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Siena Fills Newly Created Rugby Position

  • 24 Jan 2019
  • 88 Views

LOUDONVILLE, NY – Siena College has hired Greg Matthew of Loudonville, N.Y., as rugby coordinator, a new position specifically created to recruit students to Siena to play the fastest growing sport in the country.

Siena’s rugby program is currently at the club level for both the men’s and women’s teams. This new position within the College’s enrollment management office will also coordinate relationships with regional and national programs and mobilize Siena’s Rugby Alumni Ambassador program.

Matthew, who hails from Scotland, has development and coaching experience for rugby teams in his native country and the United States. At Siena he will focus on rugby student recruitment and developing strength and conditioning regiments for all of the College’s club sports teams.

“I’m pleased to be a part of this dedicated effort to grow the rugby program at Siena,” said Matthew. “Both teams are very competitive and have excellent coaches and extremely dedicated alumni. The program has a very bright future here.”

Matthew played rugby in Scotland at the junior club and school level, then played in two consecutive National Cup Finals at the high school level. He was selected for the Scottish Universities Under 20s as a sophomore at the University of Abertay in Dundee, and captained the University 1st XV in his junior and senior year. He has coached rugby at the junior club, high school and college level in Scotland and the United States.

Siena’s rugby alumni raised more than $350,000 for a state-of-the-art rugby pitch that opened in May 2016. The pitch is already gaining attention in regional rugby circles: in 2018 it hosted the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO) Regional Championships as well as rugby and football clinics hosted by New Zealander DJ Forbes and Haka Rugby Global.

Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the United States, according to recent Nielsen research, with participation increasing by more than a million players in a 10-year period ending in 2016, the same year rugby sevens debuted as an Olympic sport. College rugby in the United States is governed by USA Rugby, with more than 900 teams nationwide.

“This is an innovation for us, to designate a member of our admissions team solely for one sport or program,” said Ned Jones, vice president for enrollment management and marketing. “We’re looking forward to making Siena one of the leading college programs in the Northeast.”

Siena currently has 35 men and 38 women in its rugby clubs.

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