VIENNA, Va (WDVM) — It’ not considered a top American sport, but it’s becoming one of the fastest growing sports in the nation. In Vienna, rugby is becoming a sensation.
“It’s such a unique experience,” said Dylan Liskey, a senior at George Marshall High School. “It’s nothing like football or soccer. It’s just a beautiful combined sport.”
“You get to go out there and if you want it, you are going to get it,” said Camden Erickson, a junior at Madison High School. “That’s the really fun thing about rugby. You can separate who’s putting in the work and who’s not.”
It’s a sport with no requirement, besides hard work and dedication.
“It’s fantastic, really open and accepting,” said Vienna Rugby head coach Kendall Erickson. “You don’t have to be a particular body type, shape, size or whatever. It’s really open to all shapes and sizes.”
Vienna Rugby has gone from a team of few, to a team of many. What started out as less than ten kids, has skyrocketed to 70. Kids mostly from Madison, Oakton, and Marshall, putting their rivalries aside to become a nationally-ranked rugby club.
“A lot of these kids on this team have played together since elementary school, and others joined in middle school,” said Kendall Erickson. “So, before they got to Madison, Marshall, Oakton and the rival high schools, they’ve been playing rugby together.”
It’s been the recent success that has fueled the team to want to be the best. Making the national tournament for the first time last year, now wanting to go back and do better.
“We just felt like we left nationals last year learning a lot, but we’ve felt like we left a lot on the field with injuries and all these sorts of things that went down,” said Liskey. “We’re just really gunning for this year. Going to put all effort into it.”
“This team, this year, this is our year,” said Camden Erickson. “We have a lot of talent and a lot of opportunity. Making it to nationals is all nice, but if you go there and lay a big donut, there’s not much you can do. We want to go there and we want to win.”