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Local athletes anchor college champion rugby squad

Published On: Jun 05 2013 06:50:49 PM MDT

Life University is a powerhouse college rugby program in Atlanta which is a long way from Missoula, but there are several local Montana athletes that have been helping the Running Eagles in their success.

In fact there are four players from the Missoula area currently on the roster for life university. Jake Anderson is finishing up his sophomore season, he graduated from Frenchtown back in 2010. Also a former Frenchtown Bronc in Xander Daniels competes for the Eagles. Two former Missoula Big Sky students are also on the roster in Castle Creighton and Glen Maricelli.

Anderson has found immense success as a starting player for the national champion Eagles, he says leaving Montana to pursue rugby was a big leap of faith but everything has matched or surpassed his expectations.

"With me and Glen, the first year we drove down there from Montana we didn't really know what to expect at first.  It's been enjoyable, I enjoy it a lot here and I love being down in Atlanta.  It's fun to be on a successful team and go around the country and go to places I never thought I would, and Rugby has taken me there."

Just over three weeks ago all four of the western Montana boys got to hoist the  national championship trophy after Life took down St. Mary's for the national title in their 15's competition.

Then this past weekend Anderson and Maricelli turned around and competed at the collegiate rugby championship 7-on-7 tournament, the Eagles finished 2nd after losing to Cal-Berkeley by five points in the title contest.