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Men’s rugby team hang hopes on talented rookies

by Archives September 11, 2007

With only ten players left over from last year, the Concordia men’s rugby team’s 2007 season could justifiably be written off as a year to rebuild. However, after a far-reaching recruitment effort and a promising training camp, these Stingers aren’t quite ready to be relegated to upstart status in the Quebec university rugby league.
The optimism surrounding this season’s team has even reached head coach Clive Gibson. Now in his 12th season at Concordia, he has been encouraged by his team’s response to his off-season training program.?When asked about the team’s?fitness level, he responded:
“It’s not as high as I would like it, but it’s been better than in the past. So, we’re going in the right direction. The preseason camp we held this year was pretty intense. Basically, we had them practicing from nine in the morning to 10 at night and they showed us tremendous effort.”
This summer Gibson decided to forgo the usual set of preseason games in order to train his new players in the mechanics of the university game. “This year we basically have two rookies to every veteran on the team. Overall the work ethic and willingness to learn is much higher.”
Gibson has used his significant reach in the Canadian rugby world to pull in fresh talent from across the globe. Players on this year’s squad have been recruited from Ontario and?the U.S.?to as far as England and Hong Kong.
Gibson has also brought into the coaching staff a new offensive co-ordinator who came up under the renowned French national rugby academy to work on the team’s offensive systems. Despite the changeover form last year, the team will still employ a faster-paced offence in order to?succeed against some of the larger teams in the Quebec league.
“I think this step in my mind is what we will see this year. Initially I was questioning our ability to turn it around as quickly as we did, but I think that among the new recruits we have some solid natural athletes who will benefit under this new offensive system,” said Gibson.
The Stingers men’s rugby team will start the season on the road against McGill and Bishop’s. The first game will be Sept. 12 against the Redmen at 7 p.m.?at Molson Stadium.
The Stingers play their first home game against Sherbrooke on Sept. 23.
Lady Stingers win opening game
Concordia’s women’s rugby team got off to a flying start?this season, dominating Sherbrooke on the road 68-0.
Jenn Rosenbaum contributed with four tries on the game to lead the scoring.
The team will host Laval on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m.

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