Letter: Yale has more than one rugby team

Re: “Tradition defines rugby team” (Sept. 24). I was initially excited to see that the News decided to publish an article about rugby, as it is an oft-underappreciated sport, particularly on campus. Imagine my surprise when I found out that to the News, “rugby” means exclusively “men’s rugby.” It may have escaped the paper’s notice, but Yale also has a women’s rugby team.

Founded in 1978, the Yale Women’s Rugby Football Club has fielded women ruggers at the University for over 30 years, finding footing less than a decade after the first women entered the undergraduate class. We compete in the highest level of collegiate rugby in the country. We share the exact same rules and regulations, “hard tackle[s] and long passes,” grisly injuries, traditions and even the same pitch as the men’s team. While we share many of our traditions with the men’s team, we also have our own unique history, culture, quirky attire and fiery spirit. Just last year at Harvard-Yale we held a 30th anniversary reunion that boasted dozens of women from every decade of YWRFC, and for spring break we went on a team tour to Trinidad.

I hope that in the future the paper will at the very least acknowledge the thriving women’s rugby community at Yale, even if it chooses not to spotlight the tremendous women that step on the pitch to play the powerful and incredibly fun game that is rugby.

Sharifa Love

Sept. 24

The writer, a 2009 graduate of Davenport College, is an alumna of the Yale Women’s Rugby Football Club and currently a player on the Washington, D.C., Furies women’s rugby football club.


  • Scrumhalf Connection

    Excellent letter to the editor supporting women’s rugby!



  • Rugby Rocks

    Fantastic letter!

  • Yale10

    I’m not even gonna lie: Yale’s Male Rugby Team is HOT.

    Good letter though.

  • rgbyfn

    This just highlights the need for both the men’s and women’s teams to go varsity. In fact, women’s rugby (in general) has been an NCAA provisional sport for the past several years — women’s clubs have been invited to petition their schools for varsity status in anticipation of a move to full NCAA status (if 40 varsity teams can be fielded nationwide by 2012). Perhaps, given this wonderful opportunity (which the men do not have), the women’s team ought to be campaigning rather than complaining. Any YDN coverage of the sport in general is good for the cause — if the women want more specific articles to be written, get it done. Invite reporters to a game, give them a press kit/videos, change things. The women’s team has an opportunity that most club sports would kill for, and I’d love to see them move ahead of the men’s team in this aspect, setting a precedent for the status of rugby at Yale and in this country as a serious sport. Put the pressure on the Athletic Department, not the News.

  • Yale ’00

    YDN writers –

    It is really time to retire the old sexist move of using the plain sport name to refer exclusively to the men’s team (i.e. “rugby” + “women’s rugby”). It’s the 21st century already. Get with the program.

    Good letter.

  • RugbyAlum

    re: rgbyfn

    YWRFC has already made an effort to convince Yale Athletics to consider women’s rugby for varsity status. However, along with many other Ivy athletics departments, Yale does not seem to support the idea of varsity women’s rugby