Blue Jay Ruggers Make International Debut
Excellence in rugby is a Jesuit tradition. The Blue Jays are 10-time Louisiana state champions and look to win their third straight title this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. when they take on the Bayou Hurricanes at the NOLA Gold stadium. The Blue Jays are proud not only of their team successes but also of the many nation-class rugby players the program has developed. Within the past several years, many Blue Jays have been invited to play for national and professional rugby sides, including the All Americans, the USA South Panthers, the NOLA Gold, and the NOLA Gold u19 academy.
Last month, senior Langston Goldenberg and assistant coach Wes Eustis were the last Blue Jays to be honored with international invitations. Goldenberg was invited to represent the USA in the World Schools Festival Boys Rugby Tournament in South Africa. The tournament pitted world-class teams from South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, in an eight-day competition.
Of the experience, Goldenberg said he was struck by the spirit of brotherhood that connected players from all over the world. He recounted that during downtime, the competing teams would review each other’s match films to offer peer-review. For instance, the New Zealand teams met with the USA boys to watch the USA match films and offer constructive comments—even though the teams were competing with one another. Goldenberg explained that his sense of collective brotherhood, shared the world-over, is what makes rugby so special.
Goldenberg also recounted that upon arriving in South Africa, the USA team members each had to introduce themselves and name their home club. Goldenberg’s national teammates were impressed when he said he played for Jesuit High School, as Jesuit schools across the country are known for consistently producing high quality rugby teams. Excellence in rugby is indeed a Jesuit tradition.
Coach Eustis (’99), in turn, earned an all-expense paid trip to London, England, to participate in an international coaching clinic sponsored by USA Rugby and the British Council on Sport. Eustis and the other invitees were given an intense, seven-day coaching course by and with England’s top professional rugby teams, which included in-the-locker-room access to the training, drills, and chalk-talk of these world-class professional teams.
Goldenberg and Eustis’s invitations to these elite, international programs were a function of the excellent reputation the Blue Jays have for producing first-rate, classy rugby players.