Arizona State prepares to face Los Serpientes in Scottsdale Rugby Bowl

(submitted photo)

(submitted photo)

The Arizona State University’s rugby team is preparing to face the Mexican National Rugby team, Los Serpientes — an event being compared to that of the battle of David and Goliath.

The Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic, presented by Mercedes-Benz of Scottsdale,  is to be April 23. Tickets are now on sale at TheRugbyBowl.com.

At 5:10 p.m. on that day, the fields of Scottsdale Stadium will be transformed from the Cactus League, home of the San Francisco Giants, to host a match between the nationally-ranked Arizona State Sun Devil Men’s Rugby team against the experienced and grizzled Mexican National Rugby team.

ASU is young and features players with a great deal of potential, but limited rugby match experience, according to a press release. On the other hand, the Mexican National Rugby team was on the cusp of qualifying for the prestigious Rugby World Cup, but just fell short.

Rugby matches between a collegiate program and a national team program can be found in the United Kingdom. There, the Oxford and Cambridge University squads sometimes compete against opposing national teams. In the United States, however, these types of matches rarely take place.

“This is a true battle of David and Goliath,” stated ASU Men’s Rugby Head Coach Gary Lane, in the release. “A match between a national rugby team and a collegiate rugby program is unheard of in the United States.”

(submitted photo)

(submitted photo)

ASU is led by players such as Alex Sandstrom, a Rugby All-American from Wisconsin, and Bailey Stringer, a 19-year old from Las Vegas who started college at the age of 17.

In addition to these young players, ASU Rugby is receiving a great deal of recognition and respect from all across the country. The team entered the season ranked in the Top 15 of collegiate rugby programs.

“Our team has had a very productive winter of training as we’ve incorporated weightlifting and training techniques from the Australian Brumbies Rugby squad,” stated Coach Lane in the release. “Additionally, we’ve played well in our matches so far this spring and as a result, we’re ranked fairly high. With this momentum, the guys are enthusiastic and brimming with anticipation for the unusual challenge that awaits ASU Rugby.”

It will be the first visit to Arizona for “Los Serpientes,” as the Mexican National Team is known.

After the ASU-Mexico match, the Fiesta Bowl Rugby & Balloon Classic will host a Hot Air Balloon Glow. Two world-famous Lucasfilm approved hot air balloons, Yoda and Darth Vader, will be making their first ever appearance in Arizona at the post-match balloon glow.

For ticket information and sponsor opportunities please go to www.TheRugbyBowl.com.

The Scottsdale Independent is published monthly and mailed to 75,000 homes and businesses in Scottsdale.

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