Rowan men’s rugby is back and they are hungry for a better and stronger season. The Profs are looking to grow as a young team as the season kicks off in two weeks.
Last season, the Profs ended with a record 6-1-1 and missed the playoffs because of point differential, being defeated by the champions of National Collegiate Rugby, Kutztown University. Assistant Coach Bill Stom explains his expectations for the team this year.
“Despite the turnover that we’ve had in the large graduating class, I think we still have a key or core group of really great players,” Coach Stom said. “That’s great. And so the expectations are high. I mean, the expectations for the program are always wanting to do well. We always have a goal of making the national playoffs. We always have a goal of winning our conference.”
While there were key players lost heading into the season, the team still looks strong. There are players that have played rugby their whole lives, transfer students, and transition players that will make this team what it is.
The Profs were already put to the test when they scrimmaged against Villanova University. Head Coach Tim Smith explains what he saw in his team and how they can be more prepared for the season ahead.
“So they had a game under their wings,” Coach Smith said. “We like anything, you’d come out a little stale and you hope to improve. They understand what they have to do.”
This season, the Profs have two captains, seniors Dante Lorenzini and Joe Smith. Both have been on the team for their whole collegiate careers and love the sport.
Lorenzini admitted that the Villanova scrimmage was tough but he is confident that the team will clean things up and will be ready for their game against Temple University. Lorenzini also shared what he is most excited for and his goals for this season.
“Mostly I’m looking forward to winning obviously all the way to the national championship,” Lorenzini said. “My goal for this season is to be a good leader for the rest of our group.”
Smith is also getting more comfortable into his new role as a captain. He has been working hard throughout the year to prepare for his final season.
“I’ve been playing nonstop since last January. So I feel like my body’s acclimated to the sport as of now I’m just kind of making sure to stay in shape,” Smith said. “I found myself getting a lot more fit and becoming more of a leader on the team stepping up and filling the role that goes with a lot of graduating seniors last year.”
The Profs officially kick off their 2022 campaign on Saturday, Sept. 24 against Temple University.
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