Friday, March 24, 2017

UC Flyhalf Looks Forward to Time with U24 Team

As March comes to a close and the spring rugby season approaches, the time for the Ohio Elite team’s first competition draws ever closer. For Justine Perl, the upcoming training sessions and competitions are opportunities to put her passion for rugby on display, supersize her skill set and represent the Buckeye State against some of the country’s stiffest, competition.

“I am proud to represent the state of Ohio,” Perl said. “As a player, making this team is a huge honor and accomplishment. It shows me that all of my hard work and dedication in the gym and on the pitch is paying off. . . and that if I keep working hard I can continue to play at higher levels.”

Though she is into her college career at the University of Cincinnati, Perl is still in the dawn of her rugby career. She has played three years of her rugby career for the university’s women’s team and orchestrated the offense as flyhalf. In the short time she has been between the white lines, Perl has grown to love rugby and jumped at the opportunity to get some top-tier experience.

“I'm always looking for a new challenge and ways to improve my game,” she said. “So when I heard about the U24 team I was excited to have the opportunity to play rugby at a higher level and to improve my skills. Even though I have only played for a short period of time, I have developed a passion for rugby and a drive to be the best player and teammate I can be. I believe that participating with the U24 team will help me to drive that passion and to develop as a teammate and an individual.”

The on-field opportunities are only half of the equation for the Cincinnati student, though. The women that comprise the roster formed a bond that came together quickly and became thick right away. Almost from the first training session, the players were on the same page and operating as a well-oiled machine. Despite not knowing each other well and having only a few training sessions together, the progress made so far could bode well for the Elite team.

“It's definitely different, getting ready to play in these big tournaments after only practicing together once or twice versus practicing a couple of days a week with my college team,” Perl said. “If our practices are any indication of our future success, I can see this team going far and being extremely successful. I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the girls on the team during our upcoming training sessions and competitions. I am also excited about facing new competition and connecting with more people within the rugby community.”

Justine Perl has a fire for the sport of rugby, and her participation with the Elite team will only further fan those flames and drive her efforts to improve. Looking beyond her time with the U24 side, Perl plans to take the experiences back to her teammates in Cincinnati and be the best teammate possible.

Perl and the rest of the Ohio Elite team are putting the final touches on their preparations for Ruggerfest. Th ladies will take the field in Washington, DC on April 1.

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