other. If that is what you’re looking for, then that is a big reason to join.

“Something for everyone,” said Ducey, “there’s a level of competition for any type of athlete. If you just want to be a weekend warrior, you can be. There are members of the club who just like to support and hang out, they don’t even play. You don’t even need to be a player to be involved. It’s not a lifelong commitment, but it is a lifelong friendship. People since the beginning are still here and are still friends.” 

Ducey says it’s a club where you can “get fit, stay fit and give yourself a nice little social life.” If that isn’t a motto for just living your life I don’t know what is. Why not play some rugby too?

If you are interested in joining or supporting the Worcester Rugby Football Team you can visit their website at www.worcester-rugby.org, visit their Instagram  @Worcester_Rugby or go to their Facebook page, Worcester Rugby Community.

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