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'This will be the best four years of your life'

Published: 16th September 2016

Rugby at Trinity has a long and illustrious history. Founded in 1854, DUFC (Dublin University Football Club) lays claim to being the oldest rugby club in continuous existence.

But that’s the past, what about the present and the future? Where better to find out about what it’s like to play rugby at Trinity that from those who’ve played it…

Scrum half Angus Lloyd (23) has graduated from biochemistry this year and played rugby at Trinity throughout his time here.

Angus, who has since been snapped up by Ulster, thinks rugby is more than just a game. “I think rugby teaches you many fundamentals about life such as teamwork, commitment, sacrifice but most importantly it teaches you respect. This is what I feel separates it from most other sports.”

This is something with which fellow scrum half and mature student Brian Slater (25) would concur. “Rugby has taught me a lot,” the physiotherapy student and this year’s club captain says. “It has taught me that hard work and dedication trumps talent every time. It has also taught me how teamwork is key and the ability to work with people of all personalities leads to a greater end result.”

While lots of universities have rugby teams, there seems to be something special about the Trinity experience – a combination of the old campus and the pitch at College Park perhaps.

“There is nothing better than playing a match or even training in College Park on a warm sunny day, when the Pav is buzzing and people are stopping to watch you. The atmosphere is incredible,” says Angus.

This is echoed by Brian, who says that his abiding memory of playing rugby in Trinity would be all the good times he’s had thanks to the club. “The friends I have made in DUFC will remain friends for life,” he says.

Even though Angus has now left Trinity, he is still in contact with most of the guys. “We are all constantly in touch with each other – we are an extremely close group.”

If you’re a new student who has just joined Trinity or are a returning student already enrolled here, the advice from both Angus and Brian is emphatic.

“I would encourage anyone who’s interested to come and join an amazing community of players. There is a place for all players, of all sizes, of all ability, of all experience, both men and women,” according to Brian.

“Get involved!” is Angus’s advice. “I promise it will be the best four years of your life. Many who have gone on to play professionally still say their days playing for Trinity were some of their best.”

*Trinity’s first AIL game of the 2016-2017 season, featuring the Mens 1st XV, is tonight at 7.30pm against Terenure at Lakelands Park. Womens and Junior sides kick off in the coming weeks.