June 13, 2018

VSU Rugby Players Selected for National All-Star Tournament

The 2017-2018 VSU Rugby Club went undefeated in regular league play and won the Georgia NSCRO Championship.

NSCRO South Players

Pictured (left to right) are Justin Williams, Wesley Taylor, DeAnthony Elder (kneeling), Khalial Harris, and Michael Nita, five of the eight VSU rugby players chosen to compete in a national all-star tournament. VSU students Lawrence Curtis, Kimani Archer, and Samuel Stafford were also chosen for the tournament

VALDOSTA — Eight members of the Valdosta State University Rugby Club have been selected to join an all-star team that will compete at a national rugby tournament June 22-24 in Austin, Texas.

Wesley Taylor, Lawrence Curtis, Justin Williams, Khalial Harris, Kimani Archer, Michael Nita, DeAnthony Elder, and  Samuel Stafford will compete in the first-ever National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Men's 15s All-Star Championship as members of the NSCRO South team, which is made up of top rugby players from colleges throughout Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana.

Renaldo Arroyo, coach of both the VSU Rugby Club and the NSCRO South team, said the VSU students were chosen for the 15-player team because they stood out to other coaches and managers during tryouts in Atlanta.

“They have high rugby IQs and are very strong and athletic, and each brings something different to the team,” Arroyo said. “We are really hoping for a great showing at this all-star tournament.”

NSCRO South will play at least six games against other regional all-star teams from across the country at the home field of the new Major League Rugby franchise, Austin Elite. 

“It feels great to be chosen for this awesome opportunity,” said Taylor, captain of the VSU Rugby Club. “Everyone is very excited. We’ve all bought our plane tickets. We’re ready.

“From the first time I played rugby, I’ve thought that it was the best sport in the world. It combines a bunch of different things. You can find your own niche in it. It encourages player creativity, and it helps you grow as an athlete.”

During the 2017-2018 season, the VSU Rugby Club went undefeated in regular league play and won the Georgia NSCRO Championship.

Wesley Taylor is a native of Brunswick, Georgia, who graduated in May with a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing. Lawrence Curtis is a business management major from Detroit, Michigan, who expects to graduate in Fall 2018. Justin Williams is a communication major from Brunswick, Georgia, who expects to graduate in Spring 2019. Khalial Harris is a biology major from Hinesville, Georgia, who expects to graduate in Spring 2019. Kimani Archer is a nursing major from Lovejoy, Georgia, who expects to graduate in Spring 2020. DeAnthony Elder is a psychology major from Covington, Georgia, who expects to graduate in Fall 2019. Samuel Stafford is a health and physical education major from Milan, Georgia, who expects to graduate in Spring 2019.

The VSU Rugby Club, established in 2010, exists to provide male students the chance to compete and play the game of rugby while forming a community with other players on campus. Members are given the opportunity to improve their skill through practice and by competing in collegiate and senior tournaments.

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