Despite being relegated last year, the University of Lincoln Rugby Union society hope to bounce back in 2012-2013. The Linc caught up with president, Josh Clark, to see how the current season is going.

Who are you?
The Rugby Union society at Lincoln prides itself on being one of the most welcoming and warming societies at the university. We accept players of all abilities, ranging from players who have barely picked up a rugby ball, to those playing at county and national level.

This year, both teams have started strongly with two teams competing in the BUCS league. With two wins under our belts, the club is expecting a successful year on and off the pitch.

Our players train hard on a Monday for two hours on playing fields. They also train on Tuesday for one hour on the university astro turf to prepare for BUCS fixtures on a Wednesday afternoon.

What is Rugby Union?
Rugby union is a full contact team sport played by two teams of 15. Originating in England, the main code is based on running with the ball in hand to attempt to score a try. Using an oval shaped ball, a try is scored by touching the ball to ground after crossing the opposing team’s try line. A try scores five points and is followed by a conversion, whereby the kicker attempts to kick the ball off a tee between two vertical posts at the mid-point of the touchline.

A conversion adds two extra points to the team’s scoreboard. Points can also be scored by a penalty conversion or a drop-goal kick between the posts. Players will attempt to prevent a try by tackling the opposition with the ball.

How old are you?
Our team is in its tenth year. We are continuing to push to become one of the most successful clubs at the University of Lincoln. This year, both squads are looking for a double promotion. With hard work and dedication, we’re confident that this is achievable.

How did last year go?
Last year the first team were relegated into Midlands 2A. This isn’t ideal but, due to last year’s league restructuring, we were technically promoted twice the year before.

This is the league we should have been starting in last year. Playing teams such as Loughborough’s third team and Nottingham Trent’s second team has given the team experience at playing at a higher level, where not only playing standards are higher but also the refereeing standards. This has helped us adjust to a more disciplined approach to the game.

Whilst our second team were hit by a huge loss of the third years which meant we had a team full of new faces, it had taken the team a few games to gel together. Unfortunately, by this point, early losses had meant that points difference was against them in the battle for relegation in the end.

What does this year hold for you?
This year, both teams are competing in a ruthless league. Both teams will be looking to bounce straight back up in to the leagues which they were in last year.

Things have started very strongly with both teams winning, with the Lincoln first team beating Nottingham Trent third team 44-15, whilst Lincoln’s second team beat Bishop Grosseteste  51- 10.

This has set a fantastic base for us to go on from strength to strength throughout the year with both teams.

Player to watch this year ?
All of our players, new and old, have shown high levels of maturity so early on in the season. However, due to his performance last week, Sam Strickson is our one to watch.

He has stepped up into the first team this year after only having a handful of opportunities to show his talents last year. He has grown in areas which are key for his position and his confidence to control a game has come on leaps and bounds.

In his first year, he was seen as a timid character and now he is running the show. His vision has also improved vastly. Long gone are his tunnel vision days and now the team are playing quick and expansive rugby.

Simple skill bases, such as passing, have also improved. He is a developing player and plays competently with the number 10 proudly on his back.

More details about the University of Lincoln’s Men’s Rugby Union club, including how to join, are available on the Lincoln SU website.