By MATT KLINE
International Student Athletes
At the University of Mary Washington, there are many student athletes brought in every year. Students come from all over the world just to play a sport they fell in love with as a child. George Northwood, Alistair Wetherall, Adam Thomson and Ewan Corley, for example, are four student athletes of the men’s Rugby team from outside the United States.
George Northwood, class of 2020
George is a full back from Farnham, England. When he decided to come here he was not sure if he was prepared to play college rugby. Shortly after arriving in the states, he found out he was. For George, the biggest difference between rugby here and back home is the amount of competitiveness in the sport here. He said, “Back home rugby is more of a social event and much more casual.”
Since being in the United States he has had trouble adjusting to the heat on and off the pitch. After being here for a couple of months he misses “Dairy milk chocolate,” a brand that is not sold in the United States.
Alistair Wetherall, class of 2020
Alistair is flanker from Haslemere, England. For Alistair the biggest difference from playing here and in England is player size. He said the players here are much bigger than he first expected. Since being here, Alistair said he has had trouble adjusting to the American accents, and how people tell him he is the one who has an accent. Alistair misses “being able to go the pub with his mates whenever he wanted,” he says.
Adam Thomson, class of 2020
Adam is prop from Banchory, Scotland. Once Adam knew he was attending UMW he said he was hoping for a good level of rugby, and since coming here he said that is exactly what he found. Adam has missed his family and started to realize the difficulties of the distance from home since being at UMW. For Adam the biggest difference between rugby here versus back home is the amount of physicality.
Adam said it is much more physical here and he believes that is due to the lack of emphasis on skill here. He said, “Back home we start at an early age where contact is not what the sport is all about.” Since being here Adam has had a hard time adapting to the difference in social life here rather than what he is use to back in Scotland.
Ewan Corley, class of 2020
Ewan is a scrumhalf from Leicestershire, England. Before coming to UMW he was expecting a professional approach to the game due to the strict ethics on and off the field. Since being here he has found the team to be exactly what he expected.
For Ewan, the biggest difference in the game here is the physicality in how hard people hit, which causes more injuries. Ewan misses “being at a legal drinking age, and the music that he would hear when he went out back home.” The hardest thing for Ewan to adjust to was not being able to go out and drink with his friends like he does back home.
Come check out the men’s rugby team and see how these new players compare to their American counterparts. Games are Saturday afternoons on the Battleground. Thus far into the season, the UMW men’s rugby program, otherwise known as Mother’s Rugby, is currently 4-2 on the season, with victories coming against Towson, Salisbury, Georgetown and University of Virginia. All four teams are highly touted, proving the strength Mother’s Rugby has. The two losses came to the hands of top
five ranked Mount St. Mary’s and the very strong James Madison University. These four newcomers and the rest of the Mother’s Rugby program will be back in action Saturday, Nov. 5 at the University of Maryland.