I found rugby on my 2nd day of college. Some of the club boys were out playing in front of my dorm. I tried to join in, rather lamely, and found it enjoyable, if confusing. After 2 weeks of practice, i was completely hooked on the game. But I viewed myself as an awful rugger. I was a 3rd string prop, mainly because they didn't know what to do with me. I was too small compared to out forwards, but I wasn't fast enough to be one of our backs. My roommate, who I invited out after that very first day, was lightning quick and immediately was a starter for the college club. I couldn't quite stand out at all. But i loved the concept, and I practiced harder than almost any of the boys out there. I just didn't quite have what it took to stand out. After 7 months of being a 3rd string Prop, both the forwards coach and the backs coach didn't know my name. We were in the 2nd to last game of the conference season, against our rival school, and the backs coach pointed at me. He didn't even know my name. But he took out his starting Flyhalf, moved his inside to fly, and placed me at inside center. I had zero clue what to do. But I knew I could tackle. And that is all he expected me to do. I made 11 tackles in only 15 minutes of play. They had to move back to pack play because they couldn't get the ball out. The next week I started at inside and scored my first ever try. A year later, I was named captain and moved to Number 8. That backs coach saw something in me that every other person on that team overlooked. He saw intensity, and trusted me with our most important game. I later learned that when I stepped onto the field, during that all-important conference match, everyone, from the head coach, to the current captain, to our legendary full back, immediately thought we were going to lose because of me. None of them saw me as anything except a 3rd string Prop, with the exception of the backs coach.
It’s been 3 years now, and I am both Team Captain and President of the club. We started a B-side this year, and are expanding our horizons by leaps and bounds.
Rugby gave me a place in life. A reason to want to keep on. It's my niche. And I'll never let it go.