Internationally Ranked Athlete Starts Girls Rugby Club


Photo Courtesy of Danica Snyder

Rhino Rugby Academy player, Danica Snyder (11), competes against the Blue Bulls Rugby Union of Pretoria in South Africa. Snyder races to get the ball in a head-to-head rugby lineout.

Avery Koenig, Arts/Graphics Editor

SJHHS has a boys rugby team, but not one for girls. Junior Danica Snyder is hoping to remedy this by starting a girls club on campus. With five years of experience, competing in international tournaments and bringing home gold medals, Snyder is excited to share their passion for rugby with SJHHS.

“I love rugby because of its complexity and the absolute focus needed to play. I get to be fully immersed in the game and I don’t need to think about anything off the pitch. I think it’s an amazing outlet for people. It’s a good stress reliever that also keeps you in peak physical condition,” said Snyder. 

Snyder has played against many teams in the SoCal area, from Fallbrook, Oceanside, Los Alamitos, Belmont Shores, and the San Diego area. 

In early October 2022, Snyder traveled to Pretoria, Stellenbosch, and Cape Town in South Africa to play in the newest installment of The Rugby Tens Championship (R10C). R10C is a yearly tournament, which brings five franchises from around the globe together to compete. Snyder played for their home team, Rhinos Rugby Academy.

“We played two tournaments and took home two gold trophies. These tournaments were interesting because I played a forward oriented position (lock) than I usually do (winger),” said Snyder. 

Similar to football and soccer, Rugby is played with two teams, each composed of fifteen players. The two teams may carry, pass, or kick the ball toward the end zone to score points. The teams compete for two 42 minute halves with a five minute halftime in between. 

I started this club to not only show people how misunderstood the game is, but to show them how addicting it is”

— Danica Snyder

By starting the Girls Rugby Club, Snyder hopes to increase opportunities for girls interested in playing the sport. 

“I decided that rugby should be bigger, especially for the girls. I’ve been on teams where we’ve had to take girls from all around the county just to get a full roster, let alone have more than a few subs. I started this club to not only show people how misunderstood the game is, but to show them how addicting it is,” said Snyder.

Snyder plans to continue pursuing rugby in college, and pursue the game professionally down the line. 

The club currently has 12 official members, but is open to anyone interested, regardless of experience level. To join the club, connect with Snyder @sjh_girls_rugby_club on Instagram. Meetings are held one to two times a month on Thursdays during lunch.