/ Modified feb 13, 2023 12:13 p.m.

University of Arizona rugby offering scholarships to student-athletes

It is a big step forward for the UA program already attracting international talent.

Rugby Rugby is popular professionally in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the Pacific Islands.
Brendon Spring

Now that the excitement of the Super Bowl is over, Arizonans are turning their attention to other sports, including rugby. The University of Arizona is offering scholarships to rugby student-athletes for the first time. Coach Sean Duffy notes it is a big step forward for the program.

"Most schools in the country do not have rugby scholarships so this is going to put us in a very select group of teams that do," he said. "We will be the only NCAA Division I school that has rugby scholarships."

Duffy says the move vaults Arizona to the next level among collegiate rugby programs in the West. He adds the scholarships could draw student-athletes from countries where rugby has a strong professional profile similar to NFL football in the United States.

Rugby began as a club sport on the UA campus in 1969. The current Division I squad is ranked in the national top 20. It started the season earlier this month and is forging rivalries with Stanford University and Brigham Young University among the best in the western U.S.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona