Rugby heads overseas to New Zealand tournament

Three members invited to Lone Star Rattlesnakes team

By Rosanna Aguilera
On February 23, 2017

Photo contributed from Ram Rugby
Left to right: Tadeo Canon Masjoan, Austin Vandiver and Anthony Kisiday played a big part in the Rams’ undefeated status. They will head to New Zealand this summer.

Three rugby players were selected to play for an All-Star team in New Zealand this summer.

Seniors Austin Vandiver, Tadeo Canon Masjoan and junior Anthony Kisiday will be playing in the Lone Star Rattlesnakes All-Star team during the tour date of June 9-24.

"We’ve gone to the Cayman Islands and Canada and this year we get to go to the motherland of rugby, New Zealand," Kisiday said.

The team is comprised of selected players from the Lone Star Rugby Conference.

"First and foremost, this team is made up of the best collegiate rugby players in Texas," Kisiday said.

The trip per person is two thousand dollars.

"We’re trying to raise three thousand so then we each get a thousand and then come up with the other thousand ourselves," Vandiver said.

Vandiver said he played for the same team last year when they played in Calgary and Edmonton, Canada for a week.

"I just want to be able to build off of what I was able to accomplish last year and keep trying to be the best rugby player I can be," Vandiver said.

Vandiver said it is a little "surreal" getting asked to play overseas in New Zealand.

"So many opportunities to be seized on this trip," Vandiver said.

Vandiver said they are scheduled to practice with a pro Super Rugby team, the Hurricanes.

"We get to play the Maori All Blacks, which is a super humbling honor," Vandiver said. "There is a lot of history with that team. It’s really just a blessing to be able to say I’ve faced the Maori All Blacks."

Vandiver said they are also scheduled to play two other games and watch the New Zealand national team practice or play.

They will also mentor with a few elementary or middle schools.

"There is supposed to be a lot of publicity going on around us while we’re there, so we’ll do some interviews and hangout with the kids," Vandiver said.

Vandiver said they will play in the Auckland Island against Maori All Blacks.

"What you need to understand is that this is where the best in the world compete and we get to grab a little slice of that and take it with us for the rest of our lives," Kisiday said.

Kisiday said he was nominated as Captain of the team this year and that he feels honored.

"For me it’s a dream come true," Kisiday said.

Kisiday said this is like going to the Super Bowl for them.

"I get to represent my university, state and country on a playing field I never imagined," Kisiday said.

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