Virginia Tech Men's Rugby

Virginia Tech’s 2015 Performance & Insights with Paul Caron

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Virginia Tech’s 2015 Performance and Standout Star Focus with Paul Caron

Philadelphia, Penn. — May 31, 2015 —Today Virginia Tech was eliminated in the Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship (Penn Mutual CRC) Plate Semifinals against UCLA in a final tally of 10 vs. 27. The day before the Hokies finished the Pool A playoffs with every result possible: a win, a tie and a loss.

9 a.m. Notre Dame 19 vs. 36 Virginia Tech

11 a.m. Virginia Tech 17 vs. 17 Boston

3:07 p.m. Cal 12 vs. 7 Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s 7s Manager Bill Whalen commented on the evening game against Cal, “We lost 12-7 and although it hurts that we lost the game, that was the best team in the country consistently. I think personally, maybe I’m biased, but I think we were the better team out there. We played them about two years ago in the CRC and lost by 50. We’ve gotten a lot better since then.”

Standout Star: Paul Caron

Virginia Tech’s Captain Paul Caron participated in his third Collegiate Rugby Championship this weekend despite a variety of injuries. Yesterday he was the seventh top point scorer of the day with two tries and four conversions.

His rugby roots run deep as his father is a former Belgium national rugby team member and his brother is a former Virginia Tech rugby captain as well. Caron first played rugby as a sophomore at Gonzaga College High School; since his graduation the school has won the Boys High School National Championship twice, 2014-2015.

Caron commented, “I love rugby because if you don’t have a complete team you can’t beat others. But having a complete team is better than having three all-stars on an adequate team. That’s why we think, especially in our program, we don’t have any superstar athletes per say, but our team is so sound that we are able to compete with these all-star teams. That’s why I really enjoy it.”

Caron joined the Virginia Tech men’s rugby team as an undergraduate in the fall of 2009, however he missed the entire 2011 season after a difficult ACL tear in his right knee. After the injury Caron went on to continue being a part of the team as an assistant coach. Despite this challenge, his time with the Hokies was not short lived academically or athletically.

Although Caron started at Virginia Tech as an undergraduate in the fall of 2009, he has continued his studies for the last six years. His extended time at the university has been dedicated to pursuing extra degrees. In his first four years at the school he studied microbiology and spanish, but in his last two years he’s been pursuing a third undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a masters in biomedical engineering. When he’s not playing rugby or going to school, he also works part-time at at a medical research facility. In particular, he’s been focusing on concussion and impact studies-  something he’s been interested in due to their potential in contact sports, like rugby.

Therefore Caron was able to apply for extra eligibility with USA Rugby, and the organization granted him those privileges. Unfortunately in early 2014 he returned to the field and tore his left ACL and meniscus in his left knee. However during recovery from both injuries Caron decided to continue being involved with the team in an assistant coaching role. He has since been able to recover and finished his time playing with the Hokie ruggers at the 2015 Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championships.

Caron reflected abo

ut Virginia Tech’s men’s rugby program, “I’ve just really enjoyed it here. Everyone’s phenomenal and they’ve been helpful throughout the entire process of injuries and my transition to coach. The program is very serious. We’ve been upping it almost every year with respect to intensity and now we do almost 10 sessions a week with just the 7s team.”

After this season Caron will be staying in Blacksburg, VA and will become the Head Men’s 15s Rugby Coach and Assistant 7s Coach; other changes will include Virginia Tech 7s Manager Bill Whalen leaving the team. Going forward he’ll be continuing his schooling and research work, particularly in concussion impact studies.

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