Redwood alum joins USA National Rugby team

Jenna Herz

Jake Anderson, 2010 Redwood graduate and 2015 Cal graduate, joined the USA National Rugby team and North America’s new professional rugby league this year.

Anderson enrolled at Redwood in his sophomore year after moving from Singapore with his family. He played varsity football for the Giants as the quarterback and safety and joined the Marin Highlanders in his junior year. 

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When Anderson initially joined the national team, he toured the globe with his teammates. However, he is currently playing for the North American rugby league’s San Francisco team, and will be able to settle close to home. 

Anderson attributes a lot of his success as a rugby player to his high school rugby coach, Dave Cingolani. Cingolani, who coached Anderson with the Marin Highlanders, is now the head coach for the North Bay Rugby Club.

“Dave went to Cal and played there and has his fair share of knowledge. Dave and that club played a big part in my development as a rugby player,” Anderson said.

Anderson was a co-captain for Golden Bears during his senior year at Cal. During his five years at Cal, Anderson helped the Golden Bears win multiple national titles.

At the Collegiate Rugby Championship, Anderson and his team won two titles in 7 and one 15s national collegiate championship. He helped them acquire two PAC Rugby Conferences in 15s and two titles in 7s.

Anderson said he chose Cal due to its excellent rugby teams.

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“Cal is obviously one of the top rugby teams and I knew I would be playing at the highest level if I went there,” Anderson said.

Anderson hopes that the next generation will realize how much potential the future of rugby holds.

“Rugby at a club level in US is still perceived as a very clubby sport. It’s not taken as seriously as American football or basketball because it’s still growing,” Anderson said. “Players should recognize that there’s a good pathway to universities [through rugby] and that you can build a network. If you are serious about it from a younger age, it can provide you with more opportunities.”