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  • Recruiting the Next HU Ruggers

    Beginning this fall, Herd Rugby started reaching out to high school programs. The program directly reached out to majority BIPOC rugby programs, as HBCUs create a university atmosphere that is unparalleled. Coaches also held a virtual Prospective Athletes Webinar updating interested high school rugby players about the program. Current athletes also shared their experiences at Howard University and with Herd Rugby. This spring, coaches plan to attend high school events including the February NJ Combine and EGRL Showcase weekend in June. Coaches are also available for 1-on-1 Zoom meetings with athletes, families, and teams. Howard is a school that attracts international students as well. Coaches and program personnel are available to discuss both international and domestic students. We would love to be a school that is sought after by international rugby players.

  • We're On Campus

    Fall at Howard’s Greene Stadium is incredibly busy. Between football, band, and soccer there was no room for a new club sport. Thankfully in the spring some field space opened up in the schedule and we are at Greene Stadium 8-10pm M/W/F. We are excited to be closer to the student body and use that proximity to grow even more.

  • First High School Commitment

    Herd Rugby is proud to celebrate Saraia McGee as the program’s first high school rugby commitment. Saraia comes from Tennessee and with her team, the Lady Raptors, won the 2021 Tennessee Girls 15s HS State Championship. She primarily has experience on the wing, but is gaining experience as a center and fullback. While Saria is a 15s state champion, she began her rugby career as a 7s athlete. In 2021, she earned a spot on the regional select side, USA South Panthers, first playing at Tropical 7s. Saraia will reprise her Panthers role at Tropical 7s against this year, as well as play in other spring 7s invitationals for USA South. When asked why she chose Howard University, Saria states, “because I want to experience its prestigious past and contribute to a new generation of greatness. Being able to not only further my education but play rugby at such an elite school surrounded by other powerful Black people will be a life-altering opportunity and I truly can not wait for it to begin.” We are excited to welcome her as a member of Herd Rugby!

  • Herd Fashion is 'in' this Spring

    Herd Rugby has worked with Maryland rugby store, Steamroller Rugby, to put out gear that will be enjoyed by athletes, family, and fans alike. The store has a traditional team jackets, as well as a vintage style zip-up; hoodie and crewneck style sweatshirts; hats; t-shirts in short and long sleeve; and multiple style pants: track, joggers, sweats, and flannel pajamas. We encourage everyone to check out the store, support HBCU rugby, and rep this program.

  • Program Executive Positions Elected

    Both the Herd Women’s+ and Men’s Teams have elected their Executive Committees. The Women’s+ Team has solidified the following Committee roles: President - Takunda Ruiske Vice-President - Sienna Fatuesi Secretary/Treasurer - Lala Vaz Match Secretary - Alicia Bush Fundraising Chair - Gabby Mays Recruiting Chair - Nia Moten Public Relations Chair - Nike Onifade The Men’s Team has solidified the following Committee roles: President - Daniel Davillier Vice-President - Tavaris West Secretary - Arnaud (Rel) Anglade Treasurer - TBD Recruiting Chair - Hilary Kangethe The President, Vice-President, and Treasurer of each team, along with the advice of coaches and other rugby mentors, make up the Executive Board of the Herd Rugby Program. Photo Credit: DropGoalMedia

  • Captain Honored with National Award

    Herd Women’s+ Co-Founder and Captain, Takunda Ruiske was recently named to the 2021 15 Under 30 USWRF Award Class. The award focuses on recognizing the complexity of the ‘rugby experience.’ It highlights those who exemplify the best qualities of rugby and bring those qualities to the field, to their teams, to the sport and to the communities in which they live. The U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation serves as an advocate for women’s rugby, providing grants, honoring growth, preserving m history, and supporting the rugby community through professional development events. Takunda was honored alongside Herd rugby friends, Alex Schaefer (CUA Women’s Head Coach and Certified Referee) and Ubaida Ahmed (Herd Featured Coach, U23 Player Pool, and All-Armed Forces Team). With these dedicated women, the future of HBCU rugby, as well as D.C. Metro rugby, is in good hands.

