PHOENIX — Arizona State University will be turning up the heat at the Rugby Bowl in Scottsdale this weekend.
The Sun Devils will take on Bringham Young University on the polo fields of WestWorld Saturday. ASU’s rugby squad debuted in 1975 and has grown into one of the top programs in the country. They are consistently ranked in the top 15 and are currently ranked No. 11.
United Kingdom native and ASU rugby head coach Gary Lane realizes the sport isn’t as popular in the U.S. as overseas, but he said it is gaining in popularity.
“We are very excited for the exposure this event is going to bring to the sport, both locally and nationally,” he said.
Lane said the ASU rubgy team is also known internationally having traveled to Canada and Australia.
Rugby is the fastest-growing collegiate sports for both men and women and a true team sport. Each team has 15 players on the field at a time. They play two 40-minute halves and the clock never stops. It’s similar to football but rugby players don’t wear helmets or pads and there is no forward passing.
Lane is excited to give his players the opportunity to showcase their skills and show off their dedication against BYU, another a top-rated team.
“The Valley has the second-largest LDS community outside of Salt Lake City and BYU has a fantastic fan base,” he said. “They always show up and are a great crowd. We need our Sun Devil fans to put on that maroon and gold and come out to support our guys.”
Tickets to the game are still available at therugbybowl.com. The gates open at 11:30 a.m.; the game begins at 1:10 p.m.