Chase Matua of Lehi is the head coach of United Rugby’sundefeated team consisting of 9and-12and students from Skyridge, Lone Peak, Westlake and American Fork High Schools. Last week, United received an official invitation to the 2022 National Boys High School Rugby Championships in Elkhart, Indiana from May 19-21.
“My brothers and I grew up playing for this club. We’re invested – we want to make sure it’s a community building experience for these boys,” Matua said. It’s his first year as a coach. But Matua and his four brothers all played for United Rugby Chase and his brother Kingston later played rugby for BYU Chase’s younger brother Kenyon helps coach the United team.
“Our father involved us in rugby as a better way to resolve conflicts,” laughed Matua.
United Rugby was started in 1985 by Ra Puriri to allow him to share his love of rugby with his sons and young men in the Utah County area. In 1991 United became a youth rugby program and in 2009 they created a girls rugby team. The U19 Boys have won two National Championships, one in 2010 and another in 2013. The United Girls won the Girls HS Club NIT Championships in 2017 and 2018. Dozens of United Rugby Club players have played for University teams.
“The boys are all super excited to have the opportunity to play at Elkhart,” Matua said. “Our number one priority right now is getting funding.” Rugby is more supported and promoted when it is a school-sanctioned sport, but that is not the case in Utah County. United Rugby relies on parental support and builds the team through word of mouth.
The undefeated Matua team will play their final game of the season at Burgess Park next to Timberline Middle School in Alpine on Saturday, April 30 at 10 a.m. “The matches are free, fun and exciting,” Matua promised.