The Morehouse rugby team, the Black Sabers, have been one of the most talked about sports at Morehouse since the team’s inception in 2012. Many athletes who came to Morehouse; undecided on playing a sport, have found themselves giving rugby a shot. As an HBCU, rugby is not assumed to be a top sport at these type of institutions, but the Morehouse team is reversing that stigma.
In the United States, rugby is an emerging sport that is increasing its popularity year by year. It is known that the perennial rugby players are typically from overseas or go overseas to pursue their rugby ambitions. Because of this, it has been hard for many schools and teams to galvanize support for their rugby programs. For the Black Sabers to have gained recognition from rugby clubs around Atlanta, the state of Georgia, and the Southeastern region of the United States is an accomplishment in its self.
The Black Sabers have become the first all-male HBCU rugby team. Beyond breaking barriers as an HBCU rugby team, the Black Sabers have established themselves as a serious threat on the field. Just within the past season the team has defeated Georgia Tech and Emory University. With these victories the team has laid claim as rugby’s “best in Atlanta”. The Black Sabers went on to finish 5-2 in division play. The team placed second in their division after only their second year in the National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO).
Morehouse’s team has seen exponential growth in support and membership over the past few years. The recent purchase of new team uniforms with the help of alumni donors has established a recognizable brand around the rugby community in this region. Morehouse Junior fullback, James Jackson, said “these uniforms are not for individual players, but for the club as a whole and for future iterations of the team. Along with future equipment purchases, we have invested in our club in order to see the best possible finished product. I want to come back in 10 years as an alumni of Morehouse and watch the club's continued growth.”
As a school that prides itself on brotherhood, the Morehouse rugby team epitomizes that mantra. Seifuddin Saafir, the Black Sabers senior captain said “the intensity of the game brings opposing teams closer and teammates even closer indefinitely. For me, it is being in the heat of battle each game. Knowing that I am playing for the brother next to me, and knowing that they are playing for me as well, drives me to give it my all until the last whistle.” Like many sports programs on campus; each of them