RWU women’s rugby fights for funding ahead of championship tournament

Roger Williams University’s Women’s Rugby team is scheduled to head to Houston, Texas for the Collegiate Rugby Championship this December following an impressive season. They traveled to Culpeper, Virginia this past weekend and defeated Coastal Carolina (42-7) in the South Regionals to secure their spot. The team remains undefeated.

Now, after qualifying to defend the national title they won last season, RWU women’s rugby faces a new challenge. Rugby is a D1 club sport here at Roger Williams University, meaning they are not granted the same funding as the varsity sports. Their quest for the Championship title may be cut short if they are not able to get the travel expenses covered by the Athletics Department or their own fundraising falls short (they are using a GiveCampus link to ask for donations to help).

Zoey Cormican, a sophomore prop from Rochester, New Hampshire, has been on the team for three seasons now. “We did the hard part of qualifying for this national tournament, and now we have another roadblock ahead,” Cormican said. As a varsity athlete herself, she also plays lacrosse in the spring, along with rugby sevens.

Reflecting on the difference in treatment between the two sports, Cormican said “I mean, money doesn’t grow on trees and I understand that, but I never would have to worry about that if I [were] playing lacrosse right now.”

Despite the setback, RWU Women’s Rugby is keeping a positive outlook. “We’re practicing so hard, and we want it so bad,” said Cormican. She attributes part of their success to being such a large team.

This year, the team grew exponentially, with over 40 players walking on to play. “It’s not the same 20 people showing up every day. It’s 47 people showing up and loving the sport… It’s a beautiful thing to be a part of,” Cormican said.