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Furman Rugby has its day on SC House Floor

Senior Jeff Tonge reads the House Resolution aloud to team at the Statehouse.||||||

Seniors (left to right) Patrick Musau, Miles Lerner, Jeff Tonge, Adam Miller and Ryan Conlogue.

What do the 2017 Furman Rugby Team and the Clemson Football Team have in common?

Both have been honored by the South Carolina House of Representatives for their outstanding athletic seasons and for representing their state with pride.

Unlike the Tigers, Furman fell just short of a national championship. The team completed a 13-1 season and advanced to USA Rugby’s Division II National Championship Game where the Paladins fell to Wisconsin-Whitewater in December.

But the season, which included a conference title and South regional championship, was more than enough to meet the threshold for the unique and outstanding honor.

More than 20 members of the squad traveled to Columbia April 6 to be recognized on the House floor.

Rep. Dwight Loftis spoke glowingly of the Furman players, coaches and the university before presenting Head Coach John Roberts with a framed copy of the House Resolution “To Recognize and Honor the Furman University Men’s Rugby Team, Coaches, and School Officials for a Remarkable Season and to Congratulate Them for Winning the 2016 Southern Rugby Conference Championship Title”.

Rep. Chandra Dillard (left) posses with team members on the Statehouse steps.

Rep. Chandra Dillard and a handful of Furman alumni who serve as lawmakers stood with the team in the chambers as  Coach Roberts accepted the honor. In route to the finals, the Paladins outscored their opponents 685 to 172, captured a Southern Rugby Conference Championship, defeated Division I power the University of South Carolina, won a South Regional and handed three-time defending Division 2 champion Minnesota-Duluth their first loss in four years.

Founded in 1998, the Furman Rugby program is widely considered to be one of the very best small college rugby programs in the nation. The program has compiled an incredible 178-61-1 record, and captured three Division III national championships in 2003, 2004, and 2005 and finished runner up in 2007 and 2008.

The Complete Text of the House Resolution (H.3984)


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Last updated April 6, 2017
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Clinton Colmenares
News & Media Relations Director