This week, we sat down with Doug Swift, an England native, and president of the Penn men’s rugby team, who discussed recent successes and the future of the fiercely competitve club sport.
How did you get into rugby?
Swift: So, I’ve been playing rugby since I was five, back in England. I played throughout Lower School, Middle School, and High School. After a gap year, when I realized I was going to come to America, I scouted out some of the schools I was applying to and it was an absolute bonus that Penn had a great program.
Being from England, most of the players that try rugby out in the States are football players or ex-football players. How do their skills translate in the game of Rugby?
Swift: There are certainly skills that do transfer over. But, you'd be surprised Americans are kind of wimpy. The tackle technique is more different than people give it credit for, and the fact that we don’t wear pads means that there is some adjustment. However, especially defensively the skills do transfer over.
So, you guys just played Brown this past weekend. What does your club look to do playing teams like Brown, Cornell, and Dartmouth who are more active in recruiting players?