Rising interest in rugby during the past two years has this fall produced what may be the strongest team ever to don the Crimson stripes. Combining a hard core of returning veterans with new young talent, the squad shows promise of being "considerably better" than last spring's powerful but unlucky fifteen, vice-President Warren Young said last night.
In the past, the Rugby Club has always had difficulty in getting enough men to field a team, but before yesterday's scrimmage with M.I.T., 30 men were warming up for the Crimson. Although hampered by darkness and a narrow field, the team showed a fast and able three-quarter line and a stiff defense as it played out a 0-0 tie with the Panthers.
Last year's star at left wing, Langi Kavaliku from Tonga, has returned, and with Charlie Rowe gives the Crimson one of the fastest pair of wings in the Eastern Rugby League. At the center positions, the starting slots are still undecided, but coach Dick O'Neil has much to work with.
Two freshmen, John van-Schalyk and Ian Pasley-Tyler, showed the most yesterday. Both are from Britain, have excellent speed, and a good working knowledge of the game.
In the scrum, veteran kicker Graham Russell and wing forwards Ted Frembgen and Dick Holmes are the standouts. With the return of Jim Keating, an excellent prop last spring, and Bob Embersits, Yale football captain two years ago, the scrum will combine power and speed with great experience.
Much work still needs to be done on the team's passing and kicking, Young believes, but both of these weaknesses should be ironed out by the Dartmouth opener next week. With the tremendous depth available on the squad, it cannot fail to be a banner year.