University of Wyoming Rugby Player Heads Down Under To Study and Play Through Exchange Program Between UW and University of Queensland
First UW Women’s rugby athlete to use the program established by Wyoming Rugby Organization and WellDog
Laramie, WY, February 6, 2018– Isabella Pope, a junior student athlete at the University of Wyoming, arrived last week to begin a year-long study and play program at the University of Queensland. Pope is the first Wyoming women’s rugby athlete to use the program, established over the past few years by Wyoming Rugby Organization (WRO), the USA Rugby sanctioned organization for Wyoming, and WellDog, a high technology, high growth energy services company with staff in both Laramie and Brisbane. Pope, pursuing a BS in physics with a minor in mathematics at UW, will play for the University of Queensland’s rugby union team while advancing her studies.
“I’m excited to take advantage of UQ’s world-class course offerings in biophysics,” said Pope. “And playing for the university’s rugby team will advance my skills while keeping me in the worldwide rugby family that I’ve come to love.”
The University of Wyoming has the nation’s largest single study abroad program of any public four-year institution in the nation, with over 400 exchange sites around the world. The rugby exchange program allows Australian and Wyoming students to study and play at partner universities for up to a year. Joe Fleming, a player from Brothers Rugby Club and Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, used the exchange program to study at UW in the fall of 2017.
“We would love to have Isabella play with us!” said Stuart Hubbert Rugby Coordinator of University of Queensland Rugby Club. “We welcome international players every year, and I can guarantee that she will enjoy herself!”
UW players also have the option to join the UQ rugby academy, an intensive program directed at developing advanced rugby skills and knowledge. Australia is one of the leading rugby nations in the world.
Scholarships are available for exceptionally dedicated players with high potential.
WRO also promotes a separate program that facilitates ad hoc cultural rugby exchanges between Wyoming and Australia for players and coaches. That program places players and coaches in Australian rugby clubs for up to a year and facilitates local logistics including housing and work opportunities. Lance Elliot, a former UW player and current member of the Laramie Lumberjacks, used the program to play for Brothers Rugby Club in Brisbane in 2016.
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Wyoming Rugby Organization (WRO) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. WRO is sanctioned to develop and grow the sport of rugby for all youth, high school, college, and clubs in Wyoming. The organization’s focus is on development, safety, sportsmanship and the strengthening of Wyoming rugby players character by introducing the core values of rugby into a team sports experience that will endure for a lifetime.