Inside look: Women’s rugby forward Tessa Hann talks strategy, leadership, and growth


Junior loose forward Tessa Hann. Photo courtesy of Jacob Thompson, Thompson Sports Media

Charis Jones, Staff Reporter

The CWU women’s rugby team recently concluded their season with an 11-7 overall record, and junior loose forward Tessa Hann had lots to reflect on in terms of their journey.

“I think our team has some growing to do, but overall we set a great foundation to keep building on for next season,” Hann said.

During the weekend of May 6, the team participated in The College Rugby Association of America (CRAA) USA Rugby College Women’s Premier 7’s National Championship held in Houston, Texas. Hann had several conversions during the 6-game series, and the team finished with a record of 3-3.

“Getting prepared for this tournament, we spent all off-season doing speed training,” Hann said. “We also had numerous scrimmages against each other and played in the Fool’s Gold tournament in Boise. These practices allowed us to work on team chemistry and fitness for the tournament.”

Hann noted that there are clear disparities between individual games and tournaments, stating, “Playing in a tournament is a lot busier, we have quick turn around and it’s a lot more demanding on your body.”

However, to combat this, Hann explained that the team employs music to maintain high energy levels throughout the day. 

“One strategy that my team has are warm-ups that we do before games that consist of music which helps us get excited to play next,” Hann said.

Hann also emphasized the importance of leadership and team chemistry, two key factors that have contributed to the team’s success throughout the season.

“Our team has many leaders which is awesome,” Hann said. “Some that stick out are Rena [Tinoisamoa], Maddie [Hadden] and Mae [Sagapolu]. It’s important to have leadership on and off the field because that’s what keeps us going.”

In addition t​o the leadership, Hann also cites the team’s chemistry as a key to their success.

“Team chemistry has been very important this year on our team,” Hann said. “We are a very bonded team and with that, it allows us to know how one another plays and even act[s]. This makes playing and interacting off the field effortless.”

For players who are still trying to find their role on the team, Hann said that everyone’s contribution is valuable: “Winning doesn’t just come from a few players, it comes from everyone. Everyone on our team is important and valued. We all have to work together to build the culture and chemistry that will help us for the future.”

Looking ahead to next season, the team has set their sights on winning the national championship. Hann expressed confidence in the team’s ability to continue improving and building upon the foundation they have established this season.

“A goal for next season would be to win the national championship,” Hann said. “We’ve built such a great foundation, now all we need to do is sharpen up our skills and continue to improve.”

As the CWU women’s rugby team’s season comes to a close, it’s clear that their dedication to team chemistry, fitness and leadership has been integral to their success. With their sights set on a national championship, the team is committed to continuing their hard work, improving their skills and building upon their foundation as they prepare for future seasons.