Local rugby player starts for USA Under-23 (Collegiate All-Americans) in South Africa

Special to the Chronicle

Baltimore rugby team has strong Australian roots.
Matt Lathrop, a 6'6", 260 lb. athlete from Cockeysville, MD who recently graduated from Texas A&M, was selected to the USA Rugby Collegiate All-Americans. On September 18, the team left for Cape Town, South Africa, for the challenge of three tough matches in eight days.

A former football player, Lathrop learned to play rugby under his Texas A&M rugby coach Alec Klinghoffer, who is a former Baltimore-Chesapeake Rugby Football Club (BCRFC) member and Towson University graduate.

Because of his ties to BCRFC and his desire to play for the club, BCRFC arranged for Lathrop to play rugby and train in Brisbane, Australia during the summer of 2002 before relocating to Baltimore.

The Australian club that Lathrop played for, G.P.S Rugby Football Club, is the home rugby club of both former BCRFC coaches John Moss and Scott Adlington. Moss recently returned home to Australia, and Adlington is currently the club manager of BCRFC.

Upon returning from Australia Matt Lathrop from Texas to Baltimore to join BCRFC in Division One competition within the Mid Atlantic Rugby Football Union.

In a recent email, Lathrop said, “They place a good amount of pressure on us to perform and represent the United States well. It is a different feeling: sitting in meetings, staring at the American flag, wearing the 'Red, white and blue' to practice and at the games, and hearing people yelling "Go USA!" It is quite a feeling....makes you remember that we are playing for more than our universities or our men's clubs.”

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This story was published on October 2, 2002.