Penn Rugby Club looks to win national championship close to home - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Penn Rugby Club looks to win national championship close to home

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With the National High School Rugby Championships in their backyard this year, the Penn Rugby team hopes to do something they fell just short of last year, win a national title.

"We were runner-up last year in the nation and we've been hungry ever since we lost," said Penn senior Troy Tirotta. "We just got to keep building on what we have been all year. Just every win, just keep going up a notch."

The National Rugby Tournament starts Thursday afternoon at the Elkhart Moose Lodge Rugby Fields. The Kingsmen believe they have what it takes to be number one at the end of the weekend.

"It really doesn't come down to physical ability because all the teams can compete with each other obviously at this level," said Ian Richards, a Penn junior, who also played for the USA 17U Rugby team last Summer. "We really need to pull together as a team and work as a unit. That's how I think we'll be successful."

Last year, Penn traveled all the way to Utah for nationals, but this year they say a familiarity with the area and the complex should play a role in their favor.

"It's a big advantage [to play this close to home]," said Penn junior Carter Jensen. "We can all sleep in our own beds and have all our fans come out and support us."

The first match for Penn's main team will be Thursday at 4 p.m..

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