University Recreation Rugby Player Drafted Internationally
With a desire to continue playing sports after high school, Tucker Shaw began his journey as inside center on the University Recreation men’s rugby team. The latest leg of that journey will take him to England to play rugby.
“I was excited to learn that rugby was offered as a club sport at the University of Arkansas,” said Shaw. “It is nice to have an outlet for athletes who like to be on a competitive team but do not want to deal with the stress of ‘getting cut.’”
An average rugby practice consists of two hours of continuous fitness training, including ball retention, ruck and tackling drills, and scrimmages. Shaw admits that it was not only the intense practices that got him into shape, but that he also began eating healthier.
“I lived in the fraternity house and thought I invented the KFC ‘double down.’ Once I starting eating healthy, it was unbelievable how quickly I got back into shape,” he said.
Rugby Magazine ranked the University Recreation men’s rugby team as high as sixth in the nation during the spring season. The team competed at the regional meet, the Western Territorial Tournament, but failed to advance to the national tournament. Hard work, dedication and fellowship got them there, and Shaw enjoys the camaraderie associated with rugby.
“Initially, everyone wanted to be on the team to be able to hit someone, but now if you ask any rookie on the team they will describe it as a brotherhood,” he said.
During his time on the rugby team, Shaw was named both team captain and president. He was also voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates.
“Shaw has an extreme amount of character both on and off the field and is an inspiration to us all,” said co-player Andrew Campisi.
In the spring of 2011, Shaw was drafted by England’s Redruth Rugby Football Club. He is the first University of Arkansas club sport player to be drafted internationally. While Shaw is in pre-season training, he will assume a full-time job as commercial manager trainee for a building company in Cornwall, England. He is not sure how long he will stay in England, but Shaw has set a personal goal of a minimum of six months.
The University Recreation club sports program provides opportunities for individuals who share a common interest in a specific sport to enjoy the benefits of a group experience. Clubs are regulated by program and university policy but retain the characteristics of self-administration and self-regulation. Members assume a variety of roles within the club and are called upon to assist in all aspects of club operations.
For more information about club sports, please contact Shannon Dere at 575-6736 or email@example.com.
By Lindsay Smith
Public Information Coordinator, University Recreation