Knights Rugby Football Club brings Cal Lutheran students together


Photo by Xanthe Schaub - Reporter

According to Cal Lutheran’s directory, the Knights Rugby Football Club competes in the Gold Coast Conference Intercollegiate Rugby.

Xanthe Schaub, Reporter

Founded in 1968, The Knights Rugby Football Club at California Lutheran University is one of the oldest clubs on campus and provides a laid-back environment that hopes to bring students together to take part in the sport. 

Senior Jackson Petty, RFC president, said that the club welcomes anyone to play, regardless of their level of experience. 

“It is a really easy sport to play and pick up. Most of the players we have had never played before or heard of the sport, and now that they’ve come out, they don’t want to leave,” Petty said. 

Senior Randal Voutt, who joined the club last year, said he was convinced by Petty to join the club and has fallen in love with the sport ever since.

“The sport alone brings everyone together, and I have met so many people through this club who are now some of my closest friends,” Voutt said. 

Voutt said that he wants students to know that rugby is not a dangerous sport, and that he held some of the misconceptions people have about it. 

“I was in the same boat, I was afraid of the sport, I thought I’d get injured, and I didn’t think I would have a good time. You always have to try something new, and either you like it or you don’t, but the odds with rugby are that you will like it because it is very fun,” Voutt said. 

With rugby being a relatively less popular sport in the United States, Petty also said that he wants to promote the inclusivity and community that the sport brings. 

“The biggest challenge has been recruitment, which has been the hardest thing because rugby is an interesting sport where one body type does not fit every position. You can’t have a team built of just one person and it is important to show that there are tons of different people and different body types who can play the sport and play it well,” Petty said.

Robert Nedbailo, who is the coach for the RFC, said that he would like to expose more people to the culture of rugby. 

“Come out and try it, it’s safer than a lot of other sports no matter what you think. The rules on hitting are different, and we teach the team how to do it right,” Nedbailo said. 

Nedbailo said that the team is very spirited and energetic this year, and is doing well in games after already having their first win last weekend. The club has more games coming up and they will run until the end of March. 

“Some of our goals are to obviously win our games but the main goal is to bring more people out to try it. Wins are fun and all but the experience is the best part,” Voutt said. 

Petty has a vision for the sport of rugby. 

“I really want to grow the sport, I have been playing rugby for my entire life and I have seen it grow in America and become popular, but I really want to see it grow on our campus and in the community as well,” Petty said. 

The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on Memorial Field.