Third generation Cal student Goes for Fifth Consecutive CRC Title – Collegiate Rugby Championship
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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania  – April 22, 2017  – Anthony Salaber is going up for his fifth consecutive Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship title, as the last member of a three-generation legacy in Cal athletics. He is the third member of his family to play for the California Golden Bears’ rugby team after his father and brother Nick who graduated last spring- his grandfather was also a member of Cal’s Track and Field team.

“From the moment I even started thinking about college I knew playing rugby at Cal would be the pinnacle. I’d be going to one of the greatest public universities in the world and playing a sport I love- I’ve been very fortunate,” said Salaber. “I just wanted to get out here and give it my all. I proved to the entire team based off of merit that I know what to do and I just laid it all out there. I’ve had a pretty good career here at Cal.”

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Although he is now in his fifth year and final semester at Cal, his passion for rugby developed much earlier. He grew up in Dixon, CA just an hour car ride north of Berkeley and often attended football, rugby and other Cal sporting events with his relatives. As a child Anthony watched his father coach rugby at the University of California, Davis. Both Anthony and his older brother, Nick, urged their father to teach them how to play.

In the seventh grade Anthony joined a local team and as a high school student Rob coached both of his sons to a national championship. Anthony’s accolades continued on as he played for the High School All American’s in their run to the final of the Las Vegas invitational Boys Elite 7s. Unsurprisingly, Anthony became captain of his high school team and in 2012 he was named the Boys’ High School/U19 Player of the Year by rugbymag.com.

When it came time for college  Anthony had a few offers from some NCAA Division II schools to play football, however he recalls feeling much more passionate about rugby. Rather than entertaining the options he looked into playing rugby at Cal with his brother Nick, who had already been attending the university. However, upon starting his first semester at Cal he found the academic transition difficult coming from what he called a “small town.”

Cal is something else. It’ll teach you to work hard and that’s what I learned the hard way the first year I had here…balancing athletics and academics it’s a real chore, and you don’t get a lot of the freedom that you would if you wanted if you just took on school full time. I definitely have the utmost respect for the people who come into Cal, they’re the smartest people in the world,” said Anthony. “It takes a lot of effort and a lot of determination to be able to sit through and do a full academic workload and then go to practice. It’s tough but I definitely learned to be a little bit more disciplined in my later years and stay up on my work. It’s probably been one of the biggest lessons that Cal has taught me.”

Now so close to his graduation, Anthony is seeking an opportunity to play rugby professionally starting this summer. Although he spent last summer working as a rugby coach in Dixon, he doesn’t want to look into coaching positions until later down the line. He hopes the CRC will be a good place for his talents to shine and catch the eyes of scouts.

“Since it’s my last time coming around you definitely want to put everything you have into it and I know that’s the mentality we’re going to have,” said Anthony. “But there’s that little bit of- you could say pressure, you know? Pushing you from behind making sure that you live up to your expectations and go out on a good note.”

Photos courtesy of Cal rugby.

Media Contacts:
Jim DeLorenzo, jim@jhdenterprises.com, (215) 266-5943
Joe Favorito, fatherknickerbocker1@yahoo.com, (201) 746-0005
Clara Lefton, clara.lefton@gmail.com

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