Members of the Fairbanks Rugby program speak about their love for the sport

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Name your Summer sports.
You are probably thinking about baseball, softball or even golf.​
However, there are some people here in the Golden Heart City that play the sport of rugby, a mixture of soccer and football, and these people love it.


On the UAF soccer fields, both men and women meet for the sport of rugby.​
A mixture soccer and football, and as Head Coach Daniel Cain, a.k.a "Fuzzy", says rugby is very similar to other sports.​


"Don't take anything at face value. There's a lot of movies out there about sports and it really does come down to heart. It's not the dog in the fight it's the dog in the fight. Some of these guys they look small, the ladies look small but they will knock you on you're {EXPLETIVE WORD DELETED} if given the opportunity, or knock you on your butt,"​ said Cain.


Anli Boone of the women's team was among the group at the practice, and she spoke about the rugby community and what it provides.​


"So I say the amazing thing about rugby is no matter where you go the people are amazing. So on the pitch it can be violent even, but it's just we're so enthusiastic and passionate,"​ said Boone.


Fairbanks Rugby President Benjamin Ferguson has been apart of the sport here for 19 years.​
During that time he has seen the sport grow on both sides, and how it provides a sport for people.​


"Fairbanks as everybody knows it, it's a little smaller than other communities. We're a little dislocated from Anchorage which there is a lot more teams there. It gives people a lot more to do especially if their upbringing is soccer, cross country or football. You have that, they have something to do whether they're military or getting a little bit older,"​ said Ferguson.


Lastly we come to the captain of the team, LaCross Gray, who was able to find rugby after playing football in high school and college after a friend introduced it to him.​


"I love it, as a football player, an old football player in high school and in college and such. I came to Alaska stationed at Eielson, I had no way to get my aggression out in the way I was used to. So when a buddy of mine suggested it, I thought he was crazy at first just cause there were no pads and it was dangerous. Once I came out to a practice I was hooked and couldn't wait to play both sides of the ball as America would see it to be able to tackle it and run with the ball,"​ said LaCross.


The Fairbanks Rugby program continue to practice at UAF in preparation for summer tournaments.​
Both squads are preparing for the 2019 Kenai Dipnet Fest Rugby 10's Tournament.
They'll be down there on July 20 playing on the Spur View Field.​