Freshman Spotlight: Will mCcausland
Will McCausland has shown great promise in his first season as a Wildcat. (Photo credits: Alex Ho)
Mar 11- With the Wildcats on Spring Break before the stretch run to the 2020 season, we took a few minutes to sit down with Wing Will McCausland, one of Arizona's top young prospects.
How long have you been playing Rugby?
I've been playing rugby for 11 years. My mom signed me up for flag rugby when I was in third grade, and I've been playing ever since.
What teams have you played on?
My home club, Downingtown Rugby Football Club, Turks Head which is a club out of West Chester, PA, and Atlantis which is a primarily Sevens based team. I have also played for Eagle Impact Rugby Academy as well as High School All-Americans.
What made you decide to come to Arizona?
The educational aspect of the University as well as the high level of Rugby drew me in. I'm currently majoring in Conservation Biology, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is a close-knit group of people who really love to teach and are extremely helpful and professional. As for the Rugby, I have always wanted to better myself within the sport, and I felt that this was the best place for me to do that. There are no other programs like Arizona Rugby in the United States, because you have tons of resources and excellent coaches who are extremely dedicated to bettering the players individually and the squad as a whole.
First impression of University of Arizona and college in general?
The campus is beautiful. I'm from Pennsylvania so the atmosphere is very different, but I really like the change of scenery. The social aspect of the college is great as well; everyone on campus is really friendly along with the professors and students.
What makes Arizona Rugby special?
I think what makes Arizona Rugby so special is the bond that we share on the team. It's like a big family, each guy is your brother and we all have each others' backs. It doesn't matter if you're a Freshman or Senior, we all get around each other and bring each other up.
Favorite trip of the Preseason?
The trip to Texas for sure. Going out there and putting in a really good shift against a D1A first side with just a group of Freshmen and Sophomores was definitely something special.
Favorite play/moment of the Preseason?
Max Cathala's fake kick into touch that he grubbered to me for a try. We didn't even say anything, just looked at each other and knew exactly what was about to happen. I really don't think we could possibly ever repeat that but it was definitely one of my favorite moments.
What would you say to a prospective student-athlete considering University of Arizona?
To a prospective student-athlete considering Arizona, I would say to really be mentally prepared. You are going to have a lot on your plate managing your athletics along with attending classes and doing well in both areas. If you aren't focused on your schoolwork, it's going to feel like a long couple of semesters, so as long as you are able to balance your athletics and education you'll have a really successful year.
Why should fans come see Arizona Rugby?
Fans should definitely come see Arizona Rugby because the sport is growing massively in the US. We've got a solid team going into the spring season, and over the next few years they should want to watch us progress from the top 10 to the best team in the country.
Favorite teammate to play with?
My favourite teammate throughout both Sevens and Fifteens this preseason has to be the Frenchman Maxime Cathala. In Sevens, we've had great connections on the wing and that has carried over through to Fifteens as well, so I really look forward to playing with him in the future. He's an extremely exciting player to watch, and even if you can't always quite understand what he's saying he's definitely a player you'd want with you on the field, because he'll have your back no matter what.
Long term individual goal in Rugby? Team goal?
Individually, I want to work towards playing on the international level. Along with that, a team goal of mine would definitely be to work towards winning a national title in both Fifteens and Sevens. We have the squad to get it done, we just have to commit time and put the work in.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I would love to work abroad with conservation sites. The preservation of endangered/keystone species (Rhinos, Elephants etc) within their respective ecosystems has always been really important to me, so I hope to someday work as a conservation scientist in order to really make a difference in that field by protecting those organisms.
Director of Rugby Sean Duffy: "We thought Will could be a special prospect when recruiting him, and he's come in and made us look smart. On top of that, he's an excellent teammate, great student, and showed what he could do in the first side with a hat trick against Utah. He has a chance to follow in the footsteps of some great players we've had here in the backline like Ryan Matyas, Peter Tiberio, Dante Weeks just to name a few, and it's our goal to help him reach his.