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Rugby players from Wisconsin bring friendship formed in kindergarten to the rugby field at Bowling Green

Sean McFarland, Adam Regini and Cole Shaffer were key assets for Bowling Green club rugby this season.

All three are sophomores and first-time starters whose play helped BG rugby win their 34th straight Mid-American Conference Championship and a bid in a bowl game.

Their chemistry on and off the field shines, performing like champions on the pitch and joking with each other off it.

This chemistry formed at a young age for all three players.

McFarland, Regini and Shaffer were all born and raised in Muskego, Wisconsin.

Their friendship formed in kindergarten and still holds true today.

Regini began playing rugby for Muskego High School’s club team in 2010 and convinced McFarland and Shaffer to join him, which they did in 2011.

“I was addicted right away,” McFarland said after his first experience with the sport.

The three found their passions for rugby and started playing for the Wisconsin Rugby Selects, an elite team of rugby players from across Wisconsin.

With the Wisconsin Rugby Selects, McFarland, Regini and Shaffer thrived and their passions for the sport grew.

As their high school careers neared their ends, the decision of which colleges they would attend began looming.

At first, all three had different schools picked out but then Regini had an idea.

“I talked to my coach and asked what schools were good for rugby,” Regini said. “Bowling Green came up and I said these two [McFarland and Shaffer] should come too.”

Regini visited BG with his father and made his decision.

“I thought it would be sick to play in college with my dudes from high school,” Regini said.

McFarland was interested in joining the BG rugby program and made his decision before Shaffer did.

“I looked at a bunch of different schools and it took a while to decide,” Shaffer said.

Eventually, McFarland and Shaffer made their decisions to join Regini at BG to continue their rugby careers, a decision all three said they are glad they made.

The three attributed their success and love of the game to the Albert family, who put the Muskego High School’s club rugby team together.

All three said they are very thankful for the Albert family and, specifically, Zach Albert, their coach.

“He [Zach Albert] taught us everything we know,” Shaffer said. “He was a great coach.”

McFarland, Regini and Shaffer are looking forward to next year’s rugby season and potentially playing together overseas in the offseason.

McFarland and Regini played in England this past summer.

All three hope to play in either Wales or South Africa next summer if given the opportunity.

The three also hope for rugby careers after college.

“If all the pieces fall together,” Shaffer said, “we’d love to play.”

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