Photo by Katie Weeks ‘16
Senior Brandon Yauch led the rugby 7’s team the national tournament this year in Philadelphia. Yauch is also the captain of the 15’s team.
When did you start playing rugby and what did you like about it?
I started playing eleven years ago. I played soccer before that and didn’t like how unphysical the game was. I did not like how little I could do to other people. I would get fouled and go flopping. I wanted a game where you could actually hit people and get hit. Both of those are fun for me.
The 7’s team has made nationals in both the fall and spring. What’s that success meant for the program?
It’s unbelievable, we haven’t seen anything like this before. We had seen our competitors play the past couple of years and we knew we had that athleticism. We just needed to get our act together. This was the year we finally did it.
You are the captain of the 15’s. What challenges come with being a captain in such a brutal sport?
Making sure that your team has a game plan, and that you’re sticking to that game plan. The challenge is motivating your players to do more than they think they can do on the field.
What’s the most gruesome injury you’ve suffered from playing rugby?
The summer going into junior year I hit my ankle pretty hard. I couldn’t walk for two months.
What are the biggest differences between playing with 15 guys and 7 guys?
With 15 guys it always feels crowded and chaotic. It is the same field size for 7 guys and you have to cover it with much less people. In a sense you have to trust the people around you more because if they screw up, it is over. They are going to score.
Are rugby players just like they are depicted in the movie Invictus?
Those action scenes are kind of funny. They are made for the movies so they are going to be much more exaggerated than what rugby is really like. The game Invictus was based off of was actually pretty boring.
What’s your favorite rugby memory at Lafayette?
It has to be from a few weeks ago when we made nationals. We beat a team from Virginia to get to the finals. Now we are heading to Philadelphia in just under a month to compete against seven of the best small colleges in the nation.
Who is tougher, Football players or Rugby players?
At the highest levels they are both very different. At this school, football is a varsity sport and we are a club sport. Obviously we are not at the same athletic level of these guys.
What sport do you think rugby is the most similar to?
I would say soccer in that the entire game revolves around space. It is less about hitting than you think it is; the hitting is just something you do. The real issue of the game is finding space and when it is not there, creating space.
Favorite Food: Homemade Lasagna
Favorite Movie: Pulp Fiction
Favorite Athlete: Quade Cooper
Favorite Vacation Spot: Sierra Nevada Mountain Range