Life University officially announced the formation of its women's varsity rugby program today.
“We have been planning this for some time,” said Director of Rugby Payne. “Our goal has always been to grow the game as much as we can, and now that we have the Men’s and Undergrad team at the level they’re at, we feel that it’s the perfect time to add the women’s undergrad varsity team.”
The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics has identified rugby as an emerging sport. “There’s a lot of growth and support around women’s rugby right now,” said Payne. “That certainly was an added factor into our decision, but so was the fact that our athletic department, as a whole, is looking to grow and expand the opportunities for women’s athletics.”
Payne expects to schedule a limited amount of matches as early as next winter and spring, as there is already a lot of interest from current students and a recruiting base for next year lined up.
“In the first year of the Men’s undergrad team, we were doing our best to patch together a team to compete, and that’s similar to what it will be like with the women’s team early on; however, we have commitments from women that will be enrolling this winter,” said Payne. The official start of the program’s full slate of competition will begin in the fall of 2014.