The Dirty Reds win club rugby Conference 7s Championship


Adam Cowgill drives past defenders in a game against Miami (Ohio) University. Photo credits to family members of the WKU rugby club team.

Camden Bush

WKU’s club rugby team, The Dirty Reds, won their Conference 7s Championship April 1, to become tournament champions.

The conference 7s is what the team calls its spring semester matches as opposed to playing in 15s in the spring. “The main difference being the length of the games and the number of players allowed on the field at a time,” Sophomore team member Logan Palmer said. 

The Conference 7s season that The Dirty Reds competed in included contests at the WKU , Eastern Kentucky University and Middle Tennessee State intramural fields

After a strong performance throughout the season, WKU advanced to the Conference 7s tournament. The tournament consisted of teams from WKU, EKU, Miami (OH) University and the University of Southern Indiana. 

The Dirty Reds of WKU advanced all the way to the championship where they faced off against EKU at EKU’s home field. WKU came out on top in the matchup to claim the championship. 

The team is relatively unknown around campus and has not drawn great crowds for their games as, “Mostly the fans that come out to our games include family and friends,” Palmer said. 

The Dirty Reds are hoping this unexpected championship will bring the club some attention.

“This year was supposed to be a rebuilding year, as the majority of the team is first year players,” Palmer said. “We knew we had the potential to do great things, and we proved that by winning the conference. We’d love for more of the student body to come out and see just what we can do and what rugby is about.”

While Rugby is not a huge sport in America, The Dirty Reds think fans would find their games very entertaining. 

“This was personally my first semester ever playing rugby,” Palmer said. ”I came in not knowing what to expect, but I fell in love with the game very quickly. I’d describe it as a mix of football and soccer. While watching the game, you’ll see the tackling and physicality of a football game mixed with the team passing of something similar to soccer. I believe it is something that many people would love to watch, but just haven’t been introduced to it yet.”

Despite a majority of the teams’ players being new to the sport, the players have an obvious passion for the sport.

“Before I came here in the fall of 2020 a friend of mine recommended I tryout rugby,” team captain and WKU junior Adam Cowgill said. “It has truly been one of the best decisions of my life. I am now a part of an unbreakable bond with my teammates. It is now one of my biggest passions. I hope to continue to play past college, but most of all I hope to grow the sport at WKU.”

The team’s success has not come out of nowhere. Despite most of the players just starting they have gained plenty of experience throughout the year as they practice three times a week.

The team’s season lasts all year long with conference 7s going into the summer and 15s starting back up in the fall.

Interested fans can find more about the club team and its games on the team’s Instagram @wkurugby. 


Sports reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected].