Press "Enter" to skip to content

Chattin With: Men’s Rugby

This week, Richard Elliott chats with Daniel Wooddell of the UMBC men’s rugby team.
How did you first hear about UMBC’s rugby team?
DW: I was at one of the incoming freshmen events, where I was approached by a member of the women’s team because I was wearing my high school rugby jacket. She then directed me to the men’s team where I signed up.
Who is your favorite athlete (any sport), and why?
My favorite athlete is Jackie Robinson. Not only did he break the color barrier in baseball, but he was an incredible athlete. This man did not take no for an answer. He also did not lead an extravagant lifestyle. Jackie Robinson played baseball for the love of the game, not for the fame and fortune. He was a special player.
How would you say our rugby team could improve, and what do we excel in?
Basics lay the foundation for everything at the more advanced level so, having a solid ground on fundamentals such as passing, tackling, rucking and setting a defensive line are the differences between a good and a great team. Our team excels in running hard and offloading, which keeps the game moving forward.
Would you say rugby is easier or harder than comparable sports, such as football and soccer?
Physically, rugby is pretty tough. You have to have the ability to take and receive hits, then get right back up again because the game does not stop. It is important to have good cardio because the game is 80 minutes and many positions are expected to play the whole game.
Who would you play against in your ideal game of rugby? Where would it be? Who would be on your team?
In my ideal game, I’d play with my friends and family. We would divide up the teams and play a pickup game. There is nothing better than to get together with some of your best buds and just have fun, because that is what it’s all about: having fun.
Tell me why UMBC students and fans should show their spirit by coming out to our rugby games.
Who doesn’t want to see 30 guys in an all out brawl? Rugby provides excitement with both big hits and creative play with the ball.