This begins the first of an occasional series of articles about colleges that have purchased Rhino Rugby brand teamwear and equipment. For this review, Rhino salutes the outstanding Men's rugby program at Franklin & Marshall College.
F&M was founded in 1787 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a £200 grant from Ben Franklin. Its initial board of trustees included four signers of the Declaration of Independence. The mission was to provide classes in English and German, making it the first bilingual college in the United States. In 1836, Marshall College was founded in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, named after John Marshall, the fourth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Discussions between the two institutions led to a merger in 1853, establishing Franklin and Marshall College located in Lancaster. The President of the first Board of Trustees was James Buchanan, who would become the 15th President of the United States.
- Classification: Liberal Arts institution, private
- Enrollment: 2,300 (co-educational)
- Student/Faculty Ratio: 9:1 (Often voted "The nation's most accessible faculty.")
- National Liberal Arts Colleges Ranking: 40 (2016)
- Division III (Wrestling is Division I)
- Centennial League (Eight Pennsylvania and three Maryland schools)
- Nickname: The Diplomats
- Colors: Blue and White
F&M Men’s Rugby Team
- Founded in 1972
- Official Club Sport - Fifteens and Sevens
- National Small College Rugby Organization (NSCRO)
- Mid Atlantic Rugby Conference (MARC)
- 2017 Achievements - 2 Second and Third place NSCRO National 7s Championship Qualifiers
- Coach: Larry Carroll, Penn State 2012
Rhino Rugby Purchase History with Endorsements
Rhino Rugby Technical Equipment We first began to purchase equipment from Rhino during the summer of 2015. Initially, we were drawn to N-Gage scrum Sled, which we were later informed was the only one of its kind in the United States. Immediately, we began to see consistent performance improvements while training with it. The new sled allowed for us to get lower, tighter, and face up against a mock opponent that modulated like an opposing scrum. Following this, we knew that we saw specific enhancements from training with specific rugby made equipment, and not with leftover or unused football gear. Therefore, we decided that in order to further elevate our training abilities, we would place a second order from Rhino. Our Second order included the Collision King, Tackle Ring, Hit and Drive Shield, and Single Jackal. Essentially, all equipment helped to improve the team's rucking and tackling ability. By coupling this equipment together in multistage training exercises we found ways to put our players into many game-like contact scenarios, without the risk of injuries to players during training. For 2017 we are looking to overhaul some more of our older equipment. Purchasing several new tackling bags and another tackling ring. Our home pitch at Baker Field will also be updated to include new Goal Post Pads and Flags. Our goal as a program is to bring an unparalleled level of professionalism to a collegiate club sport environment. With a great one on one relationship between our team, and the staff at Rhino, we are jointly working to achieve our goals.
Rhino Rugby Kit Currently, we are implementing a new system where we will be issuing “Player Packs” to all of our players. This includes a Backpack, Singlet, Rugby Training shorts, Technical T-Shirt, Gym Shorts and a Team Polo. All players are issued this equipment when they join the team. We have really appreciated the consultation and work that Rhino has done to make ordering kits a seamless process. We have experimented with several other options over the years, and Rhino’s process has been the easiest by far. We have used Rhino Kits for a while now, and have been very pleased with the durability of the materials, and the customization options.
Rhino Rugby Balls We use Rhino Balls in use for both our practices and matches, because of their combination of durability and affordability, we love them. Their grip is exceptional for use in cold, northeastern winter training and they last longer than other products we’ve seen.