UW-W alum living his rugby dream

Ross Guyette, Assistant Sports Editor

Alum Ben Landry has continued to chase his athletic goals by being able to represent his country in the Rugby World Championships. The Pewaukee native was a three-sport athlete in high-school and came to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to play on the men’s rugby team. Ben came to Whitewater in 2013 after one year at UW-Platteville.

“I was really interested in coming here right out of high school,” he said. “I wanted to make a change and come to Whitewater because they set themselves apart athletically and academically.”

His professional rugby career started when he contacted Seattle’s professional team, who eagerly offered him an internship that fulfilled all his needs before graduation and gave him the ability to start playing professionally.

“That was really cool, being able to live in Seattle and play professionally. It was very exciting,” said Landry.

His rise in notoriety on the rugby circuit opened the eyes of the competition in not just his sport, but also other sports as well. He was able to play a whole preseason on a tryout basis for the Seattle Seahawks. “I was very amped up and it was a great experience, they have unlimited resources at their disposal and it was a very professional atmosphere,” he said.

Later the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears came to see what the Warhawk had to offer. “They liked my measurables and they brought me in, it was exactly what you would expect when you would think of professional football.”

After putting his rugby career on hold for football, he picked up right where he left off and is representing the U.S.A. on the Olympic rugby team. “When you get to represent your country, it’s very important, playing the world’s best and winning against them on your own soil is one of the best feelings I have had, it’s huge.”

Currently residing in London, England, Landry has played against many countries. I was able to get ahold of him for this interview from his cell phone in Okinawa, where he is preparing to represent team U.S.A. once again in the world championship. But he still remembers Wisconsin. “There is nothing like small town Wisconsin, I miss it quite a bit.”

Look for Ben and the rest of the USA Rugby team in their first game of the 2019 World Cup on Thursday Sept. 26 at 6 a.m.