After a disappointing end to the season in last year’s playoffs, the cougar rugby team is looking to bounce back this season.

A junior and captain of the team, flanker Tosh Wilcox, clearly identified what the team is attempting to accomplish this year. “Our goal is to win a national championship. Ideally, we’d like to win. That’s the goal.”

This year’s team features many new players and coaches, guys who weren’t a part of the squad’s last national championship season in 2015.

In comparing this year’s team to previous years, Wilcox said, “I feel like there’s just less complacency. Everyone’s hungry to win because no one’s really done it. So, I would say that there’s generally like a better attitude, just more positive. I feel like that’ll make a big difference.”

With more than 40 members on the squad, the team expects each member to be ready to step up in case of injuries. The cougars expect to use their depth to carry them through a long season.

Senior, Erik Anderson, said, “Especially in the preseason, we’re rotating a lot of the guys in to make sure we all get a nice shot at showing where we stand on the roster and a good chance to compete for a starting spot.”

The demand of being a student athlete can be a lot to handle for many student athletes, but many of the guys on the team use rugby as a way to de-stress among all else that is going on.

Wilcox said, “I really like playing, so it’s really worth it for me. I don’t know what I would do without it.”

The team also considers one of its biggest strengths to be the bond that has formed between them.

“I think the best part of being on the team, is the guys. It might sound cliché, it might sound classic, but once you really get involved you feel like you have brothers on the team. You can depend on people. You get tight, cause everyone’s smelling, you’re all nasty, you’re all gross together, but you are really kind of united in the same goal,” Anderson said, following a practice earlier this week.

The Cougars will take on in-state rival Utah State in Logan this Saturday, then again on October 25th for their first home game of the season.

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