University of Wyoming Rugby Player Isabella Pope is playing rugby down under with the University of Queensland Women’s rugby club
Here is an update on Isabella’s experience playing for UQ Women’s rugby and starting in her first division match.
Laramie, WY, May 16, 2018 – At the beginning of the year Wyoming Rugby Organization announced that a UW Women’s Rugby player was traveling to Brisbane, Australia 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 UW/UQ Rugby exchange program.
Isabella started as second row last week for her first match with the UQ women’s rugby. “It was crazy and I’m still situating myself when it comes to my emotions concerning game play and what teamwork was involved,” said Pope. “It was our first division game and since our bracket has been reduced, it was fairly important. We lost 5-10 against a hella solid team. I do believe UQ could’ve pulled out a win: we’ve got the talent, fitness, experience etc, etc. Really frustrating game, I’m gonna pick myself and my teammates up because we at UQ are going to work for a bettered culture and play some damn fine rugby just like those gals at U Dub.”
(University of Queensland Women’s Rugby club picture, 2018)
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.
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.