  • Fall 2021 Wrap-Up

    The inaugural season of Herd Rugby was a success with the Women’s+ team playing 5 matches and the Men’s team playing in 2 tournaments. The Women’s+ team took on Johns Hopkins, Towson, combined with Catholic University. to play Navy and Loyola, and closed the season against George Washington University. Most teams in the D.C. area are rebounding from the COVID and the delayed recruitment opportunities it caused. The fall competition format was intended to get the athletes on the field in whatever numbers they could. Herd Women+ started off strong in 7s and 10s, then grew their skills in 15s against Navy, Loyola, and GW. Herd Men also got in both a 15s and 7s format this fall. Handling the mindset change from one format to another is difficult for any team, let alone a new program. The Herd Men showed their ability and versatility in both formats. Herd Men played 15s with Towson against Coach Tito’s alma mater, Mount St. Mary's University. Again, the D.C. area community was supportive and welcoming to Herd Men playing in their first match. The very next week, Herd played in the Cocorico 7s tournament in Maryland. Quite a successful beginning to the rugby program.

  • International Rugby

    On Saturday October 23, members of the Herd Women’s+ Team attended the U.S. v. New Zealand All Black match at FedEx Field. The event, known as the 1874 Cup, was named after the year the first rugby match was played in the United States. While the U.S. were handedly beaten, it was a thrill to watch New Zealand and all of their skill and fluid rugby beauty aka "champagne rugby" own the pitch. Always a highlight of any New Zealand match is being witness to the haka. Herd Women+ experienced their first big international rugby match in style in 100 Level seats. They also took in tailgating with NOVA Women and Coach Sully on the grill. Some famous faces with in the crowd and they also managed to meet and get photos with USA 7s Olympian and TikTok Famous, Ilona Maher.

  • RWC Champion In Town

    The Champion? None other than, reigning 2019 Rugby World Cup Champion SA Springbok Prop Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira. Check out highlights of his absolute dominance on the pitch. The week of October 17, Herd Rugby had a number of run-ins with Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, as he promoted the game of rugby with his old team Old Glory. Tendai joined Herd Rugby, Washington DC Youth Rugby, and others at the Eastern High School field for touch games and skills work. Additionally, on Friday of that week, Tendai was on hand to chat it up with Coach Kat after they both spoke at the USRF Lost Afternoon Luncheon. Tendai was excited about the Howard program and happy to see more Black athletes playing rugby in the U.S. and in D.C. He congratulated the entire program on getting up and running.

  • D.C. Rugby Community Steps Up

    As a new program in a very crowded city, there is difficulty finding fields to practice on. Thankfully we have been able to rely on steadfast rugby relationships to help us out with field access, since Howard only has one field and fall football, band, and soccer all take precedence. Washington Youth Rugby and their amazing leader, Marcus Wood, have sheltered us in our time of need allowing us time to share their practice space. DC Revolution, a DIII Women's Club team has also let us share their practice space that is closer to campus and therefore provides easier accessibility for Howard students. Catholic University has reached our and held joint practices with our program. This friendship allows us to practice skills with opposition and also practice set piece work, since our new program does not have a scrum sled to work with. We have also been loaned jerseys from the Mary Washington Mother's Rugby team, so while we may be new, we certainly don't look like it. The support of the D.C. rugby community has been full force and we are so excited to do what we can to bring everyone together and grow the game after a long COVID hiatus. Photo Credit: Washington Post

  • Epic Beginnings

    The first play of the Howard Rugby Program was a score! Essie Johnson gathered the bouncing ball off a kick-off. Starting from Herd's own 15, Johnson shook off a couple tackle attempts and ran the ball all the way down for a try. History, rather Her-story, was made today. Herd Rugby. First match in program history. First play in program history. First try. All in the opening 30 seconds.

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