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The Blue & Gray Press | July 25, 2017

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Q & A with Mother’s Rugby player Terrence McPhillips after hot start

Q & A with Mother’s Rugby player Terrence McPhillips after hot start

By DUSTIN THOMAS

Off to a great start this season, the UMW men’s rugby team is 2-0 and riding high on confidence going into this weekend’s matchup against highly ranked Mount St. Mary’s. Over the past two weeks, the UMW men’s rugby team, also known as Mother’s Rugby, defeated highly touted Towson University and Salisbury University. Junior captain Terence McPhillips gave us an inside look on how the team feels about the season so far.

Question:

What were the team’s expectations going into this season?

McPhillips:

“We’ve had the bar set high since day one. Nobody expects us to go out there and compete and we just want to prove everybody wrong. I believe in our young team and the system that I’m in and that together, we can be very successful this season.”

Question:

How would you describe the feeling of the team right now after going 2-0 at the NCAA Division I level for the first year?

McPhillips:

“We are all very excited. Unlike in the past since I’ve been here, everyone, even the coaching staff, is pleased and there is a true feeling of excitement. We all just have the same mentality of one game at a time and just want to go out there and prove ourselves to everyone.”

Question:

Is there anybody on the team this year that has surprised you or you have been pleased with their efforts?

McPhillips:

“We have a very young team, with only 14 returners on a 34 man roster, it truly is a team effort. I am very pleased with the growth of the sophomores and their ability to step up this year. I have also been pleased with the hard work and contribution the freshman put in as well.”

Question:

What are the expectations going into this Saturday’s game against Mount St. Mary’s, the reigning NSCRO Division III champions?

McPhillips:

“They just recently lost to Virginia Tech so we know they are beatable so that takes off a little pressure. We expect a big change from the lost they handed us last year and want to go out there and show people that we can complete and even beat the number one team in the conference.”

Question:

Do you feel as if there is any pressure on you to this team after being named an Honorable Mention All-American last season?

McPhillips:

“It didn’t create a pressure but more of a motivation. It boosted my confidence but I know every day that my position is on the line and that I have to work to get better. I hope this to be on the Top 50 list and be a true All-American.”

Question:

How did you feel when you found out that the rugby team was going to be competing at the NCAA Division I level?

McPhillips:

“I definitely feel like there’s a little added pressure but at the end of the day, we are still Eagles and I don’t feel any different from the rest of the athletes here. I just hope having this opportunity being D1 gives us an opportunity to put Mary Washington on the map.”

Question:

Over your two, going on three years at Mary Washington, what do you love most about being on the rugby team besides playing the game?

McPhillips:

“When I first came to college, I knew no one and thought I was going to have a hard time making friends but I arrived a week early for training camp and the guys just took me in. I loved arriving here early and already having 40 friends before school even started. Now I like being that guy for the freshman and helping them transition into college. It shows that we’re a family, not just a team.”

Saturday, Oct. 1, Mother’s Rugby will travel to Emmitsburg, Maryland, to take on the 31st ranked Mount St. Mary’s Mountaineers. The Eagles will look to continue on their hot streak as their first season as an official Division I program.

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