Sports

Rugby returns to the U of C

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The gentlemanly sport of rugby has returned to the University of Calgary.

Once a glorious team, the U of C Stags will take to the field this fall with four men's games tentatively booked to start the new season. As it stands the U of C will field one to two men's sides as well as a women's side.

Originally established in 1963, the U of C was a prominent fixture in the Alberta Rugby Union until it disbanded in 1974. The team won the James Calder Ferguson Memorial Cup for Division 1 men's rugby in 1969 though 1972. Each year, the Stags played against the Golden Bears for the provincial title. At the same time the club also managed to win the H.H. Rickett Cup for Division 2 men's rugby in 1963, 1970-71 and in 1974.

For those who do not understand the sport of rugby you might need a brief outline.

In rugby, a side (team) tries to gain ground by moving forward and passing the ball either backwards or laterally. The team then carries the ball across the end zone and touches the ball down. This is called a try. The try can be worth five but it's usually worth four. The ball is kicked through the uprights for the conversion and either two or three more points are added if the kick is successful. Each side has 15 players on the pitch (field). There are eight forwards and seven backs.

Credit for the creation of rugby belongs to William Webb Ellis, who "in a fine disregard for the rules of football (soccer) in his time, picked up the ball and carried it across the goal line," according to English rugby lore.

Every four years, countries come together to compete for the "Billie" in the Rugby World Cup.

For those of you who are interested in rugby drop the head coach Dave Lougheed a line at lougheed@cadvision.com or 270-2978. Practices run on Tuesdays and Thursdays with games on Saturdays. The tentative schedule has the first game against University of Lethbridge on Sat., Sept. 22 in Lethbridge. The first home game will be against the University of Alberta on Sept. 29.

Come out and support the Stags.

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