Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Rugby Faithful Hope Their Sport Is on Rise.(Sports)

Byline: Harold Smith For the Journal

* The old game, dating back 178 years to England, has a loyal local following

Like a scrum, where there's no telling which direction the ball will pop out into play, local youth rugby is at a crossroads.

"It can be a family sport, like soccer is here," says Highland High School club coach Andy Murray. "It is a family sport in Europe."

Much like soccer was in the 1960s, most kids vaguely are aware mostly through physical education teachers that rugby does, in fact, exist. But rugby's local popularity could go the way of the now nearly extinct sport of field hockey. Or as its proponents hope, it could blossom like soccer did. …

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