Boston College builds momentum towards their 2016 CRC appearance
Philadelphia, Penn. — April 23, 2016 — After an initial 2011 CRC appearance, Boston College reappeared at the tournament just last year. In 2015 BC’s competitive pool was against Virginia Tech, Notre Dame and California. After two losses and a tie, BC participated in a knockout stage where they lost to Temple 12-19. This year they hope to turn around their reputation.
“We’re absolutely delighted and extremely excited to be taking part in the CRCs for what is now the second year in a row and hopefully many more. We’re looking forward to testing ourselves again against some of the best teams in the country like last year,” said BC’s Head Coach Robert Conway.
When Conway arrived at the New England-based school just three years ago the team lost eleven seniors, and he’s rebuilding the program ever since. His training specialties focus around backs and 7s coaching. Conway grew up in Ireland and has worked in grassroots and professional rugby He heard about BC’s coaching opportunity after
BC’s Thomas Edwards, a senior and former team captain, experienced Conway’s impact first hand. “My freshmen year making playoffs was a big deal and when Rob came in it was like, ‘No- that’s the expectation that we’re going to play post-season ever single year both fall and spring.’ That culture ha
Taking on BC’s men’s rugby football club has been no easy job, as he’s faced with a variety of challenges every season.
Conway is unable to reach out to high school students as potential recruits due to a school policy. To combat this he’s made sure to encourage first year students to join the club at the beginning of their freshmen year.
Due to the team’s club sports status, the club is not fully funded by Boston College itself, like varsity sports. However Conway sites the team’s 2015 CRC appearance as a big attention getter from the school, leading to increased funding and awareness in the last year. An additional resource comes from an alumni organization called the Friends of Boston College’s Rugby Football Club.
Lack of local competition
Conway is always seeking the most competitive teams for BC to take on and learn from. With the team beginning practice in February, he’s found that the best competition for BC has been in April with a variety of national tournaments. This year the club is playing in California, North Carolina and Philadelphia for the CRCs
“Rob started as a coach my sophomore year and he brought a whole new system. He’s insanely knowledgeable about the game and he’s done a huge amount to raise our level of play, especially when it comes to 7s. He’s really committed to the team and gives up a lot for us- we really love Rob,” continued Edwards.
This spring Conway has brought in an additional coach, Ceri Llewelyn. His background includes playing for a variety of clubs and invitational 7s teams across Europe and the United States in the past decade. Conway and Llewelyn both met through their participation in the Boston Rugby Football Club, but currently only Llewelyn is an active participant.
Outside of these challenges Conway
Other activities include students participating in a broomball tournament to raise money for Boston College’s campus school, which assists kids with special needs. Additionally, this past holiday season about 20 team members wrote cards for children in hospitals
“It’s just in their nature- they want to give back to the community and to make awareness for certain fundraising events. But it’s also the fact that it’s great to get the Boston College rugby team’s name out there,” said current BC Captain Danny Schatzman.
This past weekend the team traveled down to Greenville, NC and won the Atlantic Coast Rugby League 7s Championship.
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