Rugby players fight for more popularity on the gulf coast - - The News for South Mississippi

Rugby players fight for more popularity on the gulf coast

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On a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Gautier, a group of hard-nosed individuals locked shoulders for a friendly game of rugby. Even though this sport doesn't have any shoulder pads or helmets, participants can't get enough of the mammalian sport. 

"It doesn't compare to any other sports," Alex Brautigan said. "I've played quite a few in my life and this is the one that stood out the most."

"I did soccer, football and all that," Brandon Stephen said. "They don't compare to this. We had pads on in football when we hit."

It is a humbling sport, and it's not injury free. Mathew Ross endured a rough hit that put him out for a significant amount of time.

"The guy who was tackling me was low enough to hit my hips," Ross said. "I was slowly going to the ground and by the time I hit the ground, his shoulder or his head hit me in the head. I basically went to sleep. They rolled me over and apparently I was still snoring. I don't remember too much."

While Mathew will be out for a while, one thing he, Alex or Brandon wouldn't have without the game of rugby is the lasting friendships. 

"The social we're going to have after this is awesome," Stephen said. "We're going to Zeppelin's. We're going to go there and eat pizza, do what we do, have fun and enjoy it."

"It's been a great road," Brautigan said. "This is my family. It's the best band of brothers I've had aside from being in the Navy with those guys. Other than that, it's been an awesome road, an awesome journey and I look forward to many years with them."


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