Men’s rugby is back to host tournament

After their fall season ended in a trip to Nationals, the Mankato Men’s Rugby team is back in action for their spring season.

Rugby at Minnesota State has a long and storied past, as their first games were played in 1975-76. At that time, the Mavs played teams such as the Albert Lea Aardvarks, Le Seuer, the University of Minnesota, Faribault and St. John’s University. 

The 2022 Northern Lights Division II Conference Champions are looking forward to continuing their successful year with a weekend at home. SJU played host to the first match of the season for the Mavs, where they took part in a 15s and 7s exhibition game.

7s and 15s are the main style of rugby. 7s brings a more fast-paced style of rugby where the teams are able to keep the ball alive, whereas in 15s, the game slows down, and you see a lot more tackling. 

The Mavs are a team led by a lot of “experienced talent,” but also have a lot of rookies still learning the ropes. One of those rookies is junior Dominic Bothe.

“The biggest challenges for me have been learning the rules and getting back into shape,” said the speedy Wing Bothe. “Trying to jump back in this year has not been easy.”

On Saturday, the Mavs will play host to a tournament including the University of Minnesota, Duluth Bulldogs, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pointers and the Winona State Warriors.

This weekend is a 10s tournament where each team will play in four 20 minute matches with 10 minute halves. The Bulldogs, Warriors and Pointers will be ready to try and knock the champs off their throne. 

Following this weekend’s action, the Mavs are looking forward to their 15s Alumni game April 8 and another 15s match in Otsego April 15.

The Mavs’ Men’s Rugby team is more than just an organization that allows players to play rugby competitively. They also create relationships within the rugby community, building life-long friendships. The five core values of teamwork, respect, enjoyment, discipline, and sportsmanship hold players accountable and make the game special for all who enjoy the environment and culture that is rugby.

“It’s awesome, there’s a lot of value in rugby, we even have a matching tattoo tradition,” said Bothe. “Something that surprised me is how genuine and nice everyone is. I feel like it kind of breaks sports stereotypes, but we’re really just like a family.”

The Mavs will take action Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Mavericks All-Sports Dome.

Write to Hayden Lee at

Header Photo: Minnesota State’s Rugby team is set to host a tournament this weekend in the Mavericks All-Sports Dome, Saturday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.(Courtesy Dominic Bothe)

